Monica Barbaro Biography

Monica Barbaro
Monica Barbaro
  • Born June 18, 1990

Monica Barbaro (born June 18, 1990) is an American actress. Her major roles include season 2 of UnREAL, The Good Cop, and Top Gun: Maverick.
Barbaro was born on June 18, 1990, in San Francisco. She grew up in Mill Valley, California, where she graduated from Tamalpais High School in 2007. Her parents divorced when she was a child. Barbaro started dancing at an early age and would go on to study ballet. While taking electives in acting, she completed a degree in dance at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. After graduating in 2010, she decided to pursue acting and returned to San Francisco. There, she attended the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school.
Barbaro gained attention in 2013 for her lead role in It's Not About the Nail, a viral comedy short about communication in a marriage. Her first major television role was portraying the character of Yael on the second season of the Lifetime television series UnREAL. Following UnREAL, Barbaro joined the cast of NBC legal drama Chicago Justice, an entry in Dick Wolf's Chicago franchise, in which she portrayed Anna Valdez. In 2018, Barbaro also played Cora Vasquez on Netflix's The Good Cop, alongside Josh Groban and Tony Danza. Between 2018 and 2019, Barbaro had a recurring part in the ABC sitcom Splitting Up Together. In the 2022 blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, Barbaro portrayed Lieutenant Natasha "Phoenix" Trace, a naval aviator. Though it may have taken a back seat to her acting career, Barbaro shared that dancing is finding its way back into her life. "I'm bringing it all back because I realized I'm not getting any younger, so if there's a time to break out my dancing, it should be before it's too late." In addition to a dance scene in At Midnight, scheduled for release in late 2022, she also claimed to be currently working on a movie heavily featuring dancing as a core plot point.

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