Who is Wagner Moura?

Wagner is a Brazilian actor, director and musician, probably best known for his role as Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series “Narcos”, which earned him critical acclaim worldwide. He also gained recognition for his performances in the film “Elite Squad” and its sequel “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within”, both directed by José Padilha.

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Wagner Moura Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Wagner Maniçoba de Moura was born on 27 June 1976, in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. He’s the son of a military man Jose Moura, and so the family moved a lot during his childhood. His mother is Alderiva, and he has a younger sister, Lediane, who is now a pediatrician. He took acting classes in his teenage years, and later graduated with a degree in journalism from the Federal University of Bahia.

Career Beginnings

After his acting classes, he embarked on his professional theater career in 1996, but while studying, he operated a small PR company that provided services for local actors and theater companies – unfortunately it faced financial difficulties, and eventually closed.

He then turned to acting, and since making his debut, has become one of the most recognized Brazilian actors. He featured in Brazilian plays “Cuida bem de mim” and “A Casa de Eros”, both in 1996, before in 1998 making his on-screen debut with an appearance in the short film “Pop Killer”.

He achieved success with the play “A Máquina”, which garnered both critical acclaim and public recognition. The show’s triumph propelled Moura, along with his now-successful Brazilian actor colleagues Lázaro Ramos and Vladimir Brichta, as they embarked on a successful journey, taking the play to Pernambuco, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.

In the early 2000s, Wagner expanded his acting career by taking on compelling roles in various films. In the romantic comedy “Woman on Top” (2000), he played Rafi, who is entangled in the journey of Isabella, played by Penélope Cruz, a Brazilian chef pursuing her culinary dreams in San Francisco.

Moura’s talent shone in the Brazilian drama “Behind the Sun” (2001), directed by Walter Salles. He portrayed Matheus, a pivotal figure in the story of two feuding families navigating the harsh Brazilian countryside.

Continuing his captivating performances, Moura appeared in “The Three Marias” (2002), a crime drama directed by Aluizio Abranches, which centers on three sisters seeking vengeance for their loved ones’ deaths.

In the Brazilian comedy “God Is Brazilian” (2003), directed by Carlos Diegues, Moura took on the role of Taoca, following his journey alongside a weary God, as they search for a suitable replacement for the divine position.

Moura’s talent for diverse roles was further exemplified in “The Man of the Year” (2003), a crime thriller directed by José Henrique Fonseca. As Suel, he became embroiled in a complex web of power and politics, unwittingly thrust into the role of a local hero.

His versatility extended to the Brazilian drama “Carandiru” also in 2003, directed by Hector Babenco, in which Moura portrayed Zico, and which delves into the lives of inmates within the infamous Carandiru prison in São Paulo. Then in the same year, in Vicente Amorim’s drama “The Middle of the World” (2003), Moura took on the role of Romão, whose personal and familial struggles intertwine with a family’s journey across Brazil in search of a brighter future.

Finally, Moura’s commitment to his craft was evident in “Nina” (2004), a drama directed by Heitor Dhalia, in which he portrayed a blind man who plays a significant role in Nina’s quest, played by Guta Stresser, to find her father, despite her own visual impairment.

Rise to Prominence

Moura experienced a significant rise to stardom during the second half of the  decade – in 2005, Moura appeared as Naldinho in the drama film “Lower City”, which explores the complex dynamics of a love triangle formed between Naldinho and a couple of friends, played by Alice Braga and Lázaro Ramos.

In 2006, Wagner took on the significant role of the former Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek in the TV miniseries “JK”, during the ages of 18 to 43. The miniseries chronicles the life and political career of Kubitschek, highlighting his rise to power and his transformative presidency, including the construction of Brasília, the new capital of Brazil.

Continuing his successful ventures on television, Moura appeared in the telenovela “Paraíso Tropical” in 2007, portraying the pivotal character Olavo Novaes in the intricate plot of the telenovela, which revolves around the lives of identical twin sisters, their contrasting personalities, and the secrets and conflicts that arise within their families and relationships.

In 2007, Moura starred in the lively comedy “Ó Paí, Ó”, sharing the screen with an ensemble that included Lázaro Ramos, Dira Paes, and Emanuelle Araújo. The film is set during the vibrant Carnaval celebrations in Salvador, Brazil, and follows the humorous interactions and mishaps of residents in a culturally diverse neighborhood.

Continuing his varied range of roles, Moura appeared in the satirical comedy “Saneamento Básico” in 2007, in which he played Joaquim. The film humorously explores the bureaucratic challenges faced by a small Brazilian town, when it attempts to secure basic sanitation facilities.

