From the Stage to the Screen Tatiana Romao Nails the Mark

Tatiana Romao
Actress Tatiana Romao at the Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival

At barely 12-years-old, an age where few of us really knew the exact direction our future careers would take, Brazilian actress Tatiana Romao was already busy putting in work and developing her craft as an actress. While she comes from a family of doctors, the world revealed itself to her as a stage beckoning to be performed upon, and she quickly took to the spotlight without ever looking back.

Romao says, “Acting has been my passion and a need in my life since I came to really know myself as a person. It all started as an after school, extracurricular activity and as time went by it became my goal in life.”

Hailing from Sao Paulo, Romao began her professional acting career on the stages of Brazil where she starred in a lengthy list of high profile theatrical productions such as “The Secret of Fatima” directed by Grand Othelo and Coca-Cola Award winner Ronaldo Ciambroni, “The Exception and the Rule” directed by Gabriel Carmona, “Life of Drugs” directed by São Paulo Association of Art Critics and Prêmio Contigo Award winner Walcyr Carrasco (Seven Sins, Watercolor of Love), “Waltz No. 6” directed by Marcelo Lazzaratto, “The Long Goodbye” directed by Shell Award and Gabriela Paulista Cooperative Theater Award winner Nelson Baskerville (Seize the Day, Maysa: When the Heart Sings) and many more.

“Theatre is so different from film, I have to say that my heart does beat a lot faster for theatre. The passion, the thrill, the family feeling, learning and always discovering new things in a scene, a script, having beautiful words to say and find their meanings… the list is endless,” admits Romao. “It was one of the main reasons why I fell in love with acting… It gave me all these different feelings and sensations that I wasn’t finding anywhere else considering I was born in a fast paced somewhat cold city.”

While Romao is undeniably magnetic on stage, her skills have easily carried over to the silver screen where she has garnered substantial recognition on an international level as a diversely talented actress capable of embodying virtually any character.

Romao’s first foray into the film world took place nearly a decade ago when she landed the lead role of Paula in Brazilian director Bruno Costa’s film Encantacao aka Enchantment. Set in a puritanical town, Encantacao revolves around a peculiar family of three whose lives are turned upside down after Romao’s character Paula, who is embittered by her husband leaving her, begins spreading rumors that the wife and her teenage daughter are witches. Paula’s powerful conviction permeates not only the minds of the town’s people, but also the two women accused, who begin to believe that they really are connected in someway to the dark side. A powerful and seething first role on the screen, Romao nailed the mark making Encantacao a success, and giving audiences a chance to see just how powerful an actress she would become as her career progressed. During the filming of Encantacao Romao worked closely with famed Brazilian acting coach Fatima Toledo, who is known for her work on the four-time Oscar Award nominated film City of God, and the multi-award winning films Elite Squad and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within.

“It was a delight to play a villain for the first time and to immerse in this experience… I discovered so many other nuances of myself as an actress, of myself as a villain, you learn and find real and cohesive reasons for that role, that person to be doing and saying what she is saying. I embraced Paula, I understood and processed her point of view of things. She was a lonely bitter woman,” explains Romao.

“For me it wasn’t much of a challenge as it was a learning process. How to access that side of you, how to understand that role, how to understand yourself, how to bring that feeling…The growth I had working with Fatima and Bruno was gigantic. I will never forget that experience.”

Since that telling first role, actress Tatiana Romao has worked non-stop giving a slew of unforgettable lead performances in a wide range of projects across multiple continents.

In 2015 she took on the starring role of Sarah in Lips, written and directed by ConCorto Award nominee and Nyon Visions du Réel Award winning director Andrea La Mendola (Echoes, Lost in Gray, Just One Shot). Starring alongside award-winning actor Ruben Navarro (Barbal Zoralo, She Wants Me, Till Death Do Us Part), Romao gives a magnetic and sometimes painful performance as Sarah, a young woman caught in an abusive relationship who struggles to find the strength to leave her boyfriend.

“That role was very intriguing and a challenge for me because I tend to always play the stronger roles and this time I had to be more fragile, defenceless and submissive. It was a bit of a struggle to go on set and ‘not fight back’ and just take it. Even though it’s a great challenge for me it is interesting how it feels almost ‘wrong’ to play that for me. I guess I can say that it made the role even more interesting,” admits Romao.

In addition to Lips, Romao has become known for her work in Marco Ferrari’s Castell Award winning drama Simple Being where she stars alongside Tony Award winner Paul Sand (The Main Event), Elephant Clan starring Burt Culver (To Survive, Ghostline), multi-award winning director Giulio Poidomani’s film Disruption starring Ron Gilbert (Inertia, Desire), Abberation starring Andrew Bongiorno (NCIS, Live By Night), as well as the series What You Want? with Elle Han (Til We Meet Again) and Evgeniya Radilova (Limitless) and many more.

She says, “Acting is a need in my life, it’s not an option of whether or not I will do it, it is what I have to do, it’s what I do and a great part of who am. Acting has shaped all my life. The feeling, the emotion, hearing from the audience how you moved them, how you touched them, it is indescribable.”

With a dazzling repertoire of work already under her belt it’s clear that actress Tatiana Romao is one Brazilian talent who is destined to stay on the radar for years to come. Audiences will soon be able to catch her in the horror film Valentine DayZ, which is due out later this year and also stars Carrie Keagan (Reno 911). She also recently wrapped production on Apple Ng’s (1 Corinthians 13) upcoming film The Process where she takes on the starring role of Lindsay.

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