Pat Manuel will make history as the first transgender male to fight professionally in the U.S.

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When Patricio Manuel steps through the ropes and into the boxing ring just after 6 p.m. Saturday, few in the crowd at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio will know what a long and torturous trek he made to get there.

They won’t know about the resistance overcome or the months of physical rehab endured. They won’t know how hard it was to get those chiseled biceps atop a super featherweight’s thin frame. They may not even know that, at 33, an age when undefeated champions Rocky Marciano and Andre Ward had already retired, Manuel will be making his pro debut.

And if they don’t know any of that, they surely won’t know that Patricio used to be Patricia — he was a she — and in the four-round bout against Hugo Aguilar, a journeyman boxer from Mexico, Manuel will make history as the first transgender male to fight professionally in the U.S.

“It feels like a long time coming,” said Manuel, who fought for the last time as a female in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. “But I’m still like, ‘Wow, we’re finally here. Finally at this point.’

“I just feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position. To be able to enjoy all the sacrifice, all the work, all the doubt that came through over the years to really be here in this moment.”

If you feel like you’ve read this story before, it may be because you have. Fifteen months ago, after losing his coach, getting kicked out of a gym and seeing his dream of fighting as a man stymied by bureaucracy — no one was quite sure how to license a transgender boxer — Manuel split two amateur bouts and was set to turn pro before suffering a broken bone and torn ligament in his right thumb.

Eric Gomez also read that story and as president of Golden Boy, Oscar de la Hoya’s boxing promotion company, he was uniquely positioned to help.

“It really inspired me,” he said. “This is a story that is bigger than boxing. It’s a very tough sport. You compound that with what Pat went through. The inner struggles, the process of transition and to keep wanting to fight?

“Just that drive is impressive. It’s very different than any athlete I’ve met. And I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”

So Gomez — along with a number of politicians, including state assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Dean Grafilo, director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs — cut through the red tape to help get Manuel licensed. Golden Boy then arranged a bout, matching Manuel against the winless Aguilar (0-5) on an eight-fight card topped by a super featherweight world championship elimination bout matching Rene Alvarado of Nicaragua against Carlos Morales of Los Angeles.

“We haven’t talked about doing any more fights,” Gomez said. “His dream was to debut as a professional fighter. Everybody has a right to follow their dreams. Just to be part of this is special for me.”

Manuel, whose ancestry is Irish, Mexican and black, never really knew his father. But his mother, Loretta Butler, and grandmother Patricia Jean Butler were never far away, supporting Manuel through childhood in Gardena and a boxing career that included almost as many injuries as bouts.

And all the while, they sensed something was different about young Patricia, who was named for her grandmother. She preferred boys’ clothes to dresses, kept her hair short and played with action figures rather than Barbie dolls.

“Every Christmas I would be buying toys at Toys ‘R’ Us and everybody would say, ‘Boys at home, huh?’” Loretta Butler remembered.

So one winter Manuel’s grandmother got creative with her gift-giving, buying Patricia a boxing club membership. Although female fighters were rare, Manuel took to the sport and its hyper-masculine ambience quickly, moving to the Commerce Boxing Club and spending long hours working with Roberto Luna, who trained three Olympians.

Manuel was to be his fourth. But in the 2012 women’s Olympic Trials, Manuel had to withdraw after one bout — a one-sided lightweight loss to Florida’s Tiara Brown — because of a shoulder injury.

Even before the trials, Manuel had thought of transitioning to male, but the hope of representing the U.S. in the first Olympic boxing tournament for women held him back. After the trials, there was no reason to wait. On the trip home, Manuel told Butler that her daughter would soon become her son — then waited for the response.

It was one not of surprise but relief.

“Pat has always been a male,” his mother says. “It’s just Pat was not assigned properly at birth.”

Continue onto the Los Angeles Times to read the complete article.

Afro-Latina actress Tessa Thompson saves the world in ‘Men in Black: International”

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Tessa Thompson on movie set with Chris Hemsworth

By Arturo Conde

Tessa Thompson considers herself Afro-Latina, a black woman, a person of color, and Latinx. But when fans go to see the sci-fi action blockbuster “Men in Black: International” this weekend, she hopes that they will only see her character, Agent M, on the silver screen.

