Dal cuore del Brasile al cuore della moda internazionale. Thyago Alves è giovanissimo quando, promessa del São Paulo Juniores, fa le valigie e parte dalla città natale, Goiana, inseguendo il sogno del grande calcio. Ma la sua favola è un´altra: continuerà a correre veloce, lasciando però l´erba verde per le passerelle colorate e preziose dei più grandi stilisti del mondo. A 18 anni è già a Milano, collabora con Versace e Armani e finisce nell´obiettivo dei più grandi fotografi: Christopher Rihet, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, Tom Munro, Ellen von Unwerth, Aldo Fallai, Gianpaolo Barbieri o Michael Roberts. Al suo fianco top come Naomi Campbell o Gisele Bundchen, sua connazionale.
Occhi verdi, un metro e ottantotto di altezza, fisico statuario, sguardo affascinante. Ma Thyago non è solo bellezza. E’ anche intelligenza e quindi fascino e azione.
Insieme alle passerelle nel 2008 arriva il primo ciack da attore: il regista Marco Filiberti lo fa esordire nel film "Il Compleanno" presentato al Festival di Venezia. L´anno dopo Thyago scende la più famosa delle scalinate televise, quella del Festival di Sanremo nell´edizione condotta da Paolo Bonolis. Il 2009 è anche l´anno del teatro con "Dignità autonome di prostituzione" di Luciano Melchionna, dove intepreta il ruolo di "O brasilero".
Lo passione e lo studio per la recitazione vanno avanti, accompagnati da un amore profondo per l’Italia: che si tratti della capitale della moda o della capitale dello stivale. E tra i suoi ultimi impegni nella pubblicità è riuscito a rappresentare Milano e Roma in un colpo solo: la campagna dove Martini & Rossi lo ha voluto come volto maschile per la sua “Rome en Rosato” dedicata all’ultimo nato tra gli alcolici d’autore: il Martini Rosato.
What immediately catches one’s attention when casting a glance at Thyago Alves is not just his incredibly good looks. Beautiful men abound, undoubtedly. But with Thyago, it is different. There is a special kind of aura about him, an alluring air of mystery underlain by silence. Despite his playful disposition and well-mannered sense of humour when in public, his eyes tell the story of a man who is not afraid to converse with himself in solitude, away from the devouring appetites of the crowd. Most people strive to achieve that throughout their lives and still go amiss. Quite miraculously though, Thyago has had it since childhood. His solid upbringing by a mother and father who nurtured him with unconditional love is most probably the key to his inner strength and unaffected personality.
An adventurer and free spirit by nature, he left his native Goiânia at the age of 18 to initially embark on a modeling career. He was soon to be noticed by virtually all major couturiers across Europe, who saw in his face the epitome of classical beauty, delineated by an equally impeccable physique. Armani, Versace and Gucci offered him the opportunity to reign supreme on the catwalk, with several other haute couture brands following soon after. But those who were truly ravished by him were the photographers. Such renowned artists as Mario Testino, Christopher Rihet, Steven Meisel, Tom Munro, Ellen von Unwerth, Aldo Fallai, Gianpaolo Barbieri and Michael Roberts captured him with their lenses, thus attesting to his unique qualities. Vanity Fair and GQ are some of the iconic magazines he has appeared in, and his pictures both on paper and on screen have almost become classics in the fashion industry.
But this young man from Brazil is not merely a public icon to accommodate the needs of the fashion industry. His exuberant yet introspective personality and enticingly bewitching eyes drew Italian director Marco Filiberti who saw in him the living image of Michelangelo’s David. Thyago was called to transubstantiate Renaissance beauty on screen, but what he actually did was far more than that. In ‘Il Compleanno’ (2009), a drama almost rooted in the Viscontian tradition, he transcends the boundaries of an icon and evolves into an emotionally erudite actor, ever capable of conveying deep feeling. And this is quite rare for a young man who had virtually no acting experience at the time. As Filiberti pointed out in a press conference, “I had to choose among 1600 very appealing actors, and this made my job exceedingly difficult, as they all had something special to offer. But the thing with Thyago is that he possesses the kind of unsophisticated beauty, which is hard to find – beauty without any trimmings or embellishments. However, my decision on finally selecting him for the part was based on the unseen aspects of his personality rather than what is clearly evident. There was so much potential in that, in the exploration of the self.” And he went on to add that “Thyago is marked for his great professionalism and stamina. He’s a natural in front of the camera.”
2009 saw a shift from the cinema to the theatre. Thyago’s commanding presence didn’t escape the notice of stage director Luciano Melchionne, who cast him in the role of ‘O brasilero’ in his legendary ‘Dignità autonome di prostituzione’ that has been running for more than five consecutive years. This theatrical extravaganza has been hailed by the Italian press and widely acclaimed by critics and audience alike. Thyago joined Melchionne’s astounding group of actors and actresses dressed in robes or dressing gowns, playing the part of prostitutes protected at the mercy of the spectators. The audience actively participates in the performance, which includes humorous revivals of theatre classics and contemporary plays.
Back to the cinema in 2011, Thyago appeared in Leonardo Pieraccioni’s ‘Finalmente la Felicità’, incarnating a Brazilian for yet once more. Here, his role was in stark contrast to the one he had delivered in ‘Il Compleanno’ three years earlier. This time he had the chance to unravel his humorous side in a comedy brimful of genuine Italian gusto, playing the part of a typical macho lover who comes over to Italy to claim back his former fiancée.
2011 saw yet another challenge that Thyago had to meet. Italian television network RAI2 selected him to take part in their famous programme ‘L’isola dei famosi’, which is the Italian counterpart of ‘Survivor’. Stranded on a deserted island in the Honduras with scant supplies, a bunch of ‘shipwrecked’ young men and women struggle to survive and go through various trials for the ultimate prize. In a rather emotional interview on RAI2, he commented on his experience as one of the ‘shipwrecked’ inhabitants: “Although I nurtured some reservations initially, I now feel extremely happy for taking part in L’isola dei famosi. Living on a remote island out in the wild and trying to survive on very little taught me to appreciate the value of things – things that we mistakenly tend to take for granted. I didn’t only have to deal with nature and my fellow contestants, but most importantly I had to confront myself, my own strengths, weaknesses and limits. I had to learn how to be useful to the group and sacrifice my personal needs in favour of the common good. It was a truly unforgettable experience.”
But experiences abound in Thyago’s life. In 2013 he was cast again in the re-run of Luciano Melchionne’s legendary ‘Dignità autonome di prostituzione’ on a tour to Lecche and Napoli, this time holding the part of “La Bolla di Piacere”, which stands for “Mr. Pleasure Bubble”. The demands of the role were high, as the actors were required to spend long hours on stage and involved in all kinds of performance, from acting and dancing to singing and improvising with the audience. Yet Thyago delivered his part with great enthusiasm and perseverance.
His long-term aspirations lie in the theatre and cinema. In an interview broadcast on RAI, Thyago has characterized himself “as a simple, down-to-earth guy”, but this simplicity of his is in fact inextricably linked to a witty man who knows how to treat complexity.
His favourite motto encapsulates his life philosophy: