The Childhood in Porto Alegre and her first steps as a model. Travels around the world and her story as a TV journalist, model, actress, TV presenter and scriptwriter. Learn more about Fernanda Lima’s career path.
She grew up with two brothers, Rodrigo and Rafael; and with their incentive she was always playing outside. For most part of her childhood, Fernanda was only a girl in a group of boys. Her somewhat hyperactive state was supported by her parents, who were PE teachers back then. The list of sports she practiced is long and varied: gymnastics, swimming, skating, ballet, dancing… not mentioning being on the volleyball and handball varsity teams of her school, where, during the break, she’d be the first to get the ball to play Spud. Years later, she would concentrate all that energy in the daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga, a quite exhausting and physical type of yoga that Fernanda does until today.
She is emotional, likes being home, and cries very easily like all of those born with the sun in cancer. Fernanda was born on June 25th, 1977, in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. She grew up in a large, affectionate and party going family. On any given Sunday, her cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and “pals” would all show up for the barbecues. At times like these, someone would always get the guitar, and while the chimarrão (yerba mate) would go around, Fernanda’s memories were being formed. She remembers going to the farm, swinging from a tree, the doll house, the Easter eggs hidden in the bushes, the festas juninas (festivities of catholic origin held during the month of June to celebrate Saint Anthony, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Peter) and how great she felt at Christmas or the smell of the grass being cut.
As she has always liked the water – still or running, fresh or salty, warm or cold – she anxiously waited for the days when she’d go, with her father and brothers, to the beach in Imbé, where they used to spend the summer. It was there that she developed a certain mania for “playing” show production. She’d spend hours creating choreographies and performances that she’d present to her family afterwards. She liked the feeling and ended up convincing her cousins to present a news show with her. They would pretend to be anchors and reporters: they’d go out to do voting preference polls and then used the house as a studio to “go live” with the news.
At school she was not a bad student, but she also did not take her studies all that serious – with the exception of English, what would be very useful when she traveled the world as a model.
It was in Imbé that she spent most part of her teenage years. She used to spend so much time in the water, or on the sand, that her mother would have to hang a red towel on the window when it was time for her to come home for dinner.
At the end of her teens, she was at the beach when a photographer saw her and said that she could be a model. As she had always dreamed about seeing the world, she thought that would be a great opportunity and decided to do a book. After that she wouldn’t stop traveling. Many times she traveled by herself, what wasn’t always good, specially having to deal with the rejections that always come along with a career in modeling.
However, the experience helped her mature and gain control of her own space. At a certain point she thought she wouldn’t ever want to live in Brazil again. But it was when she was far from her home country that she could see how rich the Brazilian culture really was and, one day, decided to come back for good.
It was then that MTV invited her to host Mochilão, and once again she was on the road – this time to Hawaii. There she decided that, once back home, she’d get a degree in Communications. Four years later she graduated in journalism, while already presenting a show on Rede TV, called Interligado, and living in São Paulo.
It was in front of the cameras that she realized she had reached the place where she’d always wanted to be – this was, just like the beach, her natural habitat. It was what she liked to do, it was where she felt good and complete.
After one year she went back to MTV to host a dating show called Fica Comigo, and once again Mochilão.
After that she started getting invitations to present events. The first ones were the two editions of Video Music Brasil, in 2002 and 2003, a path that would lead to the great honor of being chosen to present the draw for FIFA’s World Championship to be held in Brazil; a ceremony that was transmitted live to hundreds of countries. The girl who liked playing presenting shows to her family had just conquered the world as a communicator.
After four years on the network that had launched her, she decided to take a break and take a year off to think about her life; she needed some time without appointments and a tight schedule.
In 2005, she moved from Sao Paulo to Rio and was invited to sub for Angelica, who was going on maternity leave, on the show Video Game. There she was introduced to Globo’s professionalism and competence.
When Angélica came back, Fernanda learned that she was going to be casted for one of the network’s soaps. She had not planned on becoming an actress; she didn’t know if she’d like it, but she thought that if the winds were blowing that direction, maybe she should go for it. She was never one of those who draw back when the challenge gave her the butterflies. This was a big one, especially because she was casted as a protagonist. The soap was Bang Bang, a western by Mario Prata, which aired at 7pm.
The experience was valid and unforgettable, but bittersweet. As she had never been exposed in that way, mainly in a vehicle with the reach of Globo, she wasn’t prepared for the criticisms. Even so, she managed to come out feeling stronger and better prepared, knowing that she had learned things that one normally doesn’t when everything goes well. After all, one can only grow up in two circumstances: in love or in pain.
And if there was pain, there was also a lot of love. It was in Bang Bang that Fernanda met – and later came to marry – Rodrigo Hilbert.
After Bang Bang she was casted to play a funny, passionate and irresponsible model in Pé na Jaca. More experienced, she took advantage of this in a more relaxed manner, not so worried about how other people would see her.
She was invited to present a few topics in Fantástico and, once again, to sub in Video Game while Angelica was a second maternity leave. This time, already married to Rodrigo, she was also pregnant, although in her first trimester. From that moment on her career boomed and she got to the point where she had her own show at Globo – the pioneer Amor & Sexo, to which she would also start to write. With the success of the program, Fernanda dedicated even more of her time to writing the scripts, and participating actively in the development and creation of the show, crossing one more border as a communicator and TV professional.
But it was actually when she turned 30 years old that she realized that the life with which she had dreamed about was now her reality. She lived in a house that she had designed herself, she had reached a stage where she did not ask too much of herself professionally anymore, she had someone who really understood and supported her, and she was expecting twin boys, who would come at once and to whom she would dedicate herself entirely, so that they could grow healthy, loved and with all her support.
It was the beginning of a new cycle. And she wasn’t alone anymore.
Milly Lacombe – September 2014