“I hope we can get to the space in Hollywood where it’s not noteworthy for a woman, and particularly a woman of color, to top line a franchise film,” Thompson, who has Afro-Panamanian and Mexican roots, told NBC News. “I hope we can get to a place where we don’t have to congratulate it, or comment on it because it happens with such frequency. But we are still really far away from there.”

“Men in Black: International” partners Agent M with Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth) in a globetrotting mission that will take viewers on a fun and exciting adventure through Western Europe and Northern Africa to find a murderer, expose a mole, and ultimately save the world.Tessa Thompson headshot

Fans first meet M as the six-year-old Molly who has an unexpected encounter with an alien. This exposes her to a new world that is inhabited by unearthly beings. And after the Men in Black erase her parents’ memory, M dedicates her life to tracking down the organization and pursuing the truth.

“Memory is huge for M,” Thompson said. “She doesn’t want to live a lie, and she feels that because there’s this organization [Men in Black] that can go around wiping out memories, the only way to relive the truth in terms of the universe and its underpinnings is to be a part of this organization.” In playing Agent M, the critically acclaimed actress tapped into her gender and ethnicity as a way to understand what drove and tested her character.

“If you’re a woman, and particularly a woman of color, and you’re trying to get access to any space that has been historically white and male, you have to work harder,” Thompson said. “This was an inspiration for me when I was thinking about M because she’s so ambitious. She wants to be good, but she also knows that she has to be good — especially if she wants to get to where she wants to go.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Food Network Star Aarón Sánchez Dishes on Guacamole

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Chef Sanchez in his chef outfit on the Food Network stage

Aarón Sánchez gives us a taste of authentic Latin flavor like never before with a traditional Guacamole recipe that has a bold kick of flavor!

Guest judge Aarón Sánchez in the all-new Top 17 Compete episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, June 29

Aarón’s Guacamole

Ingredients

1 serrano chile

1 white onion

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

Juice of 3 limes

4 avocados

Pinch of Mexican oregano

Pinch of sea salt

2-3 Roma tomatoes

1/3 cup Queso Fresco or Queso Cotija

1 radish, sliced

1/3 cup dried chapulines (Mexican grasshoppers), optional

Directions

  1. Create a flavor base blending the serrano chile, cut in chunks and keeping the seeds, with 1/2 of the onion, a generous heap of cilantro and the lime juice.
  2. Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds. Place in a bowl.
  3. Season the avocados with salt and oregano, and then mash them all together. Do not mash too smooth.
  4. Flavor the guacamole with the serrano purée to taste.
  5. Add finely chopped onion and tomatoes to the guacamole and combine. Season to taste with more salt and oregano.
  6. Serve with a pinch of queso fresco or queso cotija and sliced radish.
  7. For authentic Mexican flavor, try adding a spoonful of dried chapulines.
  8. Enjoy with warm tortilla chips and a margarita.

Servings: 4–6 Time: 25 mins.

Pro tip: For best results, use room-temperature avocados.

About the Chef

Aarón Sánchez, chief chef officer of COCINA, is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author, and philanthropist. He is the chef/owner of Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans and a judge on FOX’s hit culinary A dish of Guacamole with a side of tortilla chips-yumcompetition series MASTERCHEF. He also co-starred on Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Junior.

Sánchez launched the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund, an initiative empowering aspiring chefs from the Latin community to follow their dreams and attend culinary school. He is also passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen.

About COCINA

Beyond food, COCINA is a differentiator in the digital media landscape, an agent of flavor serving audiences with a taste for authenticity and a passion for life. From beautiful short-form recipes to cinematic story-driven originals, COCINA delivers Latin America to the world through the universal language of food. Located in Los Angeles, COCINA was co-founded by Aarón Sánchez and CEO Emiliano Saccone.

Rosario Dawson: Called to Action

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Rosario Dawson Summer Issue Cover

By Erica Sabino

Rosario Dawson is more than just another famous face in Hollywood. In addition to her high-profile film career, she’s a philanthropist, activist, and entrepreneur. Not to mention producer, singer and comic book writer!

