Wagner Moura A Brazilian Star in Hollywood

Wagner Moura is a well-known actor, director, musician, and filmmaker from Brazil who has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series Narcos, for which he is best known. In addition, he directed the biopic Marighella about a Brazilian revolutionary and co-starred in the science fiction movie Elysium with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating journey of Wagner Moura, exploring his early life, notable works, and the impact he has made on the world stage.


Brazilian actor Wagner Moura has mesmerized audiences all over the world with his extraordinary talent and versatility. Moura has established himself as a major force in the entertainment business thanks to his breakthrough performance as Pablo Escobar in the popular Netflix series “Narcos” and his thought-provoking appearances in critically acclaimed movies. 

Early life and education

On June 27, 1976, Wagner Moura was born in Salvador, a city in Brazil’s northeast. His mother, Alderiva, was a stay-at-home mom, and his father, José Moura, was a sergeant. When he was 13 years old, his family returned to Salvador. In his teen years, he took acting classes, and in 1996, he began working in a professional theater. He earned a journalism degree from the Federal University of Bahia in 1999. In 2001, he married photographer Sandra Delgado. Jose, Salvador, and Bem are their three sons.

Career in Brazil

In 1998, Moura made his film debut in Sabor da Paixao (Taste of Passion), where he played a minor role. His performances in the true-crime-inspired prison drama Carandiru (2003), the comedy Deus É Brasileiro (God Is Brazilian) (2003), and the revenge thriller As Três Marias (The Three Marias) (2003) helped him become more well-known.

Moura portrayed Captain Nascimento, the commander of the elite BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion) police force. He received praise from the critics for his performance and won several honors, including the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize for Best Actor. Disse (The Moon Told Me) (2005), a sitcom; and Stio do Picapau Amarelo (Yellow Woodpecker Farm) (2006), a children’s show based on a classic book series.

Career in Hollywood

Neill Blomkamp’s dystopian sci-fi movie Elysium (2013) marked Moura’s entry into the Hollywood film industry. Both critics and viewers lauded his performance. He then landed his most well-known role as Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series Narcos (2015–2016), which details the rise and fall of the Colombian drug lord and his cartel. For this part, Moura had to learn Spanish, put on weight, and adopt Escobar’s demeanor. He received a lot of praise for his portrayal of Pablo Escobar and was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor in a drama series. Besides acting, Moura also served as the director of two episodes of the Narcos: Mexico (2021) spin-off, which focused on the Mexican drug trade. Furthermore, in two episodes of Narcos: Mexico (2018–2021), he returned as Pablo Escobar.

Directorial debut

Marighella (2021), a biopic of Carlos Marighella, a Brazilian Marxist revolutionary who fought against the military dictatorship in the 1960s, was Moura’s directorial debut. Moura co-produced the movie and wrote the screenplay as well. Seu Jorge plays Marighella in the movie, and supporting actors Bruno Gagliasso, Ana Paula Bouzas, Adriana Esteves, and Humberto Carro also appear. The movie received a standing ovation during its premiere at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. Moreover, the movie also took home a number of honors at various ceremonies, including best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay for Moura. However, the movie was delayed for two years before being released in theaters and on streaming services in Brazil due to censorship and controversy.

Personal life

Moura, his wife, and their kids reside in Los Angeles. He speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese perfectly. His favorite soccer team is Bahia of Brazil. In his capacity as a social activist, he has spoken out against issues such as racism, homophobia, police brutality, and the environment. He knows and admires former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whom he visited in prison in 2019. Additionally, he backs the Free Lula campaign and the Brazilian Workers’ Party.

Upcoming projects

Both as a director and an actor, Moura is working on a number of projects. He will play the lead role in the Alex Garland and A24-produced action epic Civil War. Jesse Plemons, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Kirsten Dunst will also appear in the movie. Although the film’s plot is being kept a secret, it is described as a “high-concept” tale that examines the nature of human conflict. Early 2022 is the anticipated start date for the movie’s production. A biopic of Marielle Franco, a Brazilian politician and human rights advocate who was murdered in 2018, will also feature Moura. 

Awards and recognition

For his work, Moura has won and been nominated for many prizes both domestically and internationally. Some of his most notable accolades include:

  • Narcos received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a drama series in 2016.
  • Elite Squad won the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize for best actor in 2008 and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within in 2011.
  • In 2022, Marighella will be awarded the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize for best first-time director and best adapted screenplay.
  • In 2015, Futuro Beach won the Guarani Premio for best actor.
  • Sergio will receive an Imagen Award for best actor in a feature film in 2020.
  • In 2023, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish received an Annie Award nomination for outstanding achievement in voice acting in an animated feature.
  • In 2023, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish received an LEJA Award nomination for best voice or motion capture performance.

Social media presence

Moura is not very active on social media, but he does have a few accounts where he posts or shares content on occasion. He has over 20,000 followers on Twitter (@WagnerMouraReal), but he has not tweeted since 2011. On the other hand, he also has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram (@wagnermourafc), where he mostly posts photos and videos about his work or causes he supports. However, he does not have an official Facebook page, but he does have several fan pages.


Wagner Moura is a Brazilian star in Hollywood who has impressed audiences and critics with his diverse and captivating roles. He has also shown his talent and vision as a director and filmmaker, as well as his commitment to social justice and human rights. He is a representative of Brazilian culture and identity on the global scene, and a source of inspiration and admiration for many.


Q1: What is the wealth of Wagner Moura?

Wagner Moura’s net worth is predicted to be $10 million as of 2021, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Q2: For Narcos, how did Wagner Moura learn Spanish?

Prior to the start of the series’ filming, Wagner Moura spent six months living in Medellin, Colombia, to learn the language. Additionally, he hired a Spanish tutor and immersed himself in the language.

Q3: Is Rodrigo Santoro related to Wagner Moura?

No, Rodrigo Santoro and Wagner Moura are unrelated. They are both Hollywood-experienced Brazilian actors who are unrelated to each other. Since their 2003 co-starring in the movie Carandiru, they have been friends.

Q4: What is Wagner Moura’s upcoming endeavor?

Wagner Moura has many exciting projects coming up. He will star in the action epic Civil War, from A24 and director Alex Garland. He will also play the lead roles in two biopics: Angicos, about Paulo Freire, and Say Her Name, about Marielle Franco. Moreover, he will voice a character in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Q5: What can the future hold for Wagner Moura? 

Fans eagerly anticipate Moura’s future partnerships and his next ground-breaking performance, as he has exciting projects in the works.

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