In August 2020, Maria Fernanda Cândido was invited to a confidential test. “I didn’t know what movie it was for, or what role”, she told VEJA. From Paris, where she has lived since 2017 with her husband, French businessman Petrit Spahira, and their two teenage children, the Brazilian sent the video test on Monday. On Tuesday, she received the result: she had passed. “The director (Englishman David Yates) called me saying I was welcome to join the team. But I didn’t even know what team that was.” So the 47-year-old actress joined the cast of Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, the third film in the Harry Potter spinoff saga — and one of the most anticipated releases of the year.
Harry Potter Collection
If approval for the role was quick, the trip to London, where the film was shot, proved to be an excruciating challenge. As if the pandemic and closed borders were not enough, the streets of France were taken by protests and Brexit had made access to England difficult. “It was ten days of bureaucracy. The officer who reviewed my paperwork asked, ‘What are you going to do in this movie?’ Still without having many details, I replied: ‘It’s a small paper, but very interesting’”, she recalls, which made the guard laugh – and the stamp on the passport.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
From a teenage model to Globo’s prime time (how to forget the sensual Paola, from Terra Nostra?), Maria Fernanda fulfills all the requirements of a national soap opera star, combining talent, beauty and charisma. But, by escaping the obvious, she followed different paths from her global colleagues. “I’m driven by good projects,” she says. This trajectory will culminate, on April 14, in the debut of the paranaense in the magical universe created by the English JK Rowling. In a cast with Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, she plays Vicência Santos, a witch representing the Latin world in the plot. “When I stepped on set, I felt a huge privilege,” she says.
POWERFUL – Maria Fernanda: from teenage model to actress in Hollywood cast – Lucas Pebbles /. Continues after the publicity The transition between Brazil and European cinema had a bit of chance and a bit of a nose for opportunities. After more than a decade in Brazil, Maria Fernanda’s husband proposed moving to Paris. Owner of a remarkable elegance and intelligence – she says she speaks three and a half languages: Portuguese, French, English and “half” Italian –, the actress did not take long to find work. The first opportunity came with the film The Traitor, by Italian Marco Bellocchio, which competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2019. Supported by a talent agency in France and another in Italy, she shot three other features – not to mention Fantastic Beasts. — still unpublished in Brazil. One of them is La Chambre des Merveilles, directed by acclaimed French filmmaker Lisa Azuelos. Maria Fernanda still kept a foot in Brazil: this year she launches the adaptation of A Paixão Segundo GH, by Clarice Lispector; and El Presidente, an Amazon series that will investigate in the new season the story of João Havelange, the Brazilian who commanded FIFA between the 70s and 90s.
Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald
Prevented from giving details about Fantastic Beasts, Maria Fernanda drops clues. It took six months of filming – so her participation must go beyond a “small role”. Another tip is the character’s name. “Vicência comes from thriving, it is someone who lives with strength. Saints are humans who became deities. These are her characteristics,” she says enigmatically. With world fame at the door, the actress doesn’t feel pressured to conquer Hollywood. This year, her main project is a monologue about Clarice Lispector — again — in French theater. Not only witches are powerful. Published in VEJA of March 16, 2022, issue no. 2780
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