First and foremost, Dawson is fiercely passionate about her philanthropy and her desire to serve her community. Her early life wasn’t easy. Her family lived in a squatter’s apartment in New York’s East Village, where she grew up seeing poverty, sickness, and suffering all around her. “Growing up here in New York, with a mom who was a teenager when she had me, I had family and friends who were either trans and/or had HIV or AIDS and/or had drug problems or housing issues or issues with access to education,” Dawson said in an interview with the lifestyle website mindbodygreen. “I saw the whole maelstrom of privilege and access.”

Growing up in a liberal-minded family, she was raised to understand the value of social change at a young age. “My mother worked for a women’s shelter when I was young,” she said. “To see strangers helping other strangers, just showing up and giving, was so inspiring to me.” It’s not hard to see how her experiences have inspired her to make a change for others. She serves as a board member of V-day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. She supports charities like the ONE Campaign, Amnesty International, Oxfam, International Rescue, and Lower East Side Girls Club, and the Environmental Media Association, among many others. She is also active in such programs as Conservation International, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy and Save The Children.

In 2013, Dawson partnered with her longtime friend Abrima Erwiah to found Studio 189, a fashion and media brand based in Ghana that produces African and African-inspired clothing and lifestyle content. In an interview with Google, when asked about their decision to launch in Ghana, Dawson and Erwiah had this to say: “We were impressed by the culture of creativity, craft, and innovation and the rich history present in Ghana. We felt it was a wonderful place to develop social infrastructure, to add value to natural resources, to create opportunities for work and support capacity building. At the same time, we wanted to support the growth of a local market of consumers as well and help create a space for more people to enter conversations and be included in the growth of the global fashion industry.” For these two partners, Studio 189 is not just a business, but also a social enterprise. Through their brand, they have been able to make changes in the community through educational workshops, counseling, and employment.

Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana and Rosario Dawson are seen prior to the Latinas Stand Up rally ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY IMAGES
Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana and Rosario Dawson are seen prior to the Latinas Stand Up rally ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY IMAGES

Politically active for much of her life, Dawson says, “The American future is here, and there’s great news: the future votes.” She co-founded the pioneering civic media nonprofit organization, Voto Latino, in an effort to boost Latino participation in the political process. Established in 2004, Voto Latino’s mission is to provide culturally relevant programs that engage, educate, and empower Latinos to be agents of change. It also seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership. Whenever we do voter registration, we ask, ‘Why haven’t you voted before?’ The response is often, ‘No one’s asked us.’ It’s not about telling people what to do—it’s about sharing what they can do.

“Voting is the umbrella to everything else that I’m doing,” says Rosario. “Women’s issues, health and disease, poverty, housing—these all fall under that voting power.” In recognition for her efforts, she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2017.

Also a health advocate, Dawson, a self-proclaimed oat enthusiast, recently partnered with Quaker Oats to create a three-part video series that encourages people to incorporate healthier practices into their everyday lives. “I’ve been eating Quaker oatmeal since I was a young child, ever since my aunt taught me how to make it from scratch, so I’m excited to team up with them to help spread the word about the benefits of oats,” Dawson said. “As an advocate for health and wellness, I never want to short-term my health—I think it’s so important to have long-term plans. And what’s great is that you don’t have to start big, because even small steps can make a difference.”

Rosario, Abrimaand guest
Designers Rosario Dawson, Abrima Erwiah and guest attend as STYLE360 THOMAS CONCORDIA/GETTY IMAGES

Dawson’s first step on her journey to fame happened by accident when she was just 15 years old. Sitting on the front porch step of her apartment building, she was spotted by photographers Larry Clark and Harmony Korine. Aspiring screenwriter Korine thought Dawson would be perfect to cast in the 1995 film, Kids, where she played Ruby, a sexually active adolescent. From there, Dawson went on to star in more films, like Rent, He Got Game, Men in Black II, Seven Pounds, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and Sin City, among many others. In the music industry, she had a speaking part in the re-release of Prince’s 1980s hit, “1999,” renamed “1999: The New Master.” She also appeared in the music video for Out of Control by The Chemical Brothers and was featured on the Outkast track, She Lives in My Lap.

