Maria Fernanda Cândido

Maria Fernanda Cândido (born May 21, 1974) is a Brazilian actress, television presenter, and former model.[2]

She lived in Curitiba from the age of four to twelve, when she moved to São Paulo with the family. Her parents, José Reginaldo and Agda, were merchants.

Once in São Paulo she was enrolled at the prestigious Colégio São Luiz, in São Paulo, where she showed to be a good student. At 14, she started her professional life as a model after being discovered by her neighbour, who was a fashion producer. She modeled for fashion editorials, magazine covers and campaigns for famous brands. At age 15, during school vacations, she traveled to Paris to work. In total she spent five years juggling between school, fashion shows and photo shoots. After finishing high school, she lived in New York City for six months and, before returning to Brazil, went to the French capital for another season of runway shows. She always impressed by her punctuality and discipline to schedules. More than a year living outside was enough for her to decide to put an end to her international modeling career.[3]

Back in Brazil, she applied, and was accepted at USP where she studied Occupational Therapy, and followed the full-time course for three years before dropping out to join MTV working as a VJ hosting the show "Ilha do Biquini" After recording the pilot, unhappy with what she saw, sought technical improvement in a studio in São Paulo. Since that experience, she discovered her talent in front of the cameras. She formally withdrew from college to study vocal technique with Fátima Toledo, focusing on acting for the cinema.[4]

The real success came in 1999. After sending a videobook for director Jayme Monjardim, at Rede Globo, she was invited to audition and joined the cast of Terra Nostra soap-opera in the role of an Italian, Paola.[5] For the job, she came to seek a teacher in order to improve the Italian accent.[6] The role lead to her getting the prestigious Troféu Imprensa[7] and in 2000 she was voted the most beautiful woman of the century in a poll conducted by Fantástico Sunday TV show. At the time, she came to be compared to Italian actress Sophia Loren, when young, by the beauty and talent shown.[8] Like her character in the soap, Cândido's great-grandmother, arrived in Brazil at around 1880. The actress is a descendant of the Bortolacci Malvezi families on her mother side and the Guiraldelli's on her paternal side, both coming from Venice, northern Italy. "The funny thing is that I use the Cândido family name, signalling the only part of my heritage that is actually Brazilian," she stresses. Another coincidence between her own family story and the soap-opera, is that her family settled in the same area where the plot was set, the Oeste Paulista. The character is also the daughter of Italian Anacleto, who works at a coffee farm, the same activity of her great grandparents when they arrived in Brazil.[9] To compose Paola, she watched movies like Bicycle Thieves, Marriage Italian-Style and The Gold of Naples, and to better understand the era in which the character lived, she also watched 1900, Bernardo Bertolucci.[10]

In 2003 she debuted in cinema with the movie Dom and won the Kikito for Best Actress at the Festival de Gramado.[11]

In 2008 she was chosen to be the face of the new campaign Orient Watches for the first half of the year. The actress was present in two campaigns for the launch of the collection that were broadcast over the months April, May and June. The female models of Orient were chosen to portray major global trends.[12]


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