Yalitza Aparicio Becomes First Mexican Indigenous Actor To Be Nominated For An Oscar

The Oscar nominations are here, and we’re ecstatic to announce that Yalitza Aparicio received a nomination for Best Actress in Roma

Photo: Wikimedia/UN Human Rights

Photo: Wikimedia/UN Human Rights

The Oscar nominations are here, and we’re ecstatic to announce that Yalitza Aparicio received a nomination for Best Actress in Roma. This announcement is significant as it is Aparicio’s first role as an actress. This news is also staggering because a Mexican-born actress hasn’t been nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award in 17 years. In 2002, Salma Hayek received a nomination for her role in Frida.

In total, Roma received ten Oscar nominations — more than any other film release. Nominations for Roma include Actress In A Supporting Role (Marina de Tavira); Foreign Language Film; Original Screenplay; Director (Alfonso Cuarón); Cinematography; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; Production Design; and, of course, Best Film.

Aparicio’s had an understandably joyous reaction over the announcement. She tweeted a video of herself watching the announcement on her laptop and crying over the news.

“Extremely happy, when I woke up today so early… I did not expect this news,” she tweeted.

As we previously reported, Aparicio never had intentions of being an actress. Before Cuarón found his leading lady, Aparicio had been studying to be a teacher. The 25-year-old Oaxacan native said she only went to the film’s casting call because her sister wanted to go but couldn’t make it because she was pregnant. Aparicio said she went merely to report back because a casting in their small town would probably never happen again. Cuarón knew Aparicio would be the one as soon as he met with her.

“When Yalitza walked into the room, it was a mix of relief and fear,” Cuarón said, in an interview with Gold Derby. “Relief, because we found the right person. But fear – what if she said no? The movie wouldn’t work. Her family was afraid that the casting call was human trafficking. They said that ‘casting is not normal.’ The scary thing about that statement is that casting is not normal in Mexico but human trafficking is. That is the reality of Mexico.”

Luckily for us all, she agreed to be in the film. Aparicio said that she never realized the film would be this big. People on social media are beyond thrilled to have a Mexican actress nominated for this hard-hitting and emotional film.

@arrivhal tweeted: “Yalitza Aparicio wasn’t an actress, did a movie for the first time and was outstanding and got her Oscar nomination for a leading actress for Roma.” @foolswhxdream_  tweeted: “Yalitza Aparicio just went to be a kindergarten teacher of a very humble place of Mexico, to a freaking Oscar nominee. THE POWER OF TALENT #OscarNoms.” Another pointed out that Aparicio is the first indigenous actor ever to be nominated, and that is correct, somewhat. She is the first Mexican indigenous actor to be nominated, but there have been several Native American actors nominated in the past.

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