You may not be aware of this, but you don’t need to be an avid fan of Brazilian soap operas to be familiar with Brazilian actors and actresses. Hollywood is full of made in Brazil actors and actresses who have been successful on television and also in the cinema. Would you like to get to know some of them? Check our Top 5 here.
Wagner Moura gained international acclaim for his role as drug lord Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series ‘Narcos’. He is one of the most important names of Brazilian cinema, and has also been a star in other famous films such as Elite Squad and its sequel Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2007 and 2010). Mr Moura was born in the Bahian capital of Salvador and gained national acclaim with his performance in the series Sexo Frágil (literally: The Frail Sex) on Rede Globo, Brazil’s largest and most influential television station, in 2003. In Hollywood, he made his début in the film Elysium (2013), beside other famous cinema actors such as Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. Having won a string of awards in Brazil, Wagner Moura won his first Golden Globe in 2016, in the Best Dramatic Actor category, for his role as Pablo Escobar in ‘Narcos’.
Sônia Braga is considered a cinema diva and has established a solid career both in Brazil and in Hollywood. She was born in the city of Maringá, in the state of Paraná, and shot to fame with the soap opera Gabriela, in 1975. Her international career took off after the film The Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985). In this film, she starred alongside William Hurt, who won the Oscar™ for Best Actor for his part in this film. Then, Sônia appeared in two more films, namely Beanfield War and Moon over Parador (both in 1988). For the latter of these two films, she was nominated for the Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actress category. Ms Braga also participated in television series such as Sex and the City (2001), Desperate Housewives (2007) and Luke Cage (2016).
Considered a sex symbol in Brazil, Rodrigo Santoro is a former model who became famous on television for his part in the soap opera Hilda Furacão (literally ‘Hurricane Hilda’) in 1998. Mr Santoro soon made the switch over to the cinema, having starred in such successes as Bicho de Sete Cabeças (Brainstorm, 2001), Abril Despedaçado (Shredded April, 2001) and Carandiru (2003). The international career of the Brazilian actor who hails from the city of Petrópolis, near Rio de Janeiro, gained further prominence in 2003, with the film Love Actually. Following that, he participated in major productions such as 300 (2006) where he played the part of Xerxes, and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009), with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. He is currently on air in the short HBO television series Westworld, together with Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood.
Well known for having played the part of Jessica Brody, in television series Homeland, Morena Baccarin was born in Rio de Janeiro and relocated to the United States when she was seven years old. Her television début was in the series Firefly (2002), and she also participated in other productions such as How I Met Your Mother and The O.C., both in 2006. She is now playing the part of doctor Leslie Thompkins in the Gotham series on FOX. She has been part of the production of this series ever since it premiered in 2014.
Not everyone knows this, but this actress, who starred in Maze Runner, has Brazilian blood. Kaya Scodelario has a Brazilian mother, speaks fluent Portuguese, and visits Brazil often. She shot to fame in the British series Skins (2007 to 2013), broadcast by E4 and also by MTV. The actress also participated in the four seasons of the production as the character Effy. She also starred in many other films such as Moon (2009) with Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey, and Now is Good (2012) with Dakota Fanning. Apart from her participation in the third film of the Maze Runner series, Kaya shall soon be starting the fifth production of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, as Carina Smith, an astronomer.