Despite Roma becoming one of 2018’s most celebrated films and garnering 10 Academy Award nominations, one of the movie’s pivotal stars may not be able to attend the awards show.
Jorge Antonio Guerrero, who plays Fermin, the love interest of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), revealed in a new interview that he has been denied entry into the U.S. three times, ET has learned.
“The first time [I applied] was at the beginning of last year. Back then, I didn’t have anything related to the movie and my intentions were just for tourism,” he told Quien. “But then I started receiving invitations from Netflix in October and November to attend red carpets and the Golden Globes.”
Armed with a letter from one of the film’s producers, Guerrero went to the U.S. Embassy in a second effort to be able to visit the U.S.
“I brought a letter that they didn’t want to read, to be honest,” he explained to the outlet. “In my second try, they said that I was going to work and I told them no, I was going because I was invited. And this last try wasn’t even memorable, it felt like the woman I spoke to was already a little angry.”
“If we could find a way for a person from the consulate or embassy to read these letters, they could understand the artistic need I have and the cultural exchange that’s happening between two nations,” he later added. “The whole time I was saying I was invited by the movie that Alfonso Cuarón had made in Mexico.”
Netflix and the film's crew are now working to get Guerrero to the U.S.
His co-star, Aparicio, was among the nominees for the film, landing a Best Actress nomination. As Cleo, she portrays a live-in maid for a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early ‘70s. As Cuaron explained to ET in December, the project is a semi-autobiographical depiction of his childhood.
“The whole film is a long flashback of my childhood,” he shared. “It was a whole process. The film was based on memory. I was not only recreating moments but [we] were shooting them in the place where they took place and reproducing the spaces to the inch. And also cast people that look alike to the original people 40 years ago. So, it was kind of an odd experience reliving those moments.”
He also expressed how important the actress is to the film’s narrative.
“Yalitza is the heart of Roma,” he said. “It's a film that without the presence of Yalitza and the performance of Yalitza it wouldn't work. This film in many ways, in my life, has been a before and after. So, Yalitza is very important in my life.”
While speaking with Quien, Guerrero echoed Cuaron’s sentiments on Aparicio’s moving performance, while remaining determined to be a part of the awards show.
“I’m really happy,” he responded to the nominations. “Hopefully, and I say this with my whole heart, Yalitza wins the Oscar. Imagine that! I’m thinking more about that. And eventually, if I get approved for the visa, that would be great.”