Melissa Barrera Martinez is a Mexican actress and singer. She is best known for her work in the telenovelas Tanto Amor and Tuya Acapulco. In this biography, Barrera tells her story in her own words.

Melissa Barrera Bio: Early Life, Family, Education

Barrera was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico on July 4, 1990 (Melissa Barrera age: 28). Her parents, Rosana Maria Martinez García and Tomás Gerardo Barrera Tames, raised Barrera and her three younger sisters in Monterrey. The actress attended the America School Foundation of Monterrey throughout her childhood. Barrera first took an interest in theater in middle school, appearing in school plays such as Grease and Aida. At the end of her high school career, Barrera played Julieta in Monterrey’s rendition of Romeo y Julieta, then participated in a regional production of Footloose before entering college.

Melissa Barrera Bio: Career

Barrera was accepted into NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2009. She acted in their runs of the shows Sweet Charity and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. She left school after two years when she was selected for the Mexican reality show La academia, on which she appeared 14 times. Barrera’s singing and dancing abilities were so well received by TV Azteca audiences that the network signed her for her first telenovela role in 2012. She played the character Zulamita in three episodes of La Mujer de Judas and acted once in the series La otra cara del alma.

In 2013, Barrera joined the Latin pop duet “Melissa y Sebastian,” with whom she recorded her first album by the same title. Their first single, a cover of the 80s song “Mamma Maria,” became a top-ten radio hit and earned Barrera credibility in the music industry.

2014 brought Barrera her first big break in the form of a telenovela. She starred alongside Daniel Elbittar in Siempre tuya Acapulco, receiving high praise for her performance in all 124 episodes. This show became one of the highest-rated programs in over 20 countries worldwide. Later in 2014, Barrera starred in her first film, the comedy L for Leisure. This movie received an 88% rating from Rotten Tomatoes but mixed reviews from film critics.

The next year, Barrera starred in another telenovela called Tantor amor. She appeared in 119 episodes and received even more glowing reviews for her acting. Additionally, Barrera performed “Volver a caer” for the show’s soundtrack with Mexican singer Kalimba

The next two years were busy for Barrera. She starred in two 2016 films, El Hotel and Manual de principiantes para ser presidente. Between 2016 and 2017, she starred in the single-season show Perseguidos. Her television career expanded into 2017 with the web series Club de Cuervos. Later that year, she returned to the silver screen in Sacúdete Las Penas, appearing in the film Dos Veces Tú the next year.

Melissa Barrera Bio: Exclusive Interview on ‘Vida’ 

2018 was a notable year in Barrera’s career. She landed the main role of Lyn in Vida, a TV series about estranged sisters reunited by the death of their mother. In April 2018, Barrera sat down with uInterview exclusively to discuss the show and its message.

In Barrera’s words, her character is a “hipster party girl that has figured out that if she seduces rich white men, she can live off of them and not have to work very hard at all.” Though this strategy may have worked for Lyn in the past, she is forced to abandon it once her mother dies and leaves behind a complicated inheritance. “What she thought that she could do — go home to the funeral and then go back to San Francisco — is not gonna happen,” Barrera told uInterview. “She’s gonna have to stay in the place that she escaped for a longer time and deal with her roots and deal with everything that she left behind.”

Though heavily centered around family, Vida contains a number of racy scenes. Barrera described filming them as “a little nerve-wracking” and admitted that when it comes to acting in the nude, “you expose yourself in more ways than just taking off your clothes.” However, she took great pride in the portrayal of female sexuality on her show. She told uInterview, “I think it’s a beautiful thing that the show is showing these women who are empowered and who have agency over their bodies and over their sexualities and showing it as being okay.”

Check out the full autobiographical interview at the top of this page. Watch the official Vida trailer below:

Melissa Barrera Bio: Upcoming Projects

Barrera has kept busy since her role in Vida. She is currently filming an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical In the Heights. Barrera is also set to act in the movie Carmen, which is awaiting production and set to release in 2020.

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