Alice Braga’s new parts


Twenty-five-year-old actress Alice Braga has just been cast

as the female lead in a Universal sci-fi thriller, Repossession Mambo,

initially planned for release in 2010. Haven’t heard of Braga? You will, soon.

And believe me, this Brazilian-born, tri-lingual talent is worth checking out.

Braga is probably best known in the U.S. for the 2002 Brazilian film Cidade

de Deus
(City of God), which received four Academy Award nominations. She’s

been working full-tilt in Brazilian cinema since, earning a couple of "Best

Actress" awards (view an absolutely adorable clip of her at last year’s

Sundance here),

and she’s also made the jump to Hollywood. This year will see the release of

several major films with her in the cast. In I Am Legend, set to hit

cinemas on December 14, she’ll be facing an apocalypse with Will Smith.

Here’s a shot from the set:

Another project is Crossing Over, in which she’s working with Harrison

Ford, Ashley Judd,
and Sean Penn. Set in Los Angeles,

this ensemble drama depicts immigration through the eyes of different immigrant

groups as well as INS officers. Braga’s also signed on for Blindness,

starring Julianne Moore and Sandra Oh, among

others. (She’s in another film slated for 2008, Redbelt, but as it

reportedly features Tim Allen as some sort of former martial arts action hero,

I’m going to pretend it doesn’t exist.)

It looks like Repossession Mambo, which also stars no less than Forest

and Jude Law, will be her largest Hollywood

role to date. (The film with Will Smith is huge, true, but its tagline is all

about "The Last Man on Earth," so I suspect this may not be good news

for Braga’s character.) The script is an adaptation from a novel by

Eric Garcia
, and the storyline is set in a time when most people sport

multiple artificial organs. The main character, a repo man to be played by Law,

falls behind on payments for his heart transplant and flees from his former

partner. Braga’s character, facing monetary and artificial organ problems of

her own, joins him on the run.

This has the potential to be very cool — in fact, it somehow reminds

me of Gattaca, one of Law’s early films, and one of my favorite sci-fi

films ever. Or, it could be extremely silly, à la Body Parts

(1991). But I don’t care. I know I’ll be watching. And appreciating Braga in

all of her new parts.

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