I have never been to Brazil, but when I moved to Los Angeles I got a good taste of it when I met fabulous writer, director, producer and actress, Aymara Limma. Aymara may be petite, but the woman known as “The Brazilian Firecracker” is truly the entire package.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, the incredibly energetic and passionate Aymara started her acting career in the TV miniseries Capitães da Areia, based on the bestselling novel written by the famous Brazilian author Jorge Amado.
The series was directed by the renowned Walter Lima Jr. for TV Bandeirantes Network. Early in her career, Aymara was cast in Warner Bros’ City of Angels directed by Brad Silberling and went as American as you can get by starring as Becky Thatcher in the award winner play The adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and was the host of Hollywood Express.
She upped her craft by studying with the director Milton Katselas (Butterflies are Free, Report to the Commissioner) and Jeffrey Tambor at The Beverly Hills playhouse.
Aymara’s business career took her away from acting for bit, where she launched her publishing company, Editora Five Star. Despite her success in publishing, however, the call to acting was too strong and in 2013, she returned to pursue her true passion and made her directorial debut in Te Amo! Shabbat Shalom.
The comedic short won an Audience Award on its first screening at The Cinema at the Edge Independent Film Festival in Santa Monica, California.
Now an International Correspondent, Aymara has also written for Reel 360, covering Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible in Venice, Italy.
Let’s meet Aymara.
Alright Aymara, you’re all over the globe – from the U.S. to Venice. Which film community excites you the most?
That is a very good question, they are very different from each other and both excite me in their own ways as they make both me grow. (Sigh) But No hard feelings, there is nothing like the American film community, it just speaks to my soul.
You’ve written, produced and starred in your own film projects. How empowering do you find that?
Creating my own art helped me find find myself and empower myself as an Immigrant and a woman. When I decided to return to my acting career back in the United States, the challenges were huge. The probability of and success is higher when we are in charge of our own work and journey.
When I was back in LA, I realized I still loved acting and while I was watching a Q&A in a film festival, something just hit me that I knew I had to reconnect with all the teachings of director Milton Katselas. It took me back to my days at “The Beverly Hill Playhouse.” The love and passion returned and I decided to put my dreams into action.
Action, movement, trust, belief and happiness help us defeat our fears.
I recommend everyone takes at least one risk a day toward your dreams, and soon enough you will get movement. It is really empowering.
Also, when I write, produce and star in my projects, it means I am 100% connected to my career concept, doing art with messages that touches peoples heart and inspire them.
It is all very empowering for the soul!
Who inspires you as an artist?
His teachings always inspired me to project my exceptional self. The memories of his critiques continue to empower and inspires me even today, more than 20 years later. As Milton is no longer with us, I now run to Robert Zimmerman and Peter Allas at The ZA Studio for that inspiration.
Plus, I must confess that I was trained to be inspired by people that are constantly making things happen… against all odds.
So you woke up one day in Rio. When did it hit you had to act?
Honestly, I don’t know remember. I think I was born with that craving and that passion. Like a fish to water.
Do you remember your first film project in Brazil?
Actually I had to decline my first film project because, well ahem I was “madly in love” and ran off to Argentina. Sooo, my first important project in Brazil was an audition for a hit mini series for TV, Capitães da areia based on a best seller book from the famous Brazilian writer Jorge Amado.
I auditioned for the lead female actress. They chose someone else, but created a character for me. It was amazing, I was featured with all the leading actors it was an incredible process, I am really grateful for the experience.
How does being international help you in American film projects?
I believe being international enriches us in experience and capability. However, my memory of American film projects is that I would need to be in LA, available for the auditions, meeting and shootings.
Now with the pandemic I am not sure where the market is going. Fingers crossed that they will find me here… lol…
What are your favorite films this year?
MI7… lol… Seriously, it is an ODD moment in films this year. I think I am going against the tide… but I must say that my favorite was a documentary I watched at the Venice Film Festiva about Salvatore Ferragamo. So very inspiring.
