Talented actress, dancer, singer Adriana Lessa: Through the storm of financial difficulty and disease, she remains a jewel

Adriana Lessa is an actress, TV host, radio host and singer from the city of São Paulo. Adriana spent her adolescent years concentrating her time between her studies and sports having played for the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista volleyball and also a track and field team in Guarulhos, a suburb of São Paulo.

Adriana’s entrance into the artistic world began when she was accompanied a friend to an audition and ended up impressing theater director Antunes Filho. Adriana auditioned and was accepted. Under the direction of Antunes Filho in the spectaculars Macunaíma of Mário de Andrade and A Hora e Vez of Augusto Matraga de Guimarães Rosa, she performed in São Paulo and participated in festivals in France, Austria, Spain, Germany, Greece and Canada. As a singer and dancer, she appeared on the Vasco da Gama/Sea Wind Cruise Line in the spectacular Canta e Dança, directed by Abelardo Figueiredo, along the Brazilian coast and in Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, Curaçao, Greece and the Ivory Coast, also participating in the artistic staff of hotels in Puerto Rico and Japan. Back in Brazil she met director José Possi Neto who directed her in several musical events and commercials in which familiarized she herself with the language of theater and dance.

 
Also possessing musical talent, she has sang with various musical group in various styles such as MPB, Hip Hop and Caribbean sounds, a versatility which lead her to performances in Angola with her band. In 1994, she hosted the show Encontro de Rap in the Vale do Anhangabaú area of São Paulo along with rappers Primo Preto and Paulo Brown. In 2003, she participated in the Las Vegas musical Folies Bergère, being the only Brazilian invited to the event.
 
black women Brazil

In front of the television, Adriana has made number of important appearances on the small screen including novelas (soap operas) on Brazil’s largest TV network, Globo. Lessa’s works are numerous. On the Globo TV network, she has appeared on the programs Araponga in 1990; Retrato de Mulher in 1991; Você Decide in 1998; Chiquinha Gonzaga também in 1998; Terra Nostra in 1999; Aquarela do Brasil in 2000; O Clone in 2001; Senhora do Destino in 2004 and A Diarista in 2005. On the Record TV network, she has been featured in O Desafio de Elias in 1997 and Alma de Pedra in 1998. Adriana is also an experienced television host having hosted MTV Brasil in 1993 and TV Fama also for the Record TV network. Also in her resume are film credits having appeared in at least 4 films including 2006’s Se Eu Fosse Você.

 
With co-hosts Íris Stefanelli and Nelson Rubens on TV Fama

Having gone through a period in time in which she wasn’t seen on TV, Adriana re-invented herself and got involved in the world of the internet through her website to stay connected with her fans.

Adriana as “Madrinha da Bateria (Godmother of the Drumbeat)” for Imperador do Ipiranga
 

Always a champion of racial causes, Adriana also occasionally speaks on the topic of racism. “Today discrimination is not as explicit, but it is there, yes,” she says recalling some tough times in his life: “I have suffered prejudice for being black. As a youth, I heard many things that hurt me.”

In therapy for thrombosis

In her early 40s, the actress with the sculptured shape says that maturity have left her more secure and more beautiful. “I can say that time has brought me serenity and showed me the true values ​​of life. Vanity for me is linked to my physical and emotional well-being,” she justifies, having recently suffered thrombosis in both legs. “I had the disease, but it didn’t beat me. During Carnival I wore a special outfit and there I was, beautiful on the Avenue,” she says speaking of her consistent presence as Queen of the Drumbeat for the Imperador do Ipiranga Samba school in São Paulo.

 
As Queen of Imperador do Ipiranga Samba school
 
Adriana has now gone seven years without acting, but, without a fixed contract with a network, she accepted the invitation of Rede TV! (network), in 2006, to host the program TV Fama (a program that looks very similar to the American program Entertainment Tonight). “They say that I left Globo (TV), but nobody leaves Globo. I was not hired and I accepted the opportunity I had. I don’t regret it, I don’t think my decision closed doors. TV Fama was an amazing program of popular appeal. I got to know a different audience, it was a learning experience,” she acknowledges.
 
 
She left the program four years later, amid rumors that he had a falling out with Nelson Rubens, her partner in hosting of the program. “There was nothing like that. Nelson is an icon in the making, I respect him a lot,” she says. “But I was never friends with him, going to each other’s houses. We were co-workers,” she reveals.

Short clip of Adriana on TV Fama

In 2010, again without the renewed contract, Adriana spent two years in seclusion. “It had nothing to do with depression. I had thrombosis and I was treating it, taking care of my health,” says the actress, who also experienced financial difficulty.  “There were times I was in a bind. I say that an artist has to be a great administrator, because the bills come and often the money has already gone.”



Adriana, who lives in São Paulo, was most recently performing in the play The Vagina Monologues (Os monólogos da vagina in Portuguese). When she’s home, she keeps up with the police series Criminal Minds and CSI Miami, was a fan of the recent novelas Cheias de Charmeand Avenida Brasil.  “I really want to go back to work on TV. But if I’m not doing these novelas it’s because they were not for me. Each one has its time, its history. I hope I can be in what is to come,” sighs the actress. “I’m at a good age to enjoy life.”

See our photo gallery of Adriana here.

Source: Globo ExtraGlobo EgoContigoTele História

About Marques Travae 2897 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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