Her performance in Roma, a new black-and-white film based on writer and director Alfonso Cuarón’s memories of growing up in Mexico City, has already been declared the best of 2018 by Time magazine.
But can Yalitza Aparicio, an actor from Oaxaca with no previous experience, win the most prestigious of all film industry awards – an Oscar?
As a nominee in the best actress category at the Gotham Independent Film Awards to be held next week in New York and with acclaim of her performance continuing to grow, Aparicio is increasingly being mentioned as a potential winner at the film industry’s night of nights.
That possibility is no more surprising than to the actor herself, who plays the role of a domestic worker in Cuarón’s movie.
When she first received a call about casting for it, Aparicio thought that it had something to do with human trafficking.
“Castings don’t exist in Oaxaca and I didn’t study acting either,” she told the newspaper Milenio via telephone from Los Angeles.
But undeterred, Aparicio went to meet with Cuarón, taking her mother with her for moral support.
She didn’t know it immediately, but that first meeting with the Oscar-winning filmmaker was to change her life.
Aparicio admitted that emulating Cuarón as an Academy Award winner was a daunting prospect.
“The truth is I’m really scared about [winning an Oscar], I didn’t expect anything like that. I feel like it’s something very big and a lot of responsibility,” she said.
“. . . A lot of people are excited because of the simple fact that I’m here [in the United States]. They tell me that they identify with me and feel inspired to move ahead and achieve their dreams, that’s what motivates me to be here.”
Set in Mexico City in the 1970s, the Spanish-language film explores Cuarón’s childhood memories and is centered around two indigenous domestic workers who take care of a small family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma.
Aparicio said she took some inspiration for her role from her own experience as a domestic worker as well as that of her mother.
Roma is distributed by streaming service Netflix and will premiere on the website in Mexico on December 14 after a limited theatrical release.
Source: Milenio (sp)