Meet Yalitza Aparicio Oscar Nominee and Star of the Film “Roma”

One day Yalitza Apraricio made a decision that changed the trajectory of her life. Encouraged by her sister, she decided to attend a casting call hosted near her town in Mexico. As a preschool teacher of Mixtec decent, Yalitza had never acted before in her life and was normally terrified to be in front of a camera, but she decided to take a chance.

An air of mystery and suspense surrounded the casting call and Yalitza had no idea what to expect. When the name of the film’s director was finally announced as the renowned Alfonso Cuarón, everyone was blown away, except Yalitza. She had no idea who he was and had never seen any of his films, a fact that she openly and sincerely explained to the director when they first met. But it was Yalitza’s sincerity and authenticity that ended up landing her the leading role of Cleo in the critically-acclaimed film Roma. And now Yalitza has been nominated for an Oscar as best actress and has appeared on the cover of magazines such as Vogue Mexico.

Yalitza never imagined she would reach such heights and never believed she had the financial means to even dream of being part of the world of Hollywood. But her mother and many others always supported and motivated her, instilling in her the belief that it can be done. Yalitza has lived a transcendental moment in her life, a moment that has now opened the door for thousands of other women who, like Yalitza, now know they too can aspire to that world.

Four Things to Take from Yalitza Right Now

If you don’t show up, nothing will happen.

Before attending the casting call, there were moments when Yalitza said to herself that she wouldn’t go and that she didn’t even like acting. But in the end, she decided to take the risk and she participated – a decision which would lead to her being nominated for an Oscar.

Be afraid, but do it anyway.

Even standing in front of an audience made Yalitza feel terrified, and being in front of a camera was even more terrifying. In spite of her fears, however, Yalitza pushed forward and kept going, and the results were life-changing.

It’s worth it to take a risk.

Yalitza reminds us that all of the effort you make to achieve what you desire will pay off if you don’t give up. She took a big risk and went way outside of her comfort zone, which paid of tremendously.

Yes, you can.

For Yalitza, being nominated for an Oscar is a prize for many women – for all the women who, perhaps like her, have ever thought that she didn’t belong, that it’s a would she could never aspire to be part of, that her appearance wasn’t right, or that she didn’t have the financial means to get there. But Yalitza shows us that yes, it can be done.