Sara Martins is the inspiring actress you should look up to when you are trying to overcome racial inequalities in your career.
Sara Martins was born in Faro, Portugal, and is of Cape Verdean descent. She moved to France at the age of three.
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She studied ballet in her youth and was the first person of African descent to join the Lyon Opera. She learned that she would be unable to advance to the Paris Opera, where the corps was expected to look alike and there were no other black dancers.
Instead, she received her Baccalauréat with a theater option. After receiving a DEUG in law, at age 20 she studied at the École de théâtre Les Enfants Terribles in Paris.
Then, she completed an acting degree at the extremely selective French National Academy of Dramatic Arts. She learned English through U2 lyrics as a teenager.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Martins was hired by Roger Planchon for a local production of Le Radeau de la Méduse at the Théâtre National Populaire in Villeurbanne.
She appeared in a play at the Young Vic in London called Le Costume (The Suit) and in a French-language production of David Mamet’s Race.
Martins’ television debut was in 2001, the French police series Police District. She appeared in the series Pigalle, la nuit as Fleur. While filming Death in Paradise, Martins worked on the French TV crime series Détectives as Nora Abadie.
Photo Credit: Getty
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