Zero to Hero: Where Was the Netflix Movie Filmed? Is it a True Story?

Directed by Marcelo Antunez, ‘Zero to Hero’ is a Portuguese-language musical romantic comedy that follows the tumultuous life of a rock artist as he gets the opportunity of a lifetime to impersonate Brazil’s biggest country singer. Hero is a small-time rock performer who has a strong aversion to commercialization and, as a result, struggles with debt. When the famous country musician Sandro Sanderlei falls into a coma, Hero is requested to take his place on the incomplete tour, as he looks exactly like Sandro.

With the urging of his best friend and drummer, Pança, Hero accepts and embarks on the tour. However, complications arise when Sandro’s ex-girlfriend begins to rage at him for the comatose singer’s shenanigans, and Hero falls in love with her, keeping up the facade of Sandro to get closer to her. As Hero performs at grand venues and is met with unprecedented love and attention, he struggles to balance his personal integrity and identity with the opportunities of overwhelming fame.

Zero to Hero Filming Locations

‘Zero to Hero’ was filmed at sites across São Paulo, Jaguariúna, and Pantanal in Brazil. The concert stages seen in the movie are actual event venues, with real-life crowds participating in the filming process and interacting with the actors. Principal photography began in September 2022 and was wrapped up by October of the same year. The film was initially titled ‘Rodeio Rock’ and later renamed ‘Zero to Hero.’

São Paulo, Brazil

The metropolitan city of São Paulo became a major shooting location for ‘Zero to Hero.’ A juggernaut of the Brazilian economy, the city is a financial and cultural hub with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sporting historical monuments and vibrant street life alongside a sprawling metropolitan cityscape dotted with skyscrapers, the city serves as a diverse filming destination. Furthermore, São Paulo is a burgeoning hub for filmmaking, with well-equipped studios and an experienced pool of talent and crew.

Jaguariúna, Brazil

Venturing northwest of São Paulo, the film crew shot sequences of the movie’s concerts in the small coastal municipality of Jaguariúna. The large concert scene in ‘Zero to Hero’ was shot at the Festa do Peão de Jaguariuna Arena de Rodeio in Nucleo Santa Barbara. The film’s cast and crew actually took part in the Jaguariúna Rodeo Festival, which is a musical festival with some of the biggest stars in the country performing at the event.

As the production team captured their cast’s live performance of the film’s music and songs, a crowd of over 70,000 people became a part of the epic scene. Since they had a limited time slot to record crowd interactions seen in the movie, such as Hero jumping into the audience, the team came onto the stage in between performances and used the time before the next artist was ready.

Pantanal, Brazil

To capture the stunning natural landscapes seen in the film, the production team traveled to Pantanal, one of the world’s largest tropical wetland areas that extends into Bolivia and Paraguay. The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its rich wildlife and vast marshes. In the movie, we can see the serene backdrop of Pantanal when Hero and Lulli are horseback riding, sightseeing, and sitting around a campfire. In an interview, director Marcelo Antunez said that shooting in Pantanal was truly awe-inspiring and that anyone who hasn’t been there should put it on their bucket list.

Zero to Hero Is Based on a Script by Felipe Folgosi

‘Zero to Hero’ is not based on a true story, but on the screenplay written by Felipe Folgosi. However, the story comes close to real life considering that such incidents involving successful impersonation of artists have actually taken place. In 1969, a DJ started a conspiracy theory that the Beatles’ bass guitarist, Paul McCartney, had died in a car crash in 1966 and that the band had replaced him with an imposter.

Paul McCartney was very much alive, and the band watched in amazement as the theory spread like wildfire and fans scrambled to check their records and photographs. In 2008, Miley Cyrus used a body double in a performance for a gimmick at her concert. While the pop singer changed her look from Hannah Montana to Miley Cyrus backstage, a body double briefly took her place. However, many fans were unconvinced by the replacement, leading to minor backlash that prevented the stunt’s repetition.

Additional authenticity can be felt in the film due to the real-life concert recorded for it, as well as by its realistic depiction of fame. When it comes to the film’s presentation of Sandro Sanderlei’s replacement with Hero, the narrative matches the real-world lengths to which artists and their management may go to fulfill contractual obligations or maintain appearances, especially at high-profile concert events.

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