Melissa Barrera

Melissa Barrera Martínez (born 4 July 1990) is a Mexican actress and singer. Her career began with roles in the telenovelas Siempre tuya Acapulco (2013), Tanto amor (2015), and Netflix produced series Club de Cuervos (2017). She gained further recognition for her lead role in the Starz drama series Vida (2018–2020). Barrera earned praise starring as Vanessa in the musical drama film In the Heights (2021) based on the Lin-Manuel Miranda stage musical. She also starred as Sam Carpenter in the slasher horror film Scream (2022) and upcoming in the sequel, Scream 6 (2023).[1][3][4]

Melissa Barrera
Melissa Barrera Screenshot 2 (cropped).jpg
Barrera in October 2019
Melissa Barrera Martínez[1]

(1990-07-04) 4 July 1990 (age 31)
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active2011–present
Paco Zazueta
(m. 2019)

Early lifeEdit

Barrera was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. She studied musical theater at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She is of Aztec and Spanish heritage.[4]



She attended the American School Foundation of Monterrey where she appeared in the school's musical productions including Grease, Aida and Footloose. Her television debut was on the Mexican reality show La Academia in 2011, where she showed off her talent for singing.[5] In 2013, she was part of the duet Melissa y Sebastian, with whom she recorded her first album and had her first top ten radio hit with their debut single "Mamma Maria", a cover of Ricchi e Poveri's song from the 1980s. In 2015, she recorded the theme song "Volver a caer" alongside the Mexican singer Kalimba, for her telenovela Tanto amor.[6]


Barrera in 2013

In 2010, while still in college (New York University), she participated in the film L for Leisure. In 2012, she participated in two telenovelas, La mujer de Judas and La otra cara del alma.[7] In 2014, she obtained her first starring role in the telenovela Siempre tuya Acapulco.[8] In 2015, she starred in the last telenovela produced by TV Azteca, Tanto amor.[9] Barrera was cast in the lead role of Lyn on the Starz drama series Vida in 2018.

In August 2020, Barrera was cast as Sam Carpenter on the fifth Scream film, which was directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.[10] The film was released on 14 January 2022.[11][12]

In 2021, Barrera starred as Vanessa, an aspiring fashion designer and love interest of the narrator, Usnavi, in the Jon M. Chu directed musical film In the Heights, an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's stage musical.[13] The film earned widespread critical acclaim, with Monica Castillo of The Wrap praising Barrera's performance: "Vanessa's upbeat salsa anthem, 'It Won't Be Long Now', is perhaps one of the more underrated sequences: It's an impressive showcase for Barrera's talents, giving her a wide range of emotions to move through in one number and one of the few moments in the musical to belt out."[14]

Upcoming projectsEdit

In November 2019, Barrera was cast in a musical film adaptation of the Frank Wildhorn musical based on the novella Carmen. Barrera was cast in the title role of Carmen. The film will be directed by French choreographer and dancer Benjamin Millepied in his directorial film debut.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Barrera married longtime boyfriend and musical artist Paco Zazueta, in February 2019.[16][17] The pair first met on the set of La Academia in 2011, and performed a rendition of Enrique Iglesias' "Cuando Me Enamoro" for its fourth episode.[18][19][20] They shortly began dating in September of that year.[19] The pair announced their engagement via Instagram in June 2017.[21]



Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2014 L for Leisure Kennedy
2016 Manual de principiantes para ser presidente Brisa Carreiro
2016 El Hotel Karina
2018 Sacúdete las penas Luisa Martin Del Campo
2018 Dos Veces Tú Daniela Cohen
2021 In the Heights Vanessa
2022 Scream Samantha "Sam" Carpenter
2022 Bed Rest Julie Rivers Post-production [22]
2023 Untitled sixth Scream film Samantha "Sam" Carpenter [23]
TBA Carmen Carmen Post-production


Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2011 La Academia Herself 14 episodes
2012 La mujer de Judas Zulamita Recurring role
2012–2013 La otra cara del alma Mariana Durán Recurring role
2014 Siempre tuya Acapulco Olvido Pérez Main role; 124 episodes
2015 Tanto amor Mía González Main role; 119 episodes
2016–2017 Perseguidos Liliana Rincón 11 episodes
2017 Club de Cuervos Isabel Cantú 8 episodes
2018–2020 Vida Lyn Hernandez Main role; 22 episodes
2020 Acting for a Cause Elizabeth Bennet Episode: "Pride and Prejudice"
2022 Keep Breathing Liv Main role [24][25][26]

