Yalitza Aparicio Says She’s Honored Many Women by Playing Cleo in ROMA (Exclusive)

Celeb Secrets caught up with the rising star at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles.

Yalitza Aparicio attends the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America via ZIMBIO)

Yalitza Aparicio is making history one day at a time!

For those of you who don’t know, the 26-year-old actress is the breakout star of Alfonso Cuarón‘s critically-acclaimed film Roma, which has been winning the most coveted trophies at the biggest award shows of the season.

Since its release, the Netflix production took home four awards at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards last month, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography for Alfonso Cuarón, and Best Foreign Language Film. Just recently, Roma earned TEN Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Female Actress in a Leading Role, Best Foreign Language Film, among others.

The black-and-white movie has been a huge (and much needed) conversation about representation in the media. Aparicio, born in Oaxaca, Mexico, is of indigenous Mixtec descent and is shining a light on Mexico’s indigenous people, who have been discriminated against for many years.

Celeb Secrets caught up with Yalizta last month on the blue carpet at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles, where she spoke about the importance of playing the role of Cleo in Roma.

“At first, when I was proposed to be in this film and with the role of Cleo, I did not think it was true. I was not used to seeing women that looked like me so I took the role without thinking any outcome. In fact, I thought it would be some sort of a funny joke since the audition role was for my sister but I went ahead and auditioned for her because she was pregnant,” the actress tells Celeb Secrets.

“I also learned the story behind “Levo,” who is Cleo in real life. And that was something that made me emotional because I thought I could have honored my mom with this story but in the end, I ended up honoring so many more women.”

You can watch the full interview below:


Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.