The Stunning Transformation Of Alba Baptista

As one of Hollywood's rising stars, you'd never guess that Alba Baptista considers herself to be quite shy and reserved. The "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" star confessed her anxious disposition during a conversation with Glamour: "If you're an introvert, it can be harder to move through this industry," she lamented. Nevertheless, Baptista is blazing a trail with her performances on-screen, going as far as to make history as the first Portuguese woman to star in a North American Netflix series with her role in "Warrior Nun."

There's much more to Baptista than her impressive Hollywood debut, though. She's both introspective and perceptive of the world as a whole, and she values maintaining her sense of self in a global society that lauds external validation more than ever in the digital age. And then there's the fact that she quietly married one of the most iconic actors in modern history. Alba Baptista's transformation has been extraordinarily impressive, and we get the feeling that she's just getting started.

Alba Baptista was born and raised in Portugal

Alba Baptista was born in Lisbon, Portugal on July 10, 1997, and she spent the entirety of her childhood in her home country. One of her parents is an engineer and the other a translator, and Baptista is the youngest of three children. She told Glamour in July 2022 that she doesn't share many similarities with her brother or sister, nor do they with one another. Her sister relishes an intense debate and is now a lawyer, and her brother monetized his love for crunching numbers by pursuing accounting law. Despite their differences, Baptista is close with her siblings and parents.

Growing up, Baptista experienced a global education at a German school in Portugal and became fluent in four languages (in addition to her native Portuguese): English, French, German, and Spanish. "It was a really strict school that gave us a lot of discipline," she told W Magazine in August 2022. "And consequently, you had to be spotless with your languages — very, very on point."

In addition to developing her impressive language skills, Baptista fostered a love for the arts as a child. "I wanted to be a painter, I wanted to be a pianist, I also thought about being a dancer," she shared during a conversation with GQ Portugal in August 2020. "I was fascinated with the arts world." Though she wouldn't become a painter, pianist, or dancer, she would go on to blaze a trail in a similar field.

She sort of stumbled into acting — but it changed her life

Though Alba Baptista doesn't recall expressing an interest in acting when she was a young child, she was enamored by movies — particularly those playing at her local cinema. She told Glamour that one of her fondest childhood memories involves visiting the mall with her family. Baptista, her siblings, and their parents would stroll by the theater, and the posters advertising the latest showings would captivate her. If she recognized certain actors, Baptista would ask her parents if they could see the film. 

A few years later, when she was 15 years old, Baptista recognized her passion for acting and began pursuing it as a career. Her first audition was for a short film called "Miami," and she admitted to GQ Portugal, "I didn't even know what you were supposed to do in a casting." Though she was in uncharted territory, Baptista got the role, and she credited the project as the catalyst for her love of performing. "[W]ithout a doubt, after this casting for 'Miami,' I had my 'This is it' moment," she said. 

Her career blossomed following her debut — she starred on five Portuguese television shows and four short films from 2014 to 2017. Baptista landed her first feature in 2018 and acted in several other European films before she began her transition to global projects with her first English-language television series, Netflix's "Warrior Nun," in 2020.

Alba Baptista has faced challenges during her transition from Portuguese cinema to international projects

When Alba Baptista made the leap from European roles to Hollywood projects, she had to adjust to the heightened stakes and demands that come with being an international actor. One challenge she had to overcome was participating in press engagements, which was rarely required of her in Portugal. Baptista thought watching interviews with other mainstream actors would be enough to prepare her, but that wasn't the case. She described the reality of media days to W Magazine: "[O]nce you're in it, it's a completely different experience — 10-minute interviews constantly, for days and days." 

Additionally, Baptista opined that it's often a lonely journey for actors pursuing roles in countries outside of their own. To combat this, Baptista said actors who hail from the same part of the globe often reach out to support one another — simply being able to exchange advice and words of encouragement makes the burden a little lighter. 

After "Warrior Nun" celebrated a successful first season, Baptista also had to adjust to global popularity. She became the most searched person on IMDb thanks to her role on the show and admitted it took her a few days to digest the enormity of the statistic. Baptista told GQ Portugal, "Only when my American agents called me did they explain to me what this is and the importance that producers and casting directors give to IMDb rankings. I had no idea."

She felt especially drawn to her character in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

In 2022, Alba Baptista starred in her English-language feature debut, "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris." It was a project she immediately knew she wanted to be involved with after she read the script. In addition to believing she shares similar traits with her character Natasha, Baptista told Glamour she related to some of the challenges the fictional model faces in the film. "The main one is working in an industry that you don't necessarily identify with," the actor explained. "She was the It model of the time, but she struggled with the concept of fame, exposition, and beauty. It was such an easy thing to connect with because I think this industry forces you to categorize yourself into something. It can be hard to maintain your own identity," she said.

In addition to relating to Natasha's difficulty discerning her personal identity from her role in her industry, Baptista also found common ground with her character through some of their shared interests. Natasha is fascinated by literature and philosophy, as is Baptista. In fact, when the actor was asked what she was reading during her Glamour interview, she said she was working her way through some Nietzsche. Baptista also previously told GQ Portugal she'd like to formally study philosophy one day.

Alba Baptista discovered a love for fashion while playing a 1950s model

"Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" didn't just further Alba Baptista's career and satisfy her creatively — the movie also helped her discover a newfound love: fashion. While she didn't think much of style prior to the film, Baptista is now fascinated by fashion as a form of self-expression. "'Mrs. Harris' triggered this curiosity and love that I didn't know that I had for clothing, designers, and all of the care that goes into it," she told Glamour. "Nowadays, I understand that you can create your own identity and connection to the world and yourself through fashion." Because of this epiphany, Baptista is embracing her inner child and bolder styles than those to which she once gravitated.

The actor's views on fashion began to shift when she was researching Dior's history to prepare for her role, but it wasn't until her first costume fittings for "Mrs. Harris" that she fully appreciated the power of fashion. During an August 2022 interview for Solo, Baptista recalled wearing one particular Dior dress and being blown away by its transformative effect. She rhapsodized, saying, "It was one of those rare experiences in which, once you put the dress on, you don't even try to get into character, suddenly you look at yourself in the mirror and you don't even recognize yourself. You only see a work of art someone designed a long time ago with so much care and you're there, dressed in it."

She struggles with anxiety and imposter syndrome while on set

Though she successfully broke into Hollywood as an international actor and is recognized as one of its most prominent emerging stars, Alba Baptista is no stranger to anxiety or imposter syndrome. As a self-proclaimed introvert, she admitted her chosen career path can be stressful and overwhelming. As she confessed to Glamour, "I get anxious every time I get a phone call."

She was able to sort through some of her self-doubt while working on "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" — the film seems to have served as an impactful turning point in the actor's career. Lesley Manville also starred in the motion picture, and she positioned herself as a mentor to Baptista. "I had a lot of insecurities in this film, and she was so fantastic to me," Baptista told Glamour. She touched on feeling insecure about her role in conversation with W Magazine as well, saying she felt intimidated by the task of "doing the dresses justice — for me to be wearing them rather than them wearing me." Nevertheless, Manville encouraged Baptista to believe in herself. 

She also relished working alongside Isabelle Huppert, calling her "the most confident actress that I've witnessed on set" while speaking with W. Baptista explained, "As a young actor, it's very easy to silence your voice and do what you're told," but studying the way Huppert asserted herself on set and managed her working relationships helped Baptista realize she can exude the same self-assured energy.

The actor sees herself taking on a filmmaker role in the future

Alba Baptista's industry aspirations don't stop at performing on-screen — she would also like to become more involved behind the camera. During her interview with GQ Portugal, the "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" star discussed her desire to delve into screenwriting, producing, and directing. Baptista discovered her deeper passion for the process of creating television shows and movies while working on "Warrior Nun."

