Hallmark Star Holland Roden's Scary Experience With Brazilian Authorities

Before Holland Roden became a Hallmark sweetheart, she'd built quite a reputation with her role as Lydia Martin on "Teen Wolf." Roden, who got started in Hollywood with a brief role on "CSI" in 2000, was a fan-favorite at pop culture conventions held all around the world. In May 2019, she was scheduled to attend a 4U Experience convention for fans in Brazil. But when the actor arrived at the São Paulo–Congonhas Airport, she was detained on allegations of an invalid visa.

Although Roden had already visited the country twice that year, the Brazilian airport employees would not let her through or provide her with a translator. The actor's terrifying experience was aggravated by the fact that she knew no one in Brazil except her agent, Michael Brooks. Worse still, the Brazilian officials attempted to separate them. In an Instagram post, she stated that she was "taken aback by the accusations and the treatment" she'd faced from the Brazilian authorities (via People).

Roden requested help from the U.S. Embassy and the Brazilian government

Thanks to her large fanbase, Holland Roden was able to reach out for help when she was stranded at customs in Brazil. Andrew Matarazzo, a Brazilian American and Roden's co-star, tried to contact his family in Brazil for help. Unfortunately, it was already nighttime, and his attempts were unsuccessful. In addition to being detained and isolated, Roden stated that she was denied bare necessities for up to four hours while in custody.

A spokesperson for the actor also confirmed to People that she was treated aggressively. "We are desperately seeking help from the U.S. embassy and Brazilian government. We fear they will send her back without reevaluating her situation." Roden continued to reach out on Instagram, updating fans and assuring them in a since-deleted post that she would attend if she could. "I hope I get to see all of you tomorrow. We are doing everything we can," she wrote. "We know how many cars, buses, and planes y'all took to come see us ... and don't want to let you down."

On X, formerly known as Twitter, word had gotten out about Roden's situation. That was enough for Brazilian fans, looking forward to seeing the actor, to take action. Fans shared updates on the situation and even started a #FreeHollandNow hashtag to raise awareness.

Holland Roden was allowed into Brazil almost a day later

Fortunately, Holland Roden was eventually set free after the misunderstanding. The news was shared by HuffPost journalist Alex Mohajer via X on May 18, about 17 hours after he had posted about her detainment. He tweeted, "FOLLOW-UP: After being detained for nearly 24 hours, actress @HollandRoden has been granted entry into Brazil and will make her scheduled appearance at the @4UExpBr convention as planned."

The actor also took to her Instagram account to share her ordeal with her fans in a long post (via US Weekly). Her since-deleted post read: "Some fans recognized us in the airport — I can only assume they spread the word when they saw me getting detained ... not be given answers ... be dismissed ... be screamed at ... be refused a translator ... food ... and water for four hours."

However, Roden's online demeanor remained sweet and respectful. She thanked LATAM airline employees, her fans, and Mohajer, who had helped spread the word about her detainment. Unfortunately, the fan event was canceled that same day. This, however, did little to slow her roll. Three years later, she starred in her first Hallmark movie. In 2023, she returned in Hallmark's new August premiere, "Making Waves."