Actress Bárbara Reis: Happy to not be placed in stereotypical roles because of her color…But, who does this woman look like???


Note from BW of Brazil: I think I first came across the name Bárbara Reis, maybe about a year ago. Although her look caught my eye, at the time, I had a series of articles I was working and decided to put her name in “the vault” for a future article. I guess that future is today. Walking past a magazine stand today, I just happened to note that the latest edition of Revista Raça had just come out. As it has been and continues to be the ONLY black magazine in Brazil, even having gone through name changes, various editors-in-chief and inconsistent publishing, I will still flip through its pages and/or buy it when possible. In this latest edition, with the cover story of an upcoming Globo TV Christmas special featuring a black family (I’ll be covering that soon), on page 14, was a short feature on Bárbara. As I looked at her in that yellow hook up she was rockin’, the same thought that popped in my mind when I first saw her popped into my head again: “She looks like…”…

In that particular photo, she reminded me of a certain American actress, but I needed to see more photos of her to confirm. But the more photos I found of her, the more actresses she started to look like! In one photo she looks like ________  ___________, but in another she looks like _________ __________ and still another photo she reminded of ________ ___________.

What do you think?

Take a look at the pix below and tell me, who do YOU think she looks like?


Bárbara Reis: No Stereotypes

By Flávia Cirino

Barbara Reis is only 30, but in fiction, she plays the mother of an actress who’s only three years younger than her. In Éramos Seis, a novela (soap opera) shown on the Globo TV network at 6pm, she gives life to Shirley, a woman who has carried harsh life lessons since she was young, when she became pregnant with her mother’s boss’s son, João Aranha (Caco Ciocler). She was still a teenager and was expelled from the house for being black and with Afonso (Cássio Gabu Mendes) in São Paulo, but never forgets what she experienced. Therefore, she keeps her daughter under a strict upbringing, trying to keep her as far as she can from boys her age.


“Because of her social class and the race issue, his mother makes up a lie to both of them and makes her and João separate. Shirley believes she was abandoned by him, and he thinks she ran away. She was between 14 and 15 years old and left alone, helpless. The drama caused her to become rigid. She doesn’t believe in love or men and discounts her daughter, because she is afraid of passing on to her the same thing that she went through,” she said.


With no makeup or special effects to make her an older woman, Bárbara lets her talent emerge solely through interpretation. The actress was invited to join the cast of Éramos Seis while still recording Jesus, a series shown last year on the Rede Record TV network. Bárbara had never acted in a contemporary novela.

“I always go after work, where I have space to shine. What has changed for me is just the year. Each decade has its own story and I’m happy to introduce them to the public.”


Raised in Méier, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro’s North Zone, Bárbara Reis worked as a groomer in the family’s pet shop and modeled until she was called to join the supporting cast of the mini-series Dois Irmãos. Soon after, she was invited to perform in the first phase of the novela Velho Chico (2016). To integrate the main core of the series Os Dias Eram Assim (2017) Bárbara lost 13 pounds in order to represent a fragile student in the period of the military dictatorship.

“I’m glad I didn’t get stuck with in stereotypes based on skin color. I could be bringing life to another maid, but I’m not,” she says.

Source: Revista Raça, no. 211

About Marques Travae 3384 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

1 Comment

  1. In one photo I saw Eartha Kitt, in another I saw Pam Grier, and in another I saw, omg, I am forgetting her name……Salli Richardson. These are the three actresses that I see.

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