Wagner Moura

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Wagner Moura
CDH - Comissão de Direitos Humanos e Legislação Participativa (23742606876).jpg
Moura in 2015
Born Wagner Maniçoba de Moura
(1976-06-27) 27 June 1976 (age 42)
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Alma mater Federal University of Bahia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1996–present
Sandra Delgado (m. 2001)
Children 3

Wagner Maniçoba de Moura (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvaɡneɾ ˈmowɾa]; born 27 June 1976)[1] is a Brazilian film, television, and stage actor. Besides being a well-established and acclaimed actor in Brazil, he has achieved widespread international fame for his portrayal of Captain (later Colonel) Roberto Nascimento, protagonist of the highly successful film Elite Squad (2007) and its sequel, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010). He also gained recognition globally playing Spider in the sci-fi film Elysium (2013) and the lead role of Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series Narcos from 2015 to 2016, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

Early life and education[edit]

Moura was born in Salvador, a city located in Northeast Region of Brazil, but grew up in the small town of Rodelas, Bahia. His mother, Alderiva, was a housewife, and his father, José Moura, was a sergeant in the Brazilian Air Force. At the age of 13, he moved back with his family to Salvador, Bahia.

He graduated in journalism at Federal University of Bahia but decided to become an actor.[2]


In 1997 he appeared in the film Woman on Top starring Penélope Cruz.

In 2007 he played Captain Nascimento, protagonist of the Golden Bear winner in the 2008 Berlin Film Festival, Elite Squad.

During the preparation for the first Elite Squad film, Wagner and part of the cast were subject to realistic special forces training conducted by Paulo Storani, a former captain of BOPE, the elite squad portrayed in the movie.[3] During training, Storani was asked by the cast director to help "develop" Wagner's aggression for the role, which he attempted to do through repeated sessions of moral abuse.[4] After several days, Storani finally got the reaction he was looking for and a little more. He reportedly made a fictional threat to Wagner's family, particularly mentioning Wagner's newborn to which the actor responded with a punch that fractured Storani's nose. "That's when Captain Nascimento was born", said Storani.[5]

In 2010, he starred in the sequel to Elite Squad, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within.

In 2013, he played "Spider" in the sci-fi film Elysium. He starred in the Netflix original series Narcos as the famous drug lord Pablo Escobar. Already fluent in Portuguese and English, he learned Spanish to play the part of Escobar.

As of 2017, it is reported that Wagner is beginning his debut as director of the film Marighella based on novel Marighella: The Guerrilla That Burned Down the World about the Bahian marxist guerrilla Carlos Marighella written by journalist Mário Magalhães.[6]


Surviving members of Legião Urbana performing a 2012 tribute show with Moura as lead vocalist. From left to right: Marcelo Bonfá, Moura and Dado Villa-Lobos. To their right and partially cut out of the picture is touring bassist Rodrigo Favaro

Besides his acting career, Moura is a lyricist and the vocalist of a band named Sua Mãe ("Your Mum").[7] In 2012, he guest performed as lead vocalist for some Legião Urbana tribute shows, featuring surviving members Marcelo Bonfá and Dado Villa-Lobos.

Personal life[edit]

Since 2001, Moura has been married to journalist and photographer Sandra Delgado, with whom he has three sons: Bem, Salvador, and José. He practices Transcendental Meditation. Moura's native language is Portuguese, but he also fluently speaks both English and Spanish. For his portrayal of Pablo Escobar in Narcos, Moura went back to college to take Spanish for foreigners, to perfect his pronunciation as someone who speaks Spanish as a first language. Moura had to gain over 40 pounds to play the role of Pablo Escobar, after production of the second season of Narcos, Moura decided to lose the weight with an all vegan diet.[8]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Pop Killer Short film
1999 Rádio Gogó Replay Short film
2000 Woman on Top Rafi
2001 Behind the Sun Matheus
2002 The Three Marias Jesuíno Cruz
2003 God Is Brazilian Taoca
2003 The Man of the Year Suel
2003 Carandiru Zico
2003 The Middle of the World Romão
2004 Nina Blind Man
2005 Lower City Naldinho
2005 A Máquina TV Host
2007 Ó Paí, Ó Boca
2007 Saneamento Básico Joaquim
2007 Elite Squad Captain Roberto Nascimento
2008 Romance Pedro
2008 Blackout Marcelo
2009 They Killed Sister Dorothy Narrator (Brazilian version)
2010 Elite Squad: The Enemy Within Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Nascimento
2010 VIPs Marcelo da Rocha
2011 O Homem do Futuro João (Zero)
2013 Father's Chair Theo
2013 Elysium Spider
2013 Serra Pelada Lindo Rico
2013 Futuro Beach Donato
2014 Rio, I Love You Gui Segment "Inútil Paisagem"
2014 Trash José Angelo


Year Title Role Notes
2003–2004 Sexo Frágil Edu / Magali Lead role; 20 episodes
2003 Carga Pesada Pedrinho 1 episode: "Carga Perecível"
2004 Programa Novo Magali Special; 1 episode
2005 A Lua Me Disse Gustavo Bogari Telenovela
2006 JK Juscelino Kubitschek (ages 18–43) Mini-series
2007 Paraíso Tropical Olavo Novaes Telenovela
2013 A Menina Sem Qualidades Alex's Father Mini-series
2015–2017 Narcos Pablo Escobar Lead role; 20 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Cuida bem de mim
1996 A Casa de Eros
1999 Abismos de Rosas
2000 A Máquina Antônio
2002 Os Solitários
2005 Dilúvio em Tempos de Secas
2005 O Que diz Molero?
2008 Hamlet Hamlet

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome
2005 Prêmio Qualidade Brasil Best Actor
A Lua Me Disse
2006 Prêmio Contigo! de TV Best Actor Nominated
Prêmio Qualidade Brasil Best Actor
2007 Prêmio Contigo! de TV Best Actor Nominated
Prêmio Extra de Televisão Best Actor
Paraíso Tropical
Troféu APCA Best Actor of Television Won
Prêmio Quem de Televisão Best Actor Won
Melhores do Ano Best Actor Won
2008 Troféu Imprensa Best Actor Won
Troféu Internet Best Actor Won
Prêmio Contigo! de TV Best Actor Won
2016 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama


Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome
2002 Cine Ceará Best Actor
The Three Marias
2003 Prêmio Qualidade Brasil Best Actor
The Middle of the World
2004 Cartagena Film Festival Best Actor Won
Cartagena Film Festival Best Supporting Cast
Troféu APCA Best Actor
God Is Brazilian
2005 Festival de Cine Iberoamericano de Huelva Best Actor
Lower City
2006 Prêmio Contigo! de Cinema Nacional Best Actor Nominated
Prêmio Qualidade Brasil Best Actor
A Máquina
2007 Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Actor
Lower City
Prêmio Qualidade Brasil Best Actor
Elite Squad
2008 Prêmio Contigo! de Cinema Nacional Best Actor Nominated
Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Actor Won
2009 Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Actor
2010 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival Best Actor
2011 Brazilian Film Festival of Miami Best Actor Won
Prêmio Contigo! de Cinema Nacional Best Actor
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Prêmio Contigo! de Cinema Nacional Best Actor (public's choice) Won
Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Actor Won
Troféu APCA Best Actor Won
CinePort Best Actor Won
2012 Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Actor
Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Actor
O Homem do Futuro
Prêmio Contigo! de Cinema Nacional Best Actor Nominated
2013 Gramado Film Festival Troféu Cidade de Gramado
Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival Best Actor
Father's Chair
2014 Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Actor Nominated
Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro Best Supporting Actor
Serra Pelada


  1. ^ "Biography of Wagner Moura". Gente Babado (in Portuguese). IG. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  2. ^ Biography for Wagner Moura on IMDb
  3. ^ http://veja.abril.com.br/211107/p_124.shtml
  4. ^ http://veja.abril.com.br/211107/p_124.shtml
  5. ^ http://www.estadao.com.br/noticias/impresso,ex-capitao-teve-nariz-quebrado-por-ator,55880,0.htm
  6. ^ http://www.o2filmes.com/noticias/en/10591/wagner-moura-no-conversa-com-bial/
  7. ^ "Article about Wagner Moura in Hamlet and as vocalist of Sua Mãe (in Portuguese)". O Dia. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  8. ^ De Campos Mello, Raphaela (July 9, 2012). "Meditação transcendental: a técnica de David Lynch e Wagner Moura". Casa.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Assim como Lynch, praticante há 40 anos, diversos artistas aderiram ao treinamento mental, entre eles Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood, Paul McCartney e o brasileiro Wagner Moura. 
  9. ^ "Confira os INDICADOS e GANHADORES do PRÊMIO QUALIDADE BRASIL 2007". Prêmio Arte Qualidade Brasil. 
  10. ^ "Veja a lista dos vencedores do 6º Prêmio Contigo! de Cinema Nacional". G1. 12 September 2011. 

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