The Cast Of City of God (2002) Celebrities Then And Now

In 2002, the best Brazilian gangster film, City of God, was released in Brazil and
worldwide in 2003, grossing over $30.6 million at the box office. The directors of
this epic crime film were Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund. The writer of this
movie, Braulio Mantovani, shared in an interview that he adapted this story from
a 1997 novel. However, the storyline is based on true events.

The story takes place in the 1970s, in an impoverished favela in Rio de Janerio,
where two young men choose two different roads. One becomes a photographer,
and the other one becomes a drug dealer.
This film received numerous accolades worldwide, both from the audience and
the critics. In 2004, it earned nominations for four Academy Awards; the British
Academy Film Awards in the category of Best Editing; and the British Independent
Film Awards for Best Foreign Independent Film.

Let’s have a look at what the City of God cast looked like at the time of the film
and where they are today.

City of God (2002) Cast Then And Now 2022

Alexandre Rodrigues – played Rocket

The story begins with the narrator, Rocket, whose real name is Wilson Rodrigues.
Rocket has a dream in his heart to become a successful photographer one day.
Alexandre Rodrigues starred as the lead character, Rocket, in the movie City of
God. He was only 19 years old at that time and rose to prominence by doing
outstanding acting in this film.

Alexandre Rodrigues Then and Now

This Brazilian actor turned 39 this year. Apart from the movie City of God, he has
been seen in a music video by American singer John Legend in 2007.
It was reported in a 2018 article that Alexandre started driving for Uber after not
getting any suitable work in Brazil.

Leandro Firmino played Li’l Ze/Li’l Dice

Another leading character, Li’l Dice, who is a power-hungry sociopath, now
addresses himself as Li’l Ze and has established a good relationship with Benny by
building a drug empire.
Leandro Firmino, a Brazilian actor, was 24 years old when he was cast as Li’l Ze/Li’l
Dice and rose to fame. Moreover, he has won multiple notable prizes, including
the Havana Film Festival and the Premio Qualidae for Best Actor.

Leandro Firmino Than and Now

The 44-year-old Brazilian actor is keeping himself busy by doing several projects.
His most recent project was being cast as Goitaca Chief in the film Goitaca (2021).
Furthermore, he performed as one of the main characters in one episode of the
spin-off series titled “City of Men.”
Last but not least, Leandro won the Buenos Aires International Festival Awards for
the film Goitaca in the category of Best Supporting Actor.

Phellipe Haagensen Cerqueria – played Benny

Phellipe Haagensen Cerqueria played the role of Benny in the film City of God. He
was only 18 years old when he got the chance to show off his amazing acting
Benny has a good relationship with Li’l Ze, and they are both crime partners.
However, Benny thinks of himself as Robin Hood and leads some sort of honest

Phellipe Haagensen Than and Now

Almost 20 years have passed since the release of this movie, and Phellipe has
turned 38 years old. However, there isn’t much information about him or whether
he continues his acting or not.
Furthermore, he is the younger brother of renowned model and actor Jonathan
Haagensen. Besides, he is a band member of the Guerreiros de Jorge.

Matheus Nachtergaele – played Carrot

Another character in the City of God movie named Carrot was played by 34-year-
old Brazilian actor Matheus Nachtergaele.
Carrot is very friendly with Benny, a small-scale drug dealer. However, it seems
like Li’l Ze doesn’t like him and continuously threatens him.

Matheus Nachtergaele Than and Now

This Brazilian personality didn’t confine himself to being an actor; he is also a
director and screenwriter, and his directorial debut film was The Dead Girl’s Feast.
Matheus has been seen in several Brazilian movies apart from the City of God,
such as Four Days in September, Midnight, and O Auto da Compadecida, for
which he obtained the Grand Premio do Cinema Brasileiro twice for Best Actor.
This year marks the 54th birthday of this 5 ft. 4 inch actor.

Seu Jorge – played Knockout Ned

The character Knockout Ned is a handsome man who charms ladies. After Li’l Ze
rapes his girlfriend and murder several family members of him, Ned joins Carrot’s
forces and avenge him.
Seu Jorge, 32 years old, starred as Knockout Ned in this movie.

Seu Jorge Than and Now

Jorge Mario da Silva is Seu Jorge’s actual name. It is his stage name, and he is a
well-known Brazilian musician, composer, and actor. Despite his numerous credits
as a soundtrack composer, he only did a few films aside from the critically
acclaimed City of God, such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, a 2004
American comedy-drama film.
Last but not least, Seu Jorge’s musical work did attract a lot of attention from his
fellow musicians, along with Beck and David Bowie.

Jonathan Haagensen played Shaggy

Shaggy is Benny’s older brother and the Tender Trio’s leader. A Tender Trio is one
kind of group of thieves who split their profit with the City of God population.
A well-known model and actor in Brazil, Jonathan Haagensen performed the role
of Shaggy at the age of 19.

Jonathan Haagensen Than and Now

Some of Jonathan’s major projects were Four for None (2004), City of Men (2007),
and O Mecanismo (2018).
Apart from acting, he was a model at the Fashion Rio event, did some campaigns
for Dolce & Gabbana, and did some promotional work for the NBA. Furthermore,
Jonathan is currently 39 years old.

Roberta Rodrigues – played Berenice

Berenice, a supporting role, was played by the stunning Brazilian actress Roberta
Shaggy’s girlfriend is Berenice. However, she doesn’t have much screen time in
this film. Rodrigues was 20 years old when she was given the assignment.

Roberta Rodrigues Than and Now

Born in Rio de Janerio, Roberta started her acting career in a local theater group
at the age of 16. City of God was her debut film, and later she appeared in several
films, such as Cabocla (2004), Paraiso Tropical (2007), and Rio I Love You (2014).
Moreover, this Brazilian actress is now 39 years old.

Alice Braga – played Angelica

Brazilian actress Alice Braga portrayed the role of Angelica, who is Rocket’s friend
and also a love interest. However, she becomes Benny’s girlfriend and motivates
him to leave the criminal life.
Alice was 19 years old back then when the movie City of God was released.
Moreover, she won the 2003 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize in the category of Best
Supporting Actress.

Alice Braga Than and Now

Alice gained worldwide recognition when she made her debut in Hollywood
opposite Will Smith in the movie I Am Legend (2007). Her other renowned works
were Predators (2010), Elysium (2013), and The Suicide Squad (2021).
Braga was the recipient of the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival Award,
SESC Film Festival, and Cinema Brazil Grand Prize.

City of God is a gritty, dark, and raw tale of Brazilian neighborhood crime in the
80s. The cinematography, direction, and screenplay transport you to the
underbelly of crime, which we are often unaware of. Kudos to the creators and
actors who pulled off such a complex subject so effortlessly. They definitely
deserve 5 stars for bringing such a magnificent movie to celluloid.

Leave a Comment