However, it was his portrayal of Captain Roberto Nascimento in “Elite Squad” (Tropa de Elite) that became a defining moment in Moura’s career. Directed by José Padilha, the film delves into the intense and dangerous world of Rio de Janeiro’s BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion). Moura’s captivating performance as the conflicted Captain Nascimento earned critical acclaim, and propelled him to international recognition. The film’s gripping narrative, coupled with Moura’s compelling portrayal, captivated audiences and solidified his status as a leading actor.

Wagner reprised the role in the  highly anticipated sequel “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within” in 2010. Again directed by José Padilha, it explores Nascimento’s continued fight against corruption and crime in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, delving deeper into the complexities of the Brazilian justice system.

In the same year, Moura took on the challenging role of Marcelo da Rocha in the film “VIPs”. Based on a true story, the film follows the life of Marcelo, a young man who becomes notorious for impersonating various personalities, including an airline pilot, a federal judge, and a famous television presenter.

In 2011, Moura starred as João (Zero) in “O Homem do Futuro” (The Man from the Future), a science-fiction comedy film. The story revolves around a brilliant scientist, who after a failed experiment, is transported back in time to his university days.

In 2013, Moura made his international debut in the science-fiction film “Elysium”, directed by Neill Blomkamp, portraying Spider, a revolutionary leader fighting for equality and access to healthcare on a dystopian Earth, while the wealthy reside on a luxurious space station called Elysium.

The same year, Moura starred in “Serra Pelada”, a Brazilian drama based on the real-life gold rush in the Serra Pelada region. He played Lindo Rico, one of the gold miners caught up in the greed, violence, and corruption surrounding the pursuit of wealth.

In the romantic drama “Futuro Beach” (Praia do Futuro), released in 2014, Moura was Donato, a Brazilian lifeguard who forms a deep emotional connection with a German tourist.

Continued Success

From 2015 to 2016, Wagner Moura took on the iconic role of Pablo Escobar in the hit Netflix series “Narcos”. Over the course of 20 episodes, he portrayed the notorious Colombian drug lord, capturing the complexities and rise to power of Escobar, as well as his eventual downfall. He shared the screen with talented co-stars such as Boyd Holbrook, Pedro Pascal, and Joanna Christie. Then in 2018, Moura made a cameo appearance in the spin-off series “Narcos: Mexico”, further showcasing his connection to the “Narcos” franchise. He also took on the director role for two episodes, displaying his talent behind the camera.

Wagner Moura took on multiple roles in the 2019  film “Marighella”. Not only did he star in the film as Carlos Marighella, a Brazilian politician and guerrilla fighter, but he also wrote, directed and produced it, showcasing his multifaceted talents and creative vision.

The same year, Moura portrayed Juan Pablo Roque in the film “Wasp Network”. Based on true events, the film tells the story of Cuban spies operating in the US. In 2020, Moura starred as Sérgio Vieira de Mello in the biographical drama “Sergio”, which follows the life of Vieira de Mello, a United Nations diplomat who dedicated his career to humanitarian work, and was tragically killed in a bombing in Iraq; his portrayal received critical acclaim.

In 2022, Wagner Moura took on the main role of Dan Velasquez in the series “Shining Girls”. Based on the novel by Lauren Beukes, it follows the story of a serial killer and a young woman who survives his attack, and becomes determined to track him down, co-starring Elisabeth Moss and Jamie Bell.

He is now working on several projects, including the film “Civil War”, which is now in post-production, but without a premiere date.

Stage Work

In addition to his successful career in film and television, Wagner Moura has also made notable contributions to the theater world. In 2002, he appeared in the play “Os Solitários”, while in 2005, he was in plays “Dilúvio em Tempos de Secas” and “O Que diz Molero?”. In 2008, Moura tackled one of the most iconic roles in theater history, portraying Hamlet in the play of the same name.

Net Worth

According to authoritative sources, Wagner Moura’s net worth is estimated at $10 million, as of mid-2023.

Personal Life, Dating, Married, Wife, Children

Wagner Moura has three sons named Bem, Salvador, and José, whom he shares with journalist and photographer Sandra Delgado – they first met during their university days, but their romantic relationship began after they graduated. When Moura decided to move to Rio, he invited Sandra to join him, and despite their relatively short time together, she accepted. Although they’ve never officially married, their commitment to each other remains strong.

The family has homes in Salvador, Los Angeles, and Rio de Janeiro.

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