Magazine article Variety

Yalitza Aparicio

Magazine article Variety

Yalitza Aparicio

Article excerpt

'We Were All Kind of in This State of Shock'

A breakout star in "Roma," first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio went from small-town schoolteacherin-training to snagging a lead role in director Alfonso Cuarón's autobiographical movie about his formative years in Mexico. Aparicio plays Cleo, based on the director's childhood nanny"It's kind of incredible that I've had this experience," she says, "because not everybody starts this way."

How did Alfonso find you?

He deployed a bunch of teams around Mexico to indigenous communities for casting calls. I happened to be lucky enough that one of those teams came to my hometown of Tlaxiaco, a very small town in Oaxaca. My sister found out about the casting call, and she dragged me along.

We're told you were teaching school before "Roma." Were you teaching right up to the point that you auditioned?

I really love teaching; I was actually studying to be a preschool teacher. I had only finished my schooling a month before I was cast for the film, so I have not yet had my own classroom. …

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