The series' creator, Simon Barry, nurtured Baptista's curiosity by letting her shadow him on set and ask questions as they arose. Additionally, she was encouraged to not only sit in on conversations with various departments involved in the production but also contribute her thoughts and opinions. Baptista recalled how immersive the experience was across the five months it took to shoot the show. "It was at least 12 hours a day, and on Sundays, we met with the creator, me and the producers — because, there it is, I could participate in the decisions and we saw what went wrong, what could go better," she recounted in her conversation with the outlet.

Outside of acting, Alba Baptista is passionate about humanitarian work

Outside of her various professional interests, Alba Baptista has a wide range of personal passions — one of which is humanitarian work. In 2017, the actor spent a few months traveling through Asia, and during her tour of the continent, she visited Cambodia and volunteered with a children's organization. Baptista bonded with the kids, documenting a few moments from her time with them. In one photo on her Instagram, she stands at the front of a small classroom and conducts a numbers activity for the schoolchildren. "Game time," Baptista captioned the endearing post. The "Warrior Nun" star also shared a shot of one of her students smiling with a bag of mango on a table in front of them. Baptista shared a bit of their conversation from the sweet moment, captioning another Instagram photo, "'Teacher, spicy mango only for you.'" 

Though she's never shed much light on her philanthropic involvement during interviews, a source spoke to People in September 2023 about Baptista's propensity for supporting charitable causes. "She is involved in charity work and truly cares about doing good," they said, adding: "She is a very positive and happy person."

She's also outdoorsy and loves to travel

In addition to dedicating her free time to humanitarian work, Alba Baptista also enjoys getting active outside, spending time with loved ones, and eating (so relatable). The actor described her perfect day to Glamour, saying it would involve "Any sort of outdoor activity like hiking, bike riding, or rollerblading, and going to the beach with someone I love. ... Oh, and with a lot of food." She reiterated how much she values her preferred pastimes in her interview with W Magazine. "I need to recenter and reprioritize my passions outside of acting — hiking, doing yoga, going to the beach," Baptista explained. She added, "It's not just a preference. It's a necessity to practice presence and be able to take on another role."

While Baptista doesn't post on social media often, her love for these things is immediately apparent on her sparse Instagram grid. A brief scroll through her posts includes candid moments with her friends, picturesque nature scenes, inspiring yoga poses, oceanside adventures, and other idyllic snapshots capturing moments of her life. Baptista is also a seasoned traveler — many of her posts are tagged with locations around the globe, from Brazil and Vietnam to Hungary and Italy.

She has introspective views on the state of the world

Considering her keen interest in philosophy, it's no surprise that Alba Baptista has candidly shared her thoughts on society. During her interview with GQ Portugal, the "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" actor ruminated on society's growing dependence on electronics, specifically calling out smartphones, the internet, and social media. Baptista compared the cultural phenomenon to the Season 3 episode of "Black Mirror" in which social hierarchy is determined by everyone's formal rating of their every social interaction, opining, "I feel that, strangely and in parallel, this is what we are representing in our reality, we live in dependence on approval, likes, followers. Which is dangerous."

Baptista also mused on society's view of women during her interview for Solo. She reflected on her early roles, explaining that she saw a pattern in the roles she was pitched but not until she became a more experienced actor. "[My team] managed to pick my characters due to their naïve side but always mixing it up with a bit of curiosity and a need to explore the sexual conscience that comes with that ingenuous side," Baptista said. She described the character arc as "something that is getting old and becomes cheap and predictable" and expressed her belief that young women who pursue acting are targeted with such stale tropes in large part due to the industry's domination by men. 

Alba Baptista is cognizant of her social media content

Alba Baptista doesn't post on social media often, but when she does, she puts a lot of thought into the content. The actor explained her philosophy to GQ Portugal, saying, "I try to be true to myself, I always ponder twice before publishing anything." Baptista admitted she's much more cognizant of what she posts now that she has an international following. She said she feels an obligation to please her followers with content they're interested in but also wants to maintain her boundaries. "What is the fine line that determines when the exposure is excessive or not?" she asked.

