Yalitza Aparicio just joined the ranks of Oscar Nominated women, and she made history in doing so. She is the first-ever Indigenous woman to be nominated for Leading Actress. She is also the second-ever Mexican actress to be nominated for that category, being preceded by Salma Hayek (Frida).
Aparicio is a 25-year-old Oaxaca native who has been nominated for Best Leading Actress for her performance in Roma.
She had never acted before but attended a casting at the urge of her sister.
Her character, Cleo, is based on the Alfonso Cuaron's (the film's director) childhood nanny, Libo Rodriguez. Aparicio's own mother worked as a maid.
Aparicio explained that playing Cleo was very personal to her.
"I thought it was an opportunity to pay homage to her. [Cuaron] spoke to me a lot about Libo's past and I realized that we came from the same background, in which you worry and struggle for economic reasons. But you always aspire for better things, particularly to help your family."
When she heard her name called yesterday, she undoubtedly realized that she had accomplished those "better things".
Her caption reads,
"Extremely happy, when I woke up today so early, (of course, at the time of here) did not expect this news, thanks Ale a. Garcia and wake Me @marielmmayorga 😊"
People are squealing with joy alongside the history-making actress.
"Congratulations on your beautiful film and nomination!"
"Life gives you surprises and leads you through unimaginable paths; Congratulations on @YalitzaAparicio the nomination in @Roma"
"My people, and my indigenous culture, with representation in Hollywood !!! Something wonderful. 💙 Congratulations!"
After she had some time to recover from the initial shock, Aparicio stated,
"From the very first casting call to this morning, my Roma journey has been extraordinary.As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen."
"I am eternally grateful to the Academy for recognizing Roma and am honored to be part of [director Alfonso Cuarón's] vision. Congratulations to Alfonso, the entire cast and crew, and my dear friend Marina De Tavira. I am so humbled and honored. Thank you."