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Alice Braga

Alice BragaAlice Braga Moraes, born April 15th, 1983 in São Paulo, Brazil is a Brazilian film and television actress.

She has appeared in several Brazilian films, most notably as Angélica in the highly acclaimed City of God in 2002 and as Karina in the 2005 film Lower City.

She has also starred in many Hollywood films such as I Am Legend in 2007, Repo Men and Predators which both were released in 2010, The Rite in 2011 and in Elysium in 2013. She speaks fluent Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Raised in a Catholic family, her exposure to the world of films and acting came at ayoung age. Both her mother, Ana Braga, and aunt, Sônia Braga, are actresses whom Braga often accompanied to film sets.

She began her career by appearing in school plays and commercials, with her first commercial being for a yoghurt advertisement when she was just eight years old. As a teenager she began pursuing roles in television and movies.

In 1998, Braga debuted in a Portuguese-language film short called Trampolim, and then returned to her schooling.

Alice BragaHer big break came in 2002 when she was cast in the role of Angélica in the critically acclaimed film, City of God, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination from the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize.

Braga came to international prominence after appearing opposite Will Smith in I Am Legend in 2007, and has since become a familiar face in Hollywood, having appeared in films such as Repo Men in 2010, Predators in 2010, The Rite in 2011, Elysium in 2013, and The Shack in 2017.

She has portrayed the starring role of Teresa Mendoza in the crime drama-thriller television series Queen of the South from 2016 to the present. (Currently on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic)

She then took time off and attended university while appearing in a pair of well-regarded South American films.

The 2005 film Lower City and Only God Knows in 2006 as well as in the popular Brazilian television program Carandiru, Outras Historias.

In the film Lower City Braga plays Karinna, a girl with no ties trying to survive by being a prostitute in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. She had acted in City of God, a few commercials and some theatre at school but had never been cast in a big role, so it was a huge challenge for her.

Alice Braga"We had an acting coach named Fatima Toledo who worked on Pixote, many other films and then on City of God."

"She has a really nice method - she doesn’t want you to try to create a character or to try to observe normal hookers or be another person."

"She wanted me and the boys to put ourselves as human beings in the characters' situations and to feel their emotions and problems."

"It brings some reality to the film because you feel how hard it is. It was great. She gave us lots of exercises. She didn't want us to pretend to be emotional because that's not real."

"She puts your body into the emotion so that you have a connection that you can feel. That way you're always conscious about what's happening, what's going on in that moment of the scene."

"For me it was amazing. I did lots of exercises with my pelvis because Karinna is a dancer. I did some voice exercises and the practiced the love scenes.

I went twice to certain clubs just to see the energy and the movement of the hookers but not to copy them because we were afraid of getting into any judgement or prejudice. Particularly when playing a hooker it's always easy for you to get into a stereotype and we didn't want that."

Alice BragaBraga made her English-language film debut in 2006 with a starring role with Brendan Fraser, Mos Def, and Catalina Sandino Moreno in Journey to the End of Night, which premiered at the 5th Annual Tribeca Film Festival.

In 2007, Braga was cast in the Will Smith blockbuster I Am Legend and the drama Crossing Over, which stars Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd.

She also appeared in the 2008 David Mamet film Redbelt alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor.

She starred as Isabelle in Antal Nimrod's Predators, which was shot and produced by Troublemaker Studios and Robert Rodriguez.

In 2013, Braga appeared as Frey Santiago in Neill Blomkamp's Elysium co-starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.

Braga rode to fame on the back of key performances in works produced in her native country.

In 2008 she re-teamed with City of God director Fernando Meirelles for the haunting film Blindness, playing the only woman left in her village with the ability to see, after a mysterious condition renders everyone else blind.

Alice BragaShe also joined the cast of the sci-fi thriller Repossession Mambo in 2009, opposite Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. In her own words:

"Sao Paulo is a crowded town, it has so many buildings and traffic and so many people in one small place. I miss the energy of being there."

"I think people who have the power of communication, who have the power of publicity, do have an influence, and if I ever get that opportunity, I will take it."

"Everything is in our hands - each of us can make a difference and fight. That's something I believe in: taking care of being, always being giving, always trying to be helpful and generous."

Ever since Alice Braga starred in City of God, the now 38-year-old Brazilian beauty has been battling invading aliens in films such as Predators and mutant vampires in I Am Legend.

In 2014, she starred as Vania in the Brazilian jungle film The Ardor, as Olivia in the Argentine romance drama Latitudes, and as Alice Taylor in Kriv Stenders' action-thriller Kill Me Three Times.

Alice BragaIn 2016, Braga starred as Marisol Kingston in the western drama The Duel, alongside Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson.

In 2017, she starred as Sophia in the Christian drama The Shack, alongside Octavia Spencer and Sam Worthington, based on the novel of the same name.

Since 2016, Braga has starred in the crime drama series Queen of the South, produced for USA Network, an adaptation of Arturo Perez-Reverte's best-selling novel La Reina del Sur.

The series marked Braga's first lead American television role. She previously had small supporting roles in a non-English television series.

As Theresa in Queen of the South, Braga is exquisite as the girlfriend of the son of a drug cartel's boss who is killed - forcing her to go on the run where she ends up under the control of the cartel boss's ex-wife who uses her in her efforts to ruin her ex-husband.

Braga starred as Cecilia Reyes in the superhero horror film The New Mutants, which was released in 2020.

Alice BragaShe starred as Maggie Teixeira in the HBO drama miniseries We Are Who We Are, which was written and directed by filmmaker Luca Guadagnino.

Braga will also appear in the superhero action film The Suicide Squad, which is set for release in 2021.

When the USA Network series Queen of the South debuted on Netflix, it became a monster hit, regularly landing in the Netflix Top 10 as one of the streaming platform's most watched shows.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show follows "Teresa Mendoza - played by Braga, who after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America."

Each season follows Teresa's journey as she goes from being on the run to taking over a drug cartel to managing and growing her own drug business in America.

The series is based on Arturo Perez-Reverte's novel, La Reina Del Sur. After being published in 2002, the novel went on to become an international bestseller, per The Hollywood Reporter.

In 2011, USA's sister network Telemundo debuted a Spanish-language series inspired by the book. The show, La Reina Del Sur, is "one of the most popular telenovelas ever for Telemundo." It's no wonder USA Network made its own version!

Alice BragaObviously, the lead role was the most important to cast, and USA found the perfect Teresa Mendoza in Brazilian actress, Alice Braga. Though you've likely seen Braga in a ton of movies, this is her first major role on the small screen.

"I love acting," she told an entertainment site 25 years later in 2019. "It's funny because if you ask me what is my favorite place in the world? - I'd say a movie set." She added.

"So, hopefully in 10 years from now, I would still be acting and also producing more and getting to know people and just developing."

But back in June of 2013 , the upheaval she was dealing with was not make-believe as she revealed in a W Magazine interview.

"I'm sorry I'm late," Braga apologized to the W Magazine interviewer when phoning from São Paulo.

"But there's rioting all over the city."

A week earlier, a hike in bus fares had sparked a wave of protests, and Braga couldn't help but see the parallels to her latest sci-fi blockbuster film, Elysium.

"The movie is great entertainment," she said dutifully.

Alice Braga"But it’s also about how much inequality there is in the world."

Braga played a single mother struggling to survive on a devastated Earth while its elite citizens have fled for Elysium, an outer-space Xanadu scrubbed of disease and hardship.

"I always end up in these very intense action films," she said. "I have no idea why!"

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Year Title Role Notes
1998 Trampolim Cláudia Short film
2002 City of God Angélica
2005 Lower City Karina
2005 Carandiru, Outras Histórias Vânia TV series
2006 Only God Knows Dolores
2006 Journey to the End of the Night Monique
2006 Drained Waitress
2007 The Milky Way Júlia
2007 Rummikub Filha paulista Short film
2007 I Am Legend Anna Montez
2008 Redbelt Sondra Terry
2008 Blindness Woman with Dark Glasses
2009 Crossing Over Mireya Sanchez
2009 Cabeça a Prêmio
2010 Repo Men Beth
2010 Predators Isabelle
2011 The Rite Angelina Vargas
2012 As Brasileiras Mirtes Episode: "A Indomável do Ceará"
2012 On the Road Terry
2012 City of God - 10 Years Later Herself
2013 Elysium Frey Santiago
2014 Latitudes Olivia
2014 The Ardor Vania
2014 Kill Me Three Times Alice Taylor In post-production
2016 The Duel Marisol Kingston
Entre Idas E Vindas Sandra
2017 The Shack Sophia
2020 Eduardo & Mônica Mônica
The New Mutants Cecilia Reyes
Soul Counselor Jerry A (voice)
2021 The Suicide Squad Sol Soria Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Carandiru, Outras Histórias Vânia Episode: "Ezequiel, o Azarado"
2010 Superbonita Host Unknown episodes
2012 The Brazilians Mirtes Episode: "The Tameless from Ceará"
2014 A Mulher da Sua Vida Roberta Episode: "Roberta"
2016–present Queen of the South Teresa Mendoza Lead role; also executive producer
2018 Samantha! Symantha 2 episodes; also executive producer
2019 Sintonia None 6 episodes; producer
2020 We Are Who We Are Maggie Teixeira Main role

Awards and Nominations

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result Ref.
2003 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Supporting Actress City of God Won
2005 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival Best Actress Lower City Won
2006 ACIE Awards Won
São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards Won
SESC Film Festival Audience Award Best Actress Won
Critics Award Best Actress Won
Verona Love Screens Film Festival Best Acting Performance Won
Prêmio Contigo Cinema Best Actress Won
2007 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Won
2008 Black Reel Awards Best Supporting Actress Blindness Nominated
SESC Film Festival Audience Award Best Actress The Milky Way Won
Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Supporting Actress Drained Nominated
2009 Blindness Nominated
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival Best Actress Cabeça a Prêmio Won
2010 Festival de Cinema de Punta del Este Won
2011 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Nominated
2014 Cine PE Best Actress Muitos Homens Num Só Won
2015 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Supporting Actress Os Amigos Nominated
2016 Best Actress Muitos Homens Num Só Nominated
2017 Best Supporting Actress Entre Idas e Vidas Nominated
Imagen Foundation Awards Best Actress – Television Queen of the South Nominated
2018 Nominated
2019 Nominated



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