The actor who played Pablo Escobar in Narcos has revealed how he ditched the weight he gained to play the drug lord.

Brazilian actor Wagner Moura, 40, gained 18kg for the lead role in the Netflix show, but he told NPR that it was assuming Escobar's personality that he found most taxing.

"What happens is that when you're living with a character like that, it's not like characters are taking your body," he said, "It's just that you're dealing with a certain kind of energy every day that's not good at all."

When filming wrapped on the second and final season, Wagner adopted a vegan diet to shed the weight he packed on to play the Colombian drug kingpin.


"Doing the vegan diet wasn't only about losing weight, but getting rid of that character, you know, getting rid of that energy that I was having to live with for two years."

And he's ruled out taking on such a physically demanding role ever again.

"No, I wouldn't change my body again, Moura said.

"I meant that's - I think that's something for young people to do, you know. I can't do that anymore. My cholesterol was - it was horrible."

Moura didn't only change his body when he landed the role, but he also had to learn how to speak Spanish.

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"So I flew to Medellin, booked myself into a university course to learn Spanish and lived there for five months," the actor said to last year.

"And of course, I had to gain a lot of weight. If you go to the internet and see a picture of Escobar, you will see that he's fat. It would have been weird to have a skinny guy play the role so I had to do it.

"The first few weeks were delicious. I was eating ice-cream with my kids but then I had my cholesterol tests which were very high. So now in the next season (two) we're using prosthetics and fake bellies."

Narcos season two is currently streaming on Netflix