Camila Mendes and Rudy Mancuso star on Música
Alicia Civita

MIAMI - Rudy Mancuso is living his best life, and it's not just because his first film, "Música," premieres on Prime Video on Thursday, April 4th, 2024. Nor is it solely due to his impeccable portrayal of both his synesthesia and the Brazilian American community of Newark, New Jersey, where he grew up.

While these are indeed spectacular reasons to celebrate, the real icing on the cake—or, more fittingly, the umbrella in the caipirinha glass—is that he stars in this movie alongside Camila Mendes, one of the most exciting Latina actresses and producers at the moment. To top it all off, they fell in love.

The Latin Times was invited to the premiere of "Música" in Miami where they were adorable, with Mancuso referring to Mendes as his future wife. During an interview the next morning, they were excited and thankful for the "beautiful life" they are experiencing.

Both the narrative depicted in "Música" and the real-life story that unfolded are vibrant blends of love, determination, and Brazilian American culture. The film presents a dazzling journey into the mind of a character who experiences the world as a symphony of sounds. Mancuso's personal experiences and Brazilian heritage lend an authentic touch to the movie. The on-screen love story is charming, and its parallel to real-life events adds an extra layer of sweetness.

Rudy Mancuso, from Vine to Hollywood

Born in an Italian-American (father) and Brazilian (mother) family, Mancuso was one of the first social media stars in history. He was part of the top creators in the now defunct social network Vine, together with Lele Pons, JuanPa Zurita, Logan Paul, and Cameron Dallas. Then he transitioned to YouTube and explored a musical career that led him to be the opening act for Justin Bieber in Brazil during his 2017 Latin American tour.

Before "Música" he directed music videos, released six singles in 2020 and his first album "bored at home." Mancuso is also an actor. He has been in five films, including DC Comics' "The Flash."

"This is the only thing I was born to do. I couldn't do anything else," told Mancuso, who suffers from synesthesia, a phenomenon that causes sensory crossovers, such as tasting colors or feeling sounds. In his case, his brain randomly converts everyday sounds into songs.

The music in "Música"

"It was while watching Stomp live that it clicked for me," he said, explaining his inspiration for portraying synesthesia in the movie. Hailing from Bahía, Marivaldo dos Santos, the rhythm director, played a crucial role in bringing this vision to life, using everyday sounds and movements to create a sensory feast.

"Música" tells the story of Rudy, a young man struggling with his unique condition, synesthesia, which turns everyday sounds into distracting musical compositions. In Newark, the bustling backdrop of the film, life's cacophony becomes both a challenge and an inspiration for Rudy.

The film also stars Camila Mendes as Isabella, a charismatic fishmonger who captures Rudy's heart. Mendes, known for her work in projects that often grapple with Latin American themes, found a personal connection to "Música".

Camila Mendes fighting for her identify and finding love

"I've often struggled to find roles that that cater to my ethnicity. Right now it feels like things are changing and there's definitely more diversity. There's definitely more Latino roles available to people. But oftentimes I'm being asked to play Spanish speaking roles, " Mendez told the Latin Times.

"I Quickly realized in this industry that there were no Brazilian roles available. So I was like, There's a gap here. Brazil is such a huge market. There's such a supportive fan base" she added. I feel like we're really doing ourselves a disservice and not creating stories that, you know, cater to Brazilian audiences."

Mendes's role as Isabella was a serendipitous match. Mancuso couldn't hide his admiration, noting that, "there was no one more fitting for this role than Cami." The chemistry between the two leads was undeniable, both on and off the screen. Mendes reflected on their first meeting, recalling the "natural charismatic chemistry" that translated seamlessly into their on-screen romance.

Then blossomed into a fully-fledged off-screen love story as well.

Camila Mendes and Rudy Mancuso kiss in the premiere Música
Alicia Civita

But "Música" is more than a love story. Mancuso and co-writer Dan Lagana crafted a powerful tale of self-discovery and cultural identity. The narrative weaves through Rudy's interactions with three significant women in his life: his college girlfriend Haley (Francesca Reale), Isabella, and his very Brazilian mother, Maria (played by Mancuso's real mother, Maria Mancuso).

Off-camera, the stars' relationship developed in parallel to their characters'. "I don't think either of us expected it to be as intense and move as quickly as it did," Mancuso admitted, attributing their shared Brazilian culture as a catalyst. Mendes echoed this sentiment, acknowledging the accelerated pace of their romance.

With Mancuso's digital generation sensibilities and a nod to the great Charlie Chaplin, "Música" promises to be a sensory delight. It's a film that celebrates Brazilian American culture, the magic of everyday sounds, and the unexpected melodies of falling in love. Stay tuned for its release on Prime Video – it's a symphony you won't want to miss.

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