Rising star: Brazilian actor Rodrigo Ternevoy on finding love and fame in Ireland

When Rodrigo Ternevoy first arrived in Ireland a decade ago, he spoke only a couple of words of English.

Rising star: Brazilian actor Rodrigo Ternevoy on finding love and fame in Ireland

When Rodrigo Ternevoy first arrived in Ireland a decade ago, he spoke only a couple of words of English.

The charming Brazilian had given up a steady job in his native Sao Paulo in search of travel and adventures. He fell in love with Ireland and an Irish man, and found the security here to pursue a long-dreamed-of acting career.

“I was working in a bank and decided I wanted to explore other countries,” he says. “After three months I met David, my husband, and we’ve been together ever since.”

He found career success too, working in accountancy, but decided to finally embrace his desire to act after being accepted by top acting school Bow Street.

“If you put in a lot of effort and passion things will work out. I worked as an extra because I wanted to learn from scratch. I applied for Bow Street. Then I got an agent Alex Cusack — she was great.

I’m in a feature film called The Green Sea released next year. And I’ve filmed Big Boys Don’t Cry, a video about depression and masculinity.

By far his biggest breakthrough has been Fair City, where his character, Cristiano, has quickly become one of Carrickstown’s most popular residents.

“He arrived in Carrickstown looking for his brother. He liked the community, he became a more settled character and is now one of the regulars on the show. I think people do respect him and like him.”

What shape are you in?

I’m not a gym rat. However, I do think I’m in a reasonable shape, but definitely could be better.

When I wasn’t so busy with work I was going to the gym three or four times a week but lately, I’m finding running a really good alternative.

I try to do it every second day before I head to RTÉ. Running makes me feel calm and energised.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I became pescatarian about two years ago so I’m eating a lot of fish since. I love seafood — apart from mussels.

I like salads as well and carbs are still necessary as my metabolism is pretty fast. I use them to get all the energy I need.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

I don’t need to think too much about this answer: pizza and chocolate.

What would keep you awake at night?

Being far from my family in Brazil can be hard sometimes so if any trouble or problem arises back home — that can keep me awake.

How do you relax?

Lately, I’m doing a lot of sessions of Alexander Technique and vocal lessons to neutralise my accent a bit more and throughout those sessions Esther Doorly, my teacher, goes through many different relaxation techniques.

I’m finding them extremely useful, especially if I’m a bit anxious on set.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I’d love to have Judi Dench for dinner, not only because I think she’s one of the best actresses of all time, but also because we would have lots of fun.

What’s your favourite smell?

I am a big fan of essential oils. Lately, I’m really enjoying one that I bought in Bulgaria when I went on a short trip this year. It’s a rose geranium oil.

What would you change about your appearance?

If you asked me this question a few years ago I’d have said my nose, I used to hate it but it grew on me! I think with age we learn how to accept things the way they are.

We are all unique and that’s something to celebrate and not to question or change.

When is the last time you cried?

In February when my mother-in-law passed away. I haven’t lost someone so close to me in a long time and it definitely took a toll on me and still does, but life does go on.

What traits do you least like in others?

I find it very difficult to understand selfishness. I can’t stand it.

We are all the same, we are all born with nothing and we will all end with nothing, so why not share with each other and be happy?

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I’m a little, no actually I’m a big control freak. I tend to take on all tasks that need to be done myself, and I end up doing it all. It can be a bit stressful at times.

Do you pray?

I tend to thank the universe for everything I’ve been given.

I believe we are all part of this massive engine and that if you live in peace and you surround yourself with good energy, positivity and love, then the universe will throw all that back at you.

What would cheer up your day?

If I’m having a bad day, a phone call to my husband and a long chat with him cheers me up.

It’s probably more like a monologue — I talk and he listens. But it makes me feel better no matter what.

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