Audiences and critics alike cannot stop buzzing about Yalitza Aparicio’s powerhouse performance in the new flick Roma. And it seems that the 26-year-old newcomer’s collaborators can’t either, as two of the Netflix film’s producers – Nicolas Celis and Gabriela Rodriguez – praised the actress nonstop to us while on the 8th AACTA International Awards red carpet. As the pair waltzed into the ceremony on Friday, January 4 at the Mondrian L.A. hotel, where they won two awards, they revealed to HOLA! USA some of the qualities that make Yalitza this year’s breakout star.
Yalitza Aparicio with Gabriela Rodriguez, Nico Celis, director Alfonso Cuarón and more at Roma's L.A. premiere Photo: Presley Ann/FilmMagic
"She is an amazing human being as well as an amazingly talented actress," Gabriela told us, adding that Yalitza’s talents continued long after the director called cut. "She was really game. She even embraced the process in a way where she was even helping the props and wardrobe with continuity!"
While the Mexico-born actress intended to be a teacher, fate had other plans. Her sister brought her to Roma's local open casting call and, after a meeting with director Alfonso Cuarón - who took home the award for Best Direction at the L.A. ceremony - Yalitza nabbed the part. Of course, with no previous experience, she had a lot to catch up on. "She learned everything so quickly," Gabriela revealed. "She was committed and professional and responsible. She’s so young and she took this on in a very brave way."
Alfonso Cuaron, Gabriela Rodriguez, and Nicolas Celis won big clout at AACTA, including the "Best Film" award Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for AFI
Producer Gabriela, who also worked on Alfonso’s acclaimed film Gravity, continued to say: "I think for her it was an adventure, as she’s said in the past, she was like, ‘ah I had nothing better to do so why not? Why not do this?’ And yeah she did an amazing job."
Nicolas was sure to chime in on the incredible repercussions of the leading lady’s success. "Yalitza has become somebody that people want to follow. Younger generations, people from not only the cities, but from indigenous communities, from different regions, are following her because she is so congruent with what she thinks, what she does, about her community. She’s a very strong person and I think an example for a lot of people to follow."