Baptista also admitted she doesn't like to take a public stance on divisive topics because of the inevitable vitriolic response from those who believe the opposite. It's among the greatest fears of many public figures today: cancel culture. As she explained, "[Taking a stance] is something I do in my personal life, I have debates and arguments and I become intellectual; however, when it comes to generating my public image, I have some kind of fear, I don't want to expose myself that way." The "Warrior Nun" star also said she feels like she has to be fully informed on a topic to speak on it responsibly and that she's hesitant to use her platform to address certain issues for fear that she'll be criticized for any unwitting ignorance.

Her thoughts on have motherhood evolved over the years

Like many women, Alba Baptista has waffled on whether or not she's interested in becoming a mother. During her conversation with GQ Portugal, the actor admitted she never dreamed about having babies when she was a little kid and had long felt like motherhood wasn't a path she wanted to take. But now that she's an adult, she's felt a shift in her perspective. "I now have friends and friends of friends who have children, have babies, and I look at them and I don't know ... " Baptista trailed off before effusing, "It's all so beautiful, the purity of the universe, the rebirth, all these clichés, I think it's so beautiful."

Another factor she's considered when thinking about having children is her skyrocketing career. Baptista has achieved incredible growth since breaking into the North American film industry, and all signs point to her maintaining that trajectory. The busier she gets professionally, the more she wonders when she'll have time to prioritize herself and her burgeoning dreams for a family. All things considered, Baptista affirmed, "[Y]es, I idealize having children."

Alba Baptista and Chris Evans kept their relationship private for over a year

In November 2022, Alba Baptista's love life became a major talking point in the media. According to an inside source who spoke to People, she'd been dating Marvel megastar Chris Evans "for over a year, and it's serious." The insider added, "They are in love and Chris has never been happier. His family and friends all adore her."

Like Baptista, Evans is selective with the information he shares on social media. In fact, the "Captain America" star deactivated his Instagram and Twitter in June 2023 because he wanted to be more present in his life. However, before this hiatus began, Evans hard-launched his relationship with Baptista online. In January 2023, the "Fantastic Four" alum shared a hilarious and adorable video on his Instagram Story captioned "A look back at 2022" with three red heart emojis. The footage, which showed Baptista and Evans pranking each other on several occasions, marked the first time the "Knives Out" actor shared their relationship with the public.

Additionally, Evans posted several photos and videos of moments he and Baptista had shared in honor of Valentine's Day 2023. He included a sweet golden hour selfie, a video of Baptista playing "Super Mario Brothers" for the first time, and multiple shots of himself and the "Warrior Nun" actor hiking, among other memories. As of September 2023, Baptista has not posted about their relationship on social media.

She married the Avengers star in Cape Cod

Just because Alba Baptista has chosen to protect her romance with Chris Evans from the perils of social media doesn't mean she isn't head over heels for People's 2022 Sexiest Man Alive. On September 9, 2023, the 26-year-old and 42-year-old said "I do" during a private wedding ceremony in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. According to Page Six, several of Evans' fellow "Avengers" alumni — namely Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner — attended the nuptials. Other famous friends in attendance included Hemsworth's wife Elsa Pataky, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg. From movie stars to family, each guest was allegedly asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and hand over their phone during the event, according to the outlet's report. 

In January 2023, a source close to the couple gave Us Weekly a glimpse into Baptista and Evans' life together. "They spend most of their time at his place in Massachusetts and love the quiet life there, surrounded by nature and away from the spotlight," the insider said. They added that the "Lightyear" actor was keen not to rush his relationship with the "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" star but also opined, "This is the most committed anyone can remember him being in a very long time, if not ever." Truer words couldn't have been spoken, with the couple exchanging vows just a few months later. Their marriage is both Baptista's and Evans' first.