22nd February 2023
Photographer & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent
Make Up Artist: Ayah Mahmoud
Styling: Linda Houtsonen
Interview: Savannah Small-Swaby
Cover Design: Emily Curtis
A big thanks to Amber and Shelby at AMPR
We got the fantastic opportunity to speak with Maria Almeida who is in Netflix’s latest movie, The Strays. This may only be Maria’s second movie and first big production, but it’s clear her career is on the up. We spoke to Maria about why The Strays stood out to her and who she would love to work with in the future.
You’re in a new Netflix movie called The Strays. What can you share about it and what made you want to be part of it?
It’s about a mixed-race family living in the upper-middle class suburbs in a near all-white community. It follows the mother Neve, and how two sudden figures enter her life, making her and others question her perception of reality.
When I first read the script I was thinking like everyone else who’s probably seen the trailer, ‘what’s going on’. I just wanted to know more and found it really interesting and really connected with my character.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your role in the movie?
I play Mary, the youngest of Neve’s two kids. Mary kind of feels like she has two sides to her; there’s her youthful side and then there’s her inquisitiveness to explore the black part of her identity (when no one really knows about it) and that’s the part I felt like I understood.
Jeans : Foam of The Days / Shirt : Gayeon Lee / Shoes: Simmi / Rings: Stylist’s Own
It’s a great cast with people such as Ashley Madekwe (County Lines, The Umbrella Academy), Julian Salinger (Hanna) and Bukky Bakray (Rocks). Did you feel like you had the opportunity to learn from those around you?
Definitely. I was the only one who had done one film and was on set for seven days, so this was already different. I got to learn a lot. I was actually going to be a dancer, went to dance school and everything but this was the experience that made me realise I want to be an actress. It changed my path. I fell in love with it and I feel like it’s because of the amazing cast.
Lace Shirt: Rui Rui Deng / Sweater: Monsoon / Rings: Stylist’s Own
You mentioned that you’re also a dancer. Have you been able to take anything from that experience and transfer those skills when you were acting?
I think dancing in general is a good skill to have as an actor because your body moves differently than other people. There’s a fluidity with your body and you have a different perspective of looking at things. Nat (Nathaniel Martello-White) the director, wanted me to do some dance moves for the film and that came naturally to me. Even in my last movie, I had to do a bunch of stunts or choreograph certain moves and it came a lot easier because your body is more use to it.
Top: Superdry / Blazer: Gayeon Lee / Rings: Stylist’s Own
You’re career is on the up. Are there any directors or people in the industry you would love to work with?
I love this question. I ask myself it everyday. I would love to do a movie in every genre. There’s directors like Jordan Peele and Taika Waititi. I’m a huge comic book fan and would love to play Mayhem or Jessica Drew. I’m a really visual person so I love visualising the characters, the scenes. Even though they’re superheroes there’s something that feels very relatable and when they put it into movies, it’s like a dream. I can’t wait to see Issa Rae play Jessica Drew in the new Spider-Verse movie and honestly, the next 10 years of Marvel.
Lastly, how has 2023 been for you so far and what can we more can we expect from Maria Almeida?
It’s been unexpected. Auditioning, photo shoots. I also have an Amazon show coming out this year called Fifteen-Love with Aidan Turner (Poldark). I feel like it’s going to be a pretty good.
The Strays is now streaming on Netflix globally.