The Mexican film New Order by Michel Franco affected me so much and I think the society should watch this film carefully. I have watched it three times so far.
You’re known to be a cinephile. Bitch to us about not going to movies during COVID?
Hahaha, I am going to bitch about going to the Venice Film Festival, i watching amazing films… with the filmmakers… on the big screen.
I hate you.
Haters are going to hate. I feel truly blessed being able to do that. We had a Boat Drive-in and it was wonderful. I am fortunate to have a big screen in my home. But I am missing going to theaters. As I’m in Italy, I’m blocked from most of the SAG-AFTRA Awards screenings. So, I am missing out on most of the amazing American films.
When you’ve taken on a role, how do you prepare?
I read and re-read the script, study the flaws and profession of the character, do the breakdown of the character and my check list. Then I feel capable of talking with the director.
Who are the top five directors you would kill someone to act with?
Top five is hard to say… Can I give you more them five… lol
Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher McQuarrie,
Fernando Meirelles, Mattew Garrone, José Padilha. My director’s dream list is really long…
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How has COVID affected you personally?
Omg, I was finishing a project for Media Set on Italian TV. I wanted to shoot more footage for the episode, but we had to go on lockdown. In the beginning, I did get totally knocked out, with all the devastating news on TV.
The deaths. I was heartbroken. The following months were very hard. By the time things opened again, it was like the summer had vanished. I took a vacation to Elba’s island. I was paranoid but they were so careful there, and let me just say, that blue ocean helped me. Now, I have been busier then ever; trying to feed my mind with work and the things I love in order not to give space to worry and fear. But I’m still extremely careful.
How do you relax when you’re super-stressed?
When I am stressed I like to swim, or go for a walk, watch TV and movies, meditate, cook and even go shopping or traveling. Of course there is always a friend in the middle of those ways.
Did you try to flirt with Tom Cruise on the MI:8 and 9 set?
Come on! I would love to have done it, but his energy was so strong that I sort of froze, he was amazing. Tom Cruise does have super powers! LOL! After seeing him work here in Venice I admire him more then ever. Back to your prior question, Tom Cruise inspires me, 100%.
EFF Marry and Kill Game (and why) Hulu, Netflix, Amazon
I do love Netflix. So, I guess I would marry the N. Amazon has kind of sexy things on it, so I’d probably eff the sh*t out of it. And Hulu, can… die
What do you envision as our new normal?
I honestly am not sure. I am still digesting all of this, trying to focus and dealing with my closeness…
I get horrified imagining the problem of being single in this new normal, how do we do? Well, I am still in Venice and not single… but what if I needed to move forward? It looks so hard and scary to me… I would love to hear some advice from people, on how are they being safe and living it?
What is the new normal? I believe that by the end of this, we will be a little traumatized, but when we are done and protected it will be back to normal like riding a bike… no matter what… we will still know how to live and will still have pleasure doing it… I hope.
What stresses you these days?
These days I get stressed for things I would never imagine to be stressed about: My boyfriend, the news and Italian politics… lol Most of ALL Italians… lol…
How many tattoos do you have and where? Also, what are their meanings?
Believe it or not I have no tattoos. I did want to do a fish close to my bikini line… a fish jumping in… lol
Tell us about your latest project?
I was invited to host a Variety and Entertainment show, so I am coming on as a producer too, Cine Arte Variety com Aymara Limma. It is funny that I had already filmed two pilots at different times of my life: Hollywood Express and Hollywood TV Show.
I always dreamt about it but never really pushed forward. But now I have decided to accept the challenge as I as invited by the Brazilian Channel. There are a couple of documentaries – one about my adventure sailing from Brazil to San Marteen in Caribe and one about Venice. Being ADD is hard sometimes… we need to have many things going at the same time until something pulls us for full focus and conclusion.
And yes, I have finished a script for a film that is being revised. So much going on, thank God. And I still feel frustrated for not being able to do everything I want and sometimes should do. But I must say I am grateful for all.
We’re sure you will get it all done, Aymara. Boom.