Bruna Marquezine talks to Glass about breaking the stigma of Latin women in Hollywood

AHEAD of the release of superhero blockbuster Blue Beetle, Glass speaks to Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine about her starring role, equal representation for Latin women in Hollywood, and how to vanquish those self-doubts.

From Summer Issue 54

“I really needed outside validation at one point in my life,” says Bruna Marquezine on our long-distance call from her hotel in Rio. Marquezine is currently in production for an upcoming Star+ limited series and her schedule is nothing to be messed about with. But the effort is not alien to the young performer.

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

The Brazilian actress and model first rose to prominence in Brazil. Born on August 4, 1995, in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Marquezine started out as a child actress but went on to become an influential figure in the entertainment industry.

With her charismatic presence, she has graced both the small and the silver screen, leaving an indelible mark on every project she undertakes. But recently, it’s been announced that Marquezine is on the cusp of taking Hollywood by storm too. She’s about to become the first Brazilian actress in the DC live-action superhero franchise, Blue Beetle.

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

Coming to cinemas 18 August, Blue Beetle is based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film centres around Jaime Reyes, a teenager from El Paso, Texas, who becomes the latest individual to wield the powerful Blue Beetle scarab.

Starring Xolo Mariduena (of Cobra Kai fame) as the third Blue Beetle of the franchise, the film will see Marquezine play Jenny Kord, his love interest. Little is known about the plot details thus far, but it appears Jenny will play a significant role in Jaime’s origin story.

The scarab, an alien artefact, grants him extraordinary abilities, transforming him into the Blue Beetle, a superhero with a sleek blue exoskeleton and a range of impressive technological capabilities. As Jaime navigates his newfound powers, he must learn to balance his responsibilities as a hero with the challenges of being a teenager.

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

The pressure is high with Marquezine’s upcoming responsibility as the first Latin leading lady in a major Hollywood superhero film franchise. On her shoulders rests the accurate representation of Latin characters in cinema.

Marquezine is positive, though. “I try to think about it as an opportunity. I know it’s a responsibility, but I want it to feel more like an opportunity than a responsibility,” says the 27-year-old.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to represent my country, talk more about my culture, and inspire other women from Latin America. And hopefully be a good representation for young viewers or people who look like me. I will continue to strive to ensure people will not put me in a box.” 

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

It has proved difficult for Latin American performers to break out of their telenovela mould. Yet, somehow, Marquezine’s done it. In an industry that is consistently trying to typecast actors left and right, we now have a generation of young women who believe in themselves and strive to break out of the proverbial box.

“I grew up hearing people say that it was impossible for Brazilian actors to break through and do stuff outside of the country, especially Hollywood,” she reveals.

“This was something that was always so far away from my reality. So I feel Blue Beetle is the first step. It still blows my mind all the time. Of course, it involves a lot of work. But still, I feel like it’s the first step. Now I must focus on ensuring people will not put me in the ‘Latina’ box.”

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

What’s Marquezine’s take on current representation in Hollywood for Latin-American women? Is the playing field levelling out or is it another marketing  ploy played out by the big studios? “I’m being completely honest, it’s something that’s new to me,” says Marquezine.

“In my country, I’m not Latina, I’m just  myself. And outside of my country, this is the first thing people see. And that’s something new to me. I’m learning how to navigate this industry outside of my country. It’s a challenge. Now I need to learn not to allow others to put me in that box.”

What keeps her going, though? “I’ve always had this feeling that this would happen,” she asserts. “Not this exactly. But that my work would allow me to break through and work outside of my country with people I admire and grew up watching. But now that it’s happening, it’s crazy. Because it’s a mix of ‘I knew it’ and ‘how the fuck is this happening?’”

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

She adds with a flourish, “I would tell other girls to follow their gut. Never stop working hard. Do everything you can to achieve your goals. If you believe in something, never stop. And I never stopped believing.”  

Dreams do come true. And Marquezine’s path is the testimony of this. A rising tide lifts all boats, so with the release of Blue Beetle, the actress is setting the tone for a broader representation of Latin women in Hollywood.

“Stop sharing your dreams with people that are not adding anything,” she states adamantly. “It’s frustrating when you share your dream and feel silly because of the reactions of people around you. So I decided I was not going to share them with people anymore. I will keep it to myself, and I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. It’s an amazing feeling when you achieve your goals – when you see your dreams coming true and you don’t need to say ‘ha, I told you so’. It’s not about other people. It’s about you.”

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

While nurturing a thought process based on internal validation instead of external praise, imposter syndrome began to nevertheless creep in.

“I was doubting myself a lot. It was after the last soap opera that I did a few years ago. At the beginning of the soap opera, my work was criticised. I believed many things people were saying about me. But now I know how to take care of myself. And I know when it’s happening or when it’s an intrusive thought, and I try to look for help. I remind myself of everything I’ve accomplished and that I don’t have to be the best. I just need to do my best. It’s not a fucking competition. It’s supposed to be great, not a race.”

Bruna Marquezine by Kat Irlin

Marquezine has now gained seniority both on a personal level and on a professional one. After decades of hard work, she now looks back with fresh eyes and understands the battles and the lessons that came with them.

With Blue Beetle about to hit theatres, her life is about to be split into a ‘before and after’ scenario. So what’s her advice to her younger self? “Never lose confidence. Just keep believing. You’ll get there.”

by Adina Ilie

Photographer: Kat Irlin

Stylist: Morgan Greer Lipsiner

Make up: Misha Shahzada using Shiseido

Hair: Takuya Yamaguchi using Oribe

Photography assistant: Ror Hayes

All clothing and accessories Fall 23 Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello