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Wagner Maniçoba de Moura (born June 27, 1976) is a Brazilian journalist, director, musician, film, television and stage actor. Besides being a well-established and acclaimed actor in Brazil, he has achieved international fame for roles in Elite Squad (2007), its sequel: Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010) and Elysium (2013) as Spider. For his role as Pablo Escobar in the first two seasons in the Netflix series Narcos (2015–2016) he received a Golden Globe nomination.

Wagner Moura
CDH - Comissão de Direitos Humanos e Legislação Participativa (23742606876).jpg
Moura in 2015
Wagner Maniçoba de Moura

(1976-06-27) 27 June 1976 (age 43)
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Alma materFederal University of Bahia
Years active1996–present
Sandra Delgado (m. 2001)

Early life and educationEdit

Moura was born in Salvador, Bahia, in the Northeast Region of Brazil, but grew up in the city of Rodelas. His mother, Alderiva, was a housewife, and his father, Jose Moura, was a sergeant in the Brazilian Air Force. As a teenager, he joined the group onf performing arts in his school, where he performed on his first plays. Even though Moura was interested in acting, he decided to become a journalist for a more "secure" financial stability.

He graduated in journalism at Federal University of Bahia but after a short career as a reporter in Bahia TV, Moura decided to follow his dream and become an actor.


His first major play was A Máquina ("The Machine"), in 2000. In this time, he became really good friends with two others upcoming actors, Lázaro Ramos and Vladimir Brichta. It was also because of this play that Wagner travelled for the first time to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In the same year, after a few short movies, Moura had a small participation on the movie Sabor da Paixão ("Taste of Passion"), starring Penélope Cruz.[1]

After small roles in movies like Abril Despedaçado ("Behind the Sun", 2001),[2] As Três Marias ("The Three Marias", 2002),[3] 2003 launched Moura's career to a whole other level. He played a major role on the drama Carandiru, where he portrait Zico,[4] and the leading role on the comedy Deus e Brasileiro ("God Is Brazilian"), where he played a funny fisherman who became friends with God.[5]

Even though at this point of his career Moura was a well-established movie actor he wanted more. On the following years he was part of series and soap operas such as Sexo Frágil ("Weak Genre", 2003),[6] JK (2006),[7] and Paraíso Tropical ("Tropical Paradise", 2007).[8]

In 2007, Moura played Captain Nascimento on the acclaimed Tropa de Elite ("Elite Squad"), directed by José Padilha.[9] The movie was a big hit launching Moura's career internationally after receiving the Golden Bear for Best Film on the Berlin Festival.[10] The sequel Tropa de Elite 2 – O Inimigo agora e outro ("Elite Squad – The Enemy Within", 2010)[11] received an even better reception by the critics and broke the record bring more than 11 million Brazilians to the big screens.

After receiving a few offers Moura decide to focus on his international career. His first big role was in the Hollywood science fiction Elysium (2013), where he played Spider and worked with Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Brazilian actress Alice Braga.[12]

In April 2015, Moura was confirmed on the movie The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the 1960 movie to star with names like Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Haley Bennett and Luke Grimes. However due a schedule conflict with the Netflix series Narcos, Moura had to leave the project.

Moura's biggest international project so far was the original series created by Netflix, Narcos, where he played the protagonist Pablo Escobar for the two seasons.[13] His acclaimed portrait of the well-known Colombian drug dealer lead to a Golden Globe award nomination in 2016.[14]

In 2017, Moura debuted as director on the movie Marighella. A biography film about Carlos Marighella, a Marxist Brazilian writer, politician and soldier who was murdered by the Brazilian dictators in 1969.  

Besides acting and directing Moura also is the main vocalist and guitar player of the band Sua Mae ("Your Mother"). The group have one album called The Very Best of the Greatest Hits of Sua Mae.

Personal lifeEdit

Since 2001, Moura has been married to journalist and photographer Sandra Delgado, with whom he has three sons: Bem, Salvador, and José.

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.[15]

He practices Transcendental Meditation.



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
2019 Marighella N/A Director
2019 Wasp Network


Year Title Role Notes
2003–2004 Sexo Frágil Edu / Magali 20 episodes
2003 Carga Pesada Pedrinho Episode: "Carga Perecível"
2004 Programa Novo Magali 1 episode
2005 A Lua Me Disse Gustavo Bogari Telenovela
2006 JK Juscelino Kubitschek (ages 18–43)
2007 Paraíso Tropical Olavo Novaes Telenovela
2013 A Menina Sem Qualidades Alex's Father Mini-series
2015–2016 Narcos Pablo Escobar 20 episodes
2018 Narcos: Mexico Pablo Escobar Cameo;
1 episode


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 nominationsEdit


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
2016 Imagen Awards Best Actor – Television


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. ^ Sabor da Paixão, retrieved 2018-12-10
  2. ^ "Penélope Cruz". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  3. ^ As Três Marias, retrieved 2018-12-10
  4. ^ Carandiru, retrieved 2018-12-10
  5. ^ Deus é Brasileiro, retrieved 2018-12-10
  6. ^ Sexo Frágil, retrieved 2018-12-10
  7. ^ JK, retrieved 2018-12-10
  8. ^ Paraíso Tropical, retrieved 2018-12-10
  9. ^ Elite Squad, retrieved 2018-12-10
  10. ^ Sportswear, Golden Bear. "Golden Bear Sportswear". Golden Bear Sportswear. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  11. ^ Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, retrieved 2018-12-10
  12. ^ Elysium, retrieved 2018-12-10
  13. ^ Narcos, retrieved 2018-12-10
  14. ^ "Golden Globes". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  15. ^ De Campos Mello, Raphaela (July 9, 2012). "Meditação transcendental: a técnica de David Lynch e Wagner Moura". 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.
  16. ^ "Confira os INDICADOS e GANHADORES do PRÊMIO QUALIDADE BRASIL 2007". Prêmio Arte Qualidade Brasil.
  17. ^ "Veja a lista dos vencedores do 6º Prêmio Contigo! de Cinema Nacional". G1. 12 September 2011.

External linksEdit