'Open Road' Star Camilla Belle on the 'Emotional' Aspects of Acting in Two Languages

Livia Wippich
Camilla Belle

The drama directed by Marcio Garcia had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival on Sunday.

Camilla Belle says she easily identified with her role of a Brazilian-American in Open Road, which premiered Sunday at the fifth Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival, but still found aspects of her role challenging.

In the movie, which centers on a young Brazilian artist who abandons her life in Brazil to look for her father in the U.S., her role called for a level of intensity Belle had never experienced before in the scenes she was speaking in Portuguese over the phone with her mother, played by Brazilian soap opera actress Christiane Torloni, and her sister, portrayed by Brazilian actress Carol Castro.

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 “I’ve never done anything really emotional like that in another language before; it was really helpful and it was a great experience,” Belle told The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie, which had its world premiere at at the Dunn theatre in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science, was directed by Brazilian director Marcio Garcia and also stars Cuban actor Andy Garcia, John Savage, Juliette Lewis and Colin Egglesfield.

Belle, whose mother is Brazilian and father is American, didn’t have any trouble preparing for her role of Angie. Her character also has parents from both countries, just like in her real life.

“She is a Brazilian-American just like me, so I didn’t have to do that much research in there, but her dream was to become a painter artist, and I actually have a family friend who is a painter, so we worked together and she really helped me to learn how to paint and bring that into the set,” Belle said.

The actress also talked about the collaboration between director Garcia and the rest of the cast.

"It was a lot of work; we had such a short time to shoot the film between Brazil and the U.S. and a low budget, but everybody was supportive and we had a great time," she said.

The movie is a co-production between Brazil and the U.S., and Belle feels that is important for her to promote the Brazilian culture overseas.

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 “I am excited: There is so much potential coming out of Brazil that the world is not aware of yet, so it’s nice to promote a positive film, from the positive side of Brazil, because people see films like City of God where there are so much violence, and on ourfilm, there is music and happy aspects of Brazil that people are not fully aware yet. So I am hoping that I am able to promote it more,” Belle said.

The film does not yet have a release date in teh U.S. or Brazil.