Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Yalitza Aparicio Is the Oscars' First Indigenous Mexican Actress Nominee


January 25, 2019

Yalitza Aparicio had just finished her teaching degree and didn’t yet have a job when the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón held a casting call in her home of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, for the lead role in his semi-autobiographical drama, “Roma.”

It was actually Aparicio’s older sister, Edith, who was meant to audition for the part of Cleo, a housekeeper and nanny in 1970s Mexico City inspired by the woman who had raised Cuarón. But Edith was pregnant and insisted that the shy Yalitza, who’d never before acted, try out instead. Two years later, Aparicio has just earned a best-actress nomination, the first for an Indigenous Mexican woman and only the second for a Mexican actress, after Salma Hayek’s for “Frida.” Aparicio’s heart-rending and critically acclaimed debut is at once quiet and commanding, and her nomination is one of 10 for “Roma,” including best picture and supporting actress (for Marina de Tavira).


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