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Why Teresa From Queen Of The South Looks So Familiar

On the USA Network crime drama Queen of the South, Alice Braga plays Teresa Mendoza, a resourceful woman who carves out a niche for herself in the American illicit drug market. Over the course of four seasons, we see Teresa's evolution from the girlfriend of a cartel member to the boss of her own operation. The character's humble origins and drive to reach a level of security within a world marked by chaos are what makes her so compelling to watch. Braga's warm and determined performance in the title role is the heart of the show's success.

Although Teresa is from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Braga herself was born and raised in Brazil. Between her work on Brazilian screens and her transition to the American market, Braga has decades of experience as an actress. She's even been cast in the upcoming comic book adaptations The New Mutants and The Suicide Squad.

If you've been catching up on the fourth season of Queen of the South since it dropped on Netflix in June 2020, you might be wondering where else you've seen Braga. Here are a few of the multitalented actress' most famous roles.

City of God helped launch Alice Braga to international stardom

Braga's feature film debut also happens to be one of the 21st century's most critically lauded films. Cidade de Deus, or City of God, follows a cast of characters as they grow up and become involved in organized crime in one of Rio de Janeiro's most notorious favelas (or slums). The movie received glowing reviews when it was released worldwide in 2002. It has since been noted as one of the best films of the century and was #38 on the BBC's "The 21st Century's 100 Greatest Films" list, which was aggregated from selections by 177 film critics from around the world.

In the film, Braga plays Angélica, a young woman who becomes romantically involved with several gang members. Although the role was relatively small, it did help launch her career on the international stage after a still of her kissing another character was used for the film's US poster. In a documentary about the making of the film, called City of God: 10 Years Later, Braga said, "[T]hat frame became the poster for the movie in the US, and it was really cool because people became curious about my work... even if it was a relatively small part, it was through City of God that I found my agent in the U.S."

Alice Braga got physical in American action movies

After catching the eye of the American film industry, Braga made her mark co-starring in several action blockbusters. The first was the 2007 Will Smith vehicle I Am Legend. In the film, Smith plays Neville, the last man alive in New York City following the outbreak of a virus that has turned the rest of the city's inhabitants into vampiric mutants. Braga plays Anna Montez, who arrives late in the movie to rescue Neville after hearing a broadcast he's been putting out to other potential survivors.

In an interview with Collider, Braga described Smith as a "generous" scene partner and went on to say, "I'm in the beginning, and it's my first American movie, and it was an enormous pleasure working with him."

In 2010, she landed a role in Nimród Antal's Predators. The movie is a revival of the Predator franchise, and features an ensemble cast that includes Braga, Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, and Mahershala Ali. Braga plays the sniper Isabelle, the only woman on a squad of violent misfits sent on a mysterious mission to kill the titular predators.

I Am Legend and Predators are on a long list of hard-as-nails characters Braga has played over the years, up to and including Teresa in Queen of the South. However, the actress has also had plenty of opportunity to show off her softer side.

The Shack gave Alice Braga the opportunity for a softer role

In a project that couldn't be more different from her roles in Predators or Queen of the South, Braga plays the personification of wisdom in the 2017 Christian themed movie The Shack, based on William P. Young's novel of the same name. Young self-published the book, which went on to become a massive success, spending years on the New York Times' Paperback Trade Fiction bestseller list.

The film stars Sam Worthington as Mack Phillips, a man who is dealing with the loss of a child when he's invited to a remote shack in the Pacific Northwest by God (Octavia Spencer). In the shack, Mack meets the rest of the holy trinity, as well as a number of other religious figures who help him come to terms with his loss and his religion. Braga's character, Sophia, appears to Mack toward the end of his journey to elucidate the nature of God's wisdom for him.

Like the book before it, the movie was a financial success, even if it didn't win over many critics. It grossed $96.9 million at the global box office (via Box Office Mojo) against a $20 million budget, according to Variety.

With films as diverse as City of God and The Shack on her resume, there are plenty of options for those looking to do a deep dive into Alice Braga's filmography while waiting for season 5 of Queen of the South.

Alice Braga will appear in two highly anticipated comic book movies

Speaking of waiting for Alice Braga's face to pop up on our screens again, the future incredibly bright for the actress (and for her fans). Braga is all set to appear in two long-awaited films — both comic book adaptations.

The first is The New Mutants, the Josh Boone-directed superhero horror flick centered around the titular group of preternaturally powered young adults who have become staples in Marvel Comics. Originally scheduled to debut in theaters way back in April 2018, The New Mutants was delayed multiple times over, most recently settling into an August 28, 2020 slot. Braga will star alongside Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), and more as Cecilia Reyes, a doctor who oversees and mentors the crew of mutants — and who has super-abilities herself.

Then, fans can find Braga in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, a reboot-slash-sequel to follow 2016's Suicide Squad from director David Ayer. It's not yet known who Braga is playing in the film, but she'll share the screen with a stacked cast — some from the original Suicide Squad and some who are totally new to the property. These include Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, and Steve Agee, who voices King Shark. Other stars like Peter Capaldi, John Cena, Idris Elba, Storm Reid, Pete Davidson, and Gunn's fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe director Taika Waititi will also appear in The Suicide Squad — in theaters on August 6, 2021.