Diogo Sales was born into a working-class family from Rio de Janeiro. His father was rarely at home, traveling internationally as a percussionist, whilst his mother worked during the day and attended college at night. Thus, his childhood was split between the district of Botafogo and his grandparents’ house in a Tijuca favela. Due to the influence of his father, Diogo was always connected to artistic environments somehow and at an early age he dreamed of a career in the world of performing arts. Instead of toys, Diogo grew up playing percussion instruments and began practicing Capoeira as soon as he could walk.
Still without any formal training, at the age of 15, he kick-started his acting career as a percussionist and capoeirista, playing a role at the mainstream stage production of “Capitães da Areia” in 2002, after his talent was recognized by the director Pedro Vasconcelos, at the famous Teatro Vannucci in Rio de Janeiro. From there, unable to financially afford his formal studies in a drama school, Diogo began his training by seeking out as many free-acting classes as he could. Gaining scholarships for short courses at various drama schools and social projects, such as “Palco Social” directed by Ernesto Piccolo and Rogério Blat. At the age of 18, Diogo successfully auditioned for “Grupo Nós do Morro”, the nationally acclaimed favela-based Theatre Company. Here, despite the dangers of gang violence regularly disrupting rehearsals, he spent over four years developing his acting skills. Diogo first went to the UK with the “Grupo Nós do Morro”, invited by the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) to feature in the Complete Works Shakespeare Festival at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. During the rehearsal period, he had the opportunity to work with Cicely Berry, RSC voice director/coach, several times. Diogo’s character building in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” received great acclaim from theatre critics both in England and Brazil, including praise from Barbara Heliodora for his role as Crab, the dog. After touring Brazil with ”The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, he then made a return to British theatre following an invitation from the Barbican. The success there led to a leading role in Colin Teevan’s “Amazonia” at the Young Vic theatre in London’s West End. His accomplished physical acting skills resulted in a visceral and critically-acclaimed raw performance that was widely applauded, for his role as a bull. After this season finished, Diogo started training at the Identity School of Acting. The UK, and USA’s double award-winning drama school founded by Femi Oguns.
His on-screen debut was a recurring role in season 6 of “Game of Thrones” on HBO. He then went on to star in the first episode of the Brazilian broadcaster Rede Globo’s prison drama series “Carcereiros” (Jailers). Premiered worldwide at MIPTV’s MIPDrama Screenings in Cannes, winning the Grand Jury Prize in the full episode category. Thanks to his extensive training skills acquired over the years in Capoeira, Muay-Thai, Latin/Ballroom Dance, and swimming. Diogo achieved the runner-up position in “Saltibum” season 3, the Brazilian reality diving competition series based on the “Celebrity Splash!” format, broadcast by Rede Globo. He was also a contestant in “Dancing Brasil”, a tv show based on the ABC celebrity dance competition “Dancing with the Stars”, produced by Endemol Shine in partnership with BBC and broadcast by RecordTV.
Diogo’s commitment, motivation and passion for his craft have garnered him a successful career as an actor with renowned directors such as José Eduardo Belmonte, Carolina Jabor, Jeremy Podeswa and Daniel Sackheim. Allowing him to hone his raw talent, added to his perseverance, resilience, and drive. This means that he will continue dedicating himself to his development as an actor over the course of his lifetime.
- Brazilian & Portuguese
- High Level
- Medium Level
IDSA Identity Drama School of Acting
NOS DO MORRO Grupo de teatro (Theatre group in Brazil)
CAL Casa das Artes de Laranjeiras (School of Arts in Brazil)