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Wagner Moura and other Brazilian actors we should be paying close attention to 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Brazilian actor Wagner Moura continues to shine in the spotlight of the film industry, now with his role in A24‘s latest film, Civil War, released in April 2024. His charisma, beauty, and talent have captured the attention of international and national audiences once again, making him the sensation of the moment. 

Likely so, Wagner’s hype leads us to look at other Brazilian gems who have already made their mark internationally. Here, take a look at some other Brazilian actors who deserve to be recognized. But, first, what about getting to know a little more about the man of the moment?

Wagner Moura 

The actor made a name for himself in Brazil at a very early age, starring in a variety of prestigious soap operas and films. Productions such as Carandiru (2003), Paraíso Tropical (2007), and Tropa de Elite (2007), highlighted his profound performance which received a huge amount of praise and was a box-office success in Brazil.

His international debut came in 2013 alongside Alice Braga in Elysium – Wagner Moura’s first foreign film, which was a huge international success, earning more than double its budget. After Elysium’s success, the actor also worked on a British-Brazilian film: the acclaimed Trash, in 2014. The production was also a bridge to his international career and featured another prominent Brazilian figure, Selton Mello.

It’s almost impossible to talk about Wagner Moura’s international career without mentioning Narcos (2015 – 2017), where he starred alongside Pedro Pascal. This being his biggest global role yet, the artist took the Brazilian’s name to the highest levels. 

His role in the Netflix show gave him his greatest international recognition with his performance as Colombia’s biggest drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar. The actor received acclaim from audiences and critics, earning him a Golden Globe nomination. The role was a landmark in Wagner’s career, who established himself as one of the great talents of his generation.

The actor has several other foreign productions, such as 2019’s Wasp Network, alongside actresses Penélope Cruz and Ana de Armas. A year later, he also played Sérgio, the Brazilian diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights who died in a terrorist attack in Baghdad, again starring alongside Cuban actress Ana de Armas.

In 2022, he went to share the set with several other stars in the film Grey Man, where in addition to the third film with Ana de Armas, the Netflix production featured Wagner Moura alongside big names like Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Rege-Jean Page

Recently, Amazon Prime‘s reboot series of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s 1996 drama, the new Mr. and Mrs. Smith, featured the Brazilian. But, as said, his fame in the last month has come from A24’s major production, Civil War, which tells of a dystopian future in which the United States is in conflict.

The film features Hollywood star Kirsten Dunst as a photojournalist who shows the dangers of this new US political landscape alongside a colleague played by Wagner Moura. The movie was another milestone in the Brazilian’s career.

Rodrigo Santoro

Another Brazilian with an internationally renowned career, Rodrigo Santoro began his trajectory with television soap operas. His overwhelming success in Brazil came with Frei Malthus in Hilda Furacão (1998). The actor also took part in the Brazilian film Carandiru with Wagner Moura. 

His international career further began with a role in the famous Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003) as the silent yet gorgeous antagonist. But Rodrigo’s global mark only really began significantly with his participation in the acclaimed films 300 (2006) and 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), in which he played the famous King Xerxes. This played a very important role in bringing the Brazilian to Hollywood screens and establishing his career in the international industry.

In addition to these projects, Rodrigo’s other films include RedBelt (2008), in which he also starred with Alice Braga. He has also made films such as Focus (2015) alongside Margot Robbie and Will Smith, as well as I Love you Phillip Morris (2009), Che: Part One (2008) with Oscar Isaac, The Last Stand (2013) alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Hur, among others. 

Recently, Santoro has appeared in American series such as Lost (2004 – 2010) and HBO’s Max 2016 four-season production Westworld, where he played the android gunman Hector.

Alice Braga 

The actress, who has starred in films with Wagner Moura and Rodrigo Santoro, also has a history of international productions. Her debut happened in one of Brazil’s greatest movies, City of God (2002), playing the role of Angélica. She starred in many blockbuster movies such as Predators (2010), Elysium, The Shack (2017), The Suicide Squad (2021), and the horror film The Rite (2011), acting with Anthony Hopkins.

Alice has several major films to her name, and alongside Will Smith, she was part of his first American film I Am Legend (2007), which opened the door to her international career. In Suicide Squad, again with Will Smith, and now with Margot Robbie, the Brazilian plays Sol Soria, a revolutionary leader.

She was even the protagonist in Queen of the South (2016 – 2021), where she plays Teresa Mendoza who fights to be the queen of a drug cartel. The TV series lasted for five whole seasons. 

In yet another international project, the miniseries released in 2023 Murder at the End of the World features the Brazilian opposite Harris Dickinson and Emma Corrin. In 2024, in her most recent production, she joined the cast of the fictional series Dark Matter (2024), which was released on May 8th of this year. 

Alice Braga is a big Brazilian name who shines internationally and the talent may run in the family, as the actress is the niece of Sônia Braga, another great gem of Brazilian cinema.

Morena Baccarin 

The actress from Rio de Janeiro moved to New York at a young age and began studying theater there. One of her first high-profile roles was as Inara Serra in the fictional series Firefly (2002 – 2003). The series only ran for one season, but the actress gained a fan base from it and received praise for her performance.

Morena’s career grew with the role of Jessica Brody in the series Homeland (2011 – 2020), which brought her great recognition. The actress played the wife of Sergeant Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis. Her performance in the series even earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination. Before that, the actress also took part in the series The Mentalist (2008 – 2015), where she played the psychic Erica Flynn for several seasons.

In addition to her success on American television, Baccarin also has a prestigious career in film. She has appeared in films such as Deadpool (2016) and the sequel Deadpool 2 (2018), where she played Vanessa Carlysle alongside Ryan Reynolds. The actress was also part of the series Gotham (2014 – 2019), in which she played the role of Leslie Thompkins, a doctor and close friend of Bruce Wayne’s parents.


Brazilian cinema has actors of great importance and prestige, which is why we need to recognize the talents that emerge every year. In addition to those mentioned above, it is worth mentioning Sônia Braga, who recently appeared in the horror film The First Omen (2024). With a career that includes more than 140 roles in films, series and TV, Braga is an iconic figure to her nation’s cinema. 

Bruna Marquezine

Bruna Marquezine also deserves a mention, being one of the most recent Brazilians to enter international cinema, with her role in Blue Beetle (2023). Her name can be seen as a promise for the future, and she could be a new actress representative on the international stage. 

Bianca Comparato

Last but not least, another Brazilian who deserves to be mentioned is Bianca Comparato, who as well as being an actress is also a director, and recently had a role in the 20th season of prestigious series Grey’s Anatomy (2005). 


The article above was edited by Clara Rocha.

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Giovanna Oliveira

Casper Libero '26

A Brazilian journalism student at Cásper Líbero. I love travelling, new adventures and books, but my passion is sport, all of them. I'll love to write and share them with you! Happy to be your sports girl ;)