Melissa Barrera is the understated It Girl of the moment. After slaying the lead role in the 2022 Scream remake (no pun intended), the Mexican actor is front and centre of Netflix's latest viral television success, Keep Breathing.
But Barrera isn't new to the scene, she's a stalwart in the acting business having scored her first major role in 2012. Since then, Barrera's portfolio has gone from strength to strength—from Mexican TV soaps to Hollywood.
Intrigued by the girl of the moment? We were too after binging our way through Keep Breathing from start to finish. Below, everything you need to know about Melissa Barrera.
Barrera was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She attended the American School Foundation of Monterrey—an international school which provides a US-style education to students.
She was always meant for the stage—Barrera performed in several musicals throughout her high school years, and after graduating, she moved to New York City to study musical theatre at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
While you might know Barrera's face from her various roles on the big and small screen, she's also a talented musician having released her own album and producing radio hit, Mamma Maria, which made it into the Mexican top 10 charts.
She transferred her talents to professional acting in 2012 when she scored roles in two Mexican soap operas, La mujer de Judas and La otra cara del alma.
In 2018, Barrera broke into the US television scene when she was cast as the lead in Starz series, Vida. Not long after that, she landed the main protagonist role in the Scream remake. In it, she played Sam, a local girl whose sister is threatened by Ghostface.
Speaking to ELLE Australia in 2022, Barrera revealed she took inspiration from her own life to play the role of Sam.
"I would do anything to protect our family," she explained, adding that she herself has a younger sister.
"I feel like that was my gateway into creating the character of Sam. I always look at the ways we're similar, and that was it, she's an older sister and she's coming back to protect her family."
Barrera's performance clearly impressed her Hollywood peers—she's been signed on for the next Scream film due for release in 2023.
In 2022, Barrera's limited series, Keep Breathing dropped on Netflix—as many shows on the streaming giant tend to do, it went viral becoming number one on Australia's most-watched list within a week of its release.
The show's success will no doubt earn Barrera even more clout in the industry.
Yes, Melissa Barrera is happily married to Paco Zazueta. Zazueta is an actor and musician himself, and they first met on the set of La Academia in 2011.
It was written in the stars, because in one episode, they performed a rendition of Enrique Iglesias' song, Cuando Me Enamoro. The title literally means "when I fall in love" in Spanish.
In 2017, the couple announced their engagement, and they married in 2019.
Barrera is 32 years old. She was born on July 4, 1990, making her a Cancer.