When it comes to Brazilians, we just can’t get enough of their smothering, sexy personas that drive us wild. Whether it’s model Jesus Luz seducing the much older Material Girl, or Gisele Bundchen gracing the pages of every magazine around the world in nothing more than a thong, Brazilians are certainly making a name for themselves in the fashion world. However, what about in television? In March, HBO Latino premiered “Alice,” a 13-episode series that’s leaving audiences tumbling into a looking glass filled with drama, steamy romance, and a journey with unexpected twists that tell the story of a young woman finding herself in a city where anything goes.
After learning of a family tragedy, 26-year-old Alice Carvalho Zanetti (Andreia Horta) leaves her quiet hometown for the teeming metropolis of Sao Paulo. Alice soon discovers a new world, one that offers her a chance to start over and rediscover herself. Alice must now deal with the many adventures that await her in Brazil, all while finding a fresh purpose in life. “Alice” has become so popular among viewers that it’s even being called the next “Sex and the City!”
To learn more about the leading lady that‘s being called the Latina Carrie Bradshaw, we spoke with 25-year-old Brazilian telenovela actress Andreia Horta, whose infectious smile and magnetic girl-next-door looks has created a large fan following that goes as far as London. Horta reveals to nocheLatina what “Alice” is really all about, her poetic side, and how she’s ready to become a Hollywood actor like her idol Marlon Brando.
nocheLatina: For those who are discovering ‘Alice’ for the first time, what is the show about?
Andreia Horta: Alice is a Brazilian who heads to Sao Paulo to discover herself, question her dreams, and create a new world full of possibilities-and this requires courage. When I saw that there were so many elements in her life which were similar to what I had already lived, I figured that I’d be able to expand the character and her craziness!
nocheLatina: How did you get your start as an actress?
Andreia Horta: I started in the theater when I was seven and haven‘t stopped since then. When the time arrived to go to college, I had no doubt, and never did, that I would ever want to be anything else but an actress.
nocheLatina: Will people love or hate Alice?
Andreia Horta: I hope they love her! This is a series told in a way that the viewer becomes close to Alice. Due to the narration of the series, viewer becomes a follower of Alice, her feelings, and her doubts. The spectator sees what she thinks and feels the tears build up. This makes them accomplices. Alice leaves in search of herself and discovers a young woman and is about to find out what her choices are, what makes her or breaks her, and that she is a small town girl, someone that anyone can identify with.
nocheLatina: What has been your favorite episode to film so far?
Andreia Horta: All of them were special in their own way. I love when Alice gets crazy! She throws herself in the arms of Sao Paolo by night, her hectic job, her attempts to become successful, and she starts taking medications...many scenes were hard to act.
nocheLatina: When did you first find out that you were chosen as the leading lady?
Andreia Horta: I found out in June 2007. My agent told me on the phone, and I ran on the beach yelling ‘I am Alice!’ At the time, I had not yet worked in movies, so everything has changed for me. I have to focus more on my acting and I only want to work harder, become stronger at what I do.
nocheLatina: Tell me something that few people know about you.
Andreia Horta: I am shy and I don’t like talking about myself.
nocheLatina: HBO Latino is recognized as being a platform for Latinos to get their major break in television. Will you ever cross over to English-language films?
Andreia Horta: Let’s hope for the best! I want to do parts that can make me grow and allow me to have fun. There are lots of American films I love, like Sunset Boulevard, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Little Children. I love Daniel Day Lewis and Marlon Brando was a genius. I would love to follow in their footsteps.
nocheLatina: Since nocheLatina is all about celebrating nightlife, where are your favorite places to party?
Andreia Horta: I love to dance. I frequently go to the LAPA neighborhood in Brazil for a good time.
nocheLatina: What are your plans after ‘Alice?'
Andreia Horta: I have returned to working on my book of poetry, Humana Flor, which I began last year. Now I am wrapping up a telenovela and I’m ready to act in films. Humana Flor is in its third printing. It is a book dealing with the feminine universe and its intricacies. It shows the feelings of a young girl who becomes a woman. As far as my telenovela “Chamas da Vida,” I play Beatriz, who is fearless. She likes the adrenaline rush and races cars. We worked for a year and I’m very happy with the results.
nocheLatina: What advice can you give to someone who, like Alice, wants to start a new chapter in their life?
Andreia Horta: It is better to have a flying Alice than a thousand Alices on the ground! The world is better for those who are brave.
'Alice' airs on HBO Latino through May 29.