Brazilian star Maisa Silva has had an impressive sixteen-year career, appearing in and presenting television shows, starring in films, and interviewing talent from around the globe. Over the past decade-and-a-half she has built a life in entertainment. This year she turns twenty.
Since Silva began her television career at age three, appearing on the musical and variety show Programa Raul Gil, she’s spent her life onscreen. Most recently the actress partnered with Netflix to star in original productions: The film Double Dad, which premiered in 2021, was the first one. In addition, she hosted and represented Brazil on the fan-event Tudum. Next on her slate of Netflix Originals is dramedy series De Volta aos 15 (Back to 15), where she stars as Anita, a 30-year-old who has time traveled to her 15-year-old self, trying to change the outcome of her future and those of the people she loves.
Ahead of her twentieth birthday, and the release of De Volta aos 15, Queue caught up with Silva to travel through her memories to where her life in the spotlight began, and to explore where she hopes to see herself in the future.
Madeleine Saaf Welsh: What do you remember about your first time being on a set?
Maisa Silva: My first memories are from Record TV, which is the TV channel here in Brazil where I started when I was three years old. I remember getting onstage and staring at the cameras, and I was like, “Okay, this is a little bit scary, but I’m comfortable somehow.” I remember the crowd because they were loud and playful. And I felt somehow that this place was my home.
Did you realize then that acting and presenting were what you wanted to do as your career?
MS: It was a dream of mine. When I was really, really young, like two years old, I used to watch TV with my family and I would love to see the kids dressed up in costumes, dancing and singing. That’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t know that it was a job. But as I grew up doing TV shows, I realized that’s what I wanted and that you can have a life in that way. It’s still where I feel like I belong. Every time I feel sick, or I have anything going on, and I get on set, it’s like everything disappears and suddenly I feel better. That’s something that makes my heart really full and I’m glad to keep doing what I love.
In De Volta aos 15, you play the teenage version of Anita. What do you feel like you have in common with your character?
MS: I feel like even though she makes big mistakes, Anita is always trying to help other people. She doesn’t know that you can help other people by just being yourself and letting them figure their stuff out. She doesn’t know that; she likes to control everybody. She’s a control freak, and I’m a little bit that way with myself. So I got to work with Anita and with my therapist to face that little monster. I learned how to like Anita and also how to forgive myself.
Anita is time traveling back and forth between being 30 and being 15. If you could go back, what advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
MS: I think I’d tell myself to enjoy life. I loved being a teenager and now that I’m an adult, I kind of miss those days. So I’d say enjoy your family, your friends. You’ll change schools, you’ll have new friends, and that’s going to be really positive for you. So stay strong, keep up, and believe in yourself.
What was your life like when you were 15? What was that like to be balancing a career and being a teenager at the same time?
MS: At that time I was working on Carinha de Anjo, which is a soap opera here in Brazil. I remember that my friends were having their sweet 15 parties and I couldn’t go because I was really busy. So I was always trying to balance those things, like, “Oh, I cannot go today, but I can have lunch or dinner on Wednesday. Is that fine?” And I was trying so hard to have good grades in school. I was struggling and giving my best, and that worked out well, but I know that I was working really hard. My professional life was almost perfect — I was doing everything I wanted to do — but in my personal life, I was kind of wondering, “Who am I?”
What do you hope that your life will be like when you’re 30?
MS: Whew. This is a hard question. I try to live as much in the present as I can because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I want to be happy and healthy, and I want my heart to be as light as it is today, and to keep on doing what I like. I mean, I don’t know if I’m going to be married or have kids by 30. I just hope that I’m happy and that I get to work on a lot of different projects that I love and that I believe in.
What is your favorite part about what you get to do for a living?
MS: To get to impact people. Because somehow I’m part of their lives, but they’re also in my life. Every time I travel or I go to an event, someone tells me that I’m part of their life, and that’s really nice. I get really happy that, in a way, I grew up with them.
You’ve inspired so many people. Who inspires you?
MS: My mom; she’s a huge inspiration for me. She’s been through a lot and she’s strong, she’s nice, she’s really sensitive. And also my fans because they give so many good things to me. Some days I’m not feeling well, and then I just get a message or a comment, or I see a video that they posted and I get really, really happy. Suddenly I feel I’m special to someone, and that’s a beautiful feeling. So I’m really grateful to have them in my life. They’re my inspirations. And also Selena Gomez because I love her so much.