Music videosEdit

Year Title Artist
2021 "Say Less" Anthony Ramos

Awards and nominationsEdit

Awards and nominations received by Kevin Feige
Award Year Nominated work Category Result Ref(s)
Imagen Awards 2021 Vida Best Actress – Television (Comedy) Nominated [27]
Hollywood Critics Association 2021 In the Heights Best Actress Nominated [28]
Satellite Awards 2022 Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Nominated [29]


  1. ^ a b Mariana Rosas. "Melissa Barrera, le sonríe el éxito". Estilo DF (in Spanish). Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Ruiz, Paula (June 16, 2019). "Sacrifica Melissa matrimonio". Reforma (in Spanish). Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  3. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 10, 2022). "Scream Sequel Seeing Return of Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding & Jenna Ortega". Deadline. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Shapiro, Bee (October 4, 2019). "Melissa Barrera Goes from Mexican Telenovelas to 'Vida' Star". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "¡Está insoportable! Aseguran que a Melissa Barrera ya se le subió la fama". TVNotas (in Spanish). Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "Kalimba cantará con Melissa Barrera el tema de la telenovela Tanto Amor". Tvyespectaculos (in Spanish). Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  7. ^ Elena Gómez Poncet. "Melissa Barrera asegura que no es una improvisada". TVNotas (in Spanish). Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Melissa Barrera protagonizaría telenovela con Daniel Elbittar". TVNotas (in Spanish). Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Melissa Barrera y Leornardo García protagonizarán "Tanto amor"". Informador México (in Spanish). Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (August 17, 2020). "'Scream': 'Vida' & 'In The Heights' Star Melissa Barrera Set For Key Role In Spyglass & Paramount Slasher Movie Relaunch". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Miska, Brad (August 28, 2020). "Relaunch of 'Scream' Slashing Into Theaters on January 14, 2022!". BloodyDisgusting. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 24, 2020). "New Scream Movie From Spyglass Media Will Be Released by Paramount (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (April 11, 2019). "Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jon M. Chu Find Their Nina & Vanessa For 'In The Heights' Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "'In the Heights' Film Review: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Stage Hit Becomes a Screen Celebration". The Wrap. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  15. ^ "'Normal People' Star Paul Mescal Joins Melissa Barrera in Benjamin Millepied's 'Carmen' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  16. ^ "XavierZazuetaOfficial • Instagram". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  17. ^ "Paco Zazueta". Spotify. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  18. ^ Melissa Barrera y Paco Zazueta - Cuando Me Enamoro, retrieved April 15, 2021
  19. ^ a b "Melissa Barrera Bio: Married Or Still Dating? Husband, Boyfriend To Family Details". LIVERAMPUP. May 6, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  20. ^ "La academia" 4° Concierto (TV Episode 2011) - IMDb, retrieved April 15, 2021
  21. ^ "XavierZazuetaOfficial • Instagram". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  22. ^ "'Scream' Star Melissa Barrera Haunted After Being Ordered to 'Bed Rest'".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 10, 2022). "'Scream' Sequel Seeing Return Of Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding & Jenna Ortega". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  24. ^ Melanson, Angel (June 21, 2022). "First Look: Melissa Barrera In Keep Breathing". Fangoria. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  25. ^ Oddo, Marco Vito (June 21, 2022). "'Keep Breathing': Melissa Barrera Fights to Survive in First Images from Netflix Series". Collider. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  26. ^ Gearan, Hannah (June 21, 2022). "Keep Breathing Images: First Look At Scream Star's New Survival Thriller". ScreenRant. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  27. ^ Foundation, Imagen. "36th Annual Imagen Awards Nominations Announced". Imagen Foundation. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  28. ^ ""In The Heights" wins Best Picture at the HCA Midseason Awards – Hollywood Critics Association". Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  29. ^ Van Blaricom, Mirjana (November 30, 2021). "'Belfast', 'The Power of the Dog' Among Nominees for Top Honors at 26th Annual Satellite™ Awards". International Press Academy. Retrieved November 30, 2021.

External linksEdit