Currently, Dawson is set to voice the iconic heroine Diana Prince in the DC animated original film, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, a character she’s voiced since 2015’s Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress has also been cast in Sony Pictures’ next installment of the post-apocalyptic comedy, Zombieland 2. She will be working alongside original cast members including Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin, as well as newcomers Zoey Deutch and Avan Jogia. In addition to these roles, Dawson will both produce and star in the upcoming drama series Briarpatch from Sam Esmail, the creator of Mr. Robot. Based on the Ross Thomas novel, the first season of the series will be produced by Universal Cable Productions and Paramount Television. In this drama, Dawson will be playing a Washington, D.C.-based investigator who returns to her hometown in Texas to help search for her sister’s murderer.

Last year, she announced her guest collaboration on La Borinqueña, an original character and patriotic symbol presented in a classic superhero story created and written by graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. Her powers are drawn from history and mysticism found on the island of Puerto Rico. Dawson and her writing partner David Atchison joined Dawson’s uncle, comic book artist Gustavo Vazquez on the project.

Although she has a full workload, she still finds time to make an impact outside the world of Hollywood. From being a political activist to running a sustainable fashion line, Rosario Dawson is continuously showing her passion and commitment to the causes she advocates for.

Using her platform to make a difference, Dawson’s activism has allowed her to not only witness change but also effect it. “I’m really moved by everything I’ve seen achieved over the years, and there’s so much that’s being worked toward now with many more people,” Dawson says in an interview with InStyle. “I’m inspired to just do whatever I feel called to do and to be of service and to be of use… There are so many different ways that we can serve, and I want to figure out as many ways as I can to fit into this lifetime.”

Backstreet Boys’ Howie Dorough Releases Single Off Upcoming Family Album Based on His Childhood

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Howie Dorough posing for Album Cover No Hablo Espanol

He may have just kick-started the DNA World Tour with the Backstreet Boys, but Howie Dorough is never too busy to release more (yes, more!) music. On Friday, the musician released “No Hablo Español,” a fun new single off of his upcoming family album, titled Which One Am I?

“The song is loosely based upon me being half Puerto Rican, half Hispanic, and my dad being Irish Caucasian,” Dorough, 45, tells PEOPLE exclusively about the single.

Fun fact: Dorough’s 10-year-old son James, and his mother, Paula Flores Dorough, star in the video for “No Hablo Español”

“Kids would see me and talk to me in Spanish, and I would be like, ‘No hablo español.’” And they’d be like, ‘What?’ And it’s almost kind of like that look of, and I hate to say it’s a disgrace, but like, ‘You’re not proud of it? You’re not carrying on tradition.’ And it was never that — I was just a little kid.”

The album, which follows the path of a young Howie D. overcoming his insecurities to discover his true self, has been in the works for the past five years and is something Dorough is “very proud of.”

“It’s definitely not your normal kids record,” he says. “This is more of a twist on a kids record. The goal is to teach people that no matter what they’re going through, they can overcome any obstacle in front of them. I want people who listen to the music not to worry, everything that happens is meant to teach you how to be the person you were meant to be.”

Howie Dorough’s Which One Am I?

“I went through a lot of common issues that a lot of kids go through nowadays, including worrying and being shy, feeling small, being in somebody’s shadow, monsters in your head, bad dreams,” he adds. “I was definitely always trying to find my place and where I am and how I fit in with people. I wasn’t your tall jock, I was more of your shorter guys. I was more into music and musicals and dancing. Eventually I did find my place, and I’m very proud that I stuck to my grounds of knowing that I was a true entertainer.”

Now, a father of two (he’s also doting dad to Holden, 6) with wife, Leigh, Dorough said he wanted to create an album that was entertaining for both parents and their kids.

Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article.

With Peabody Award, Rita Moreno is first Latina to attain unique ‘PEGOT’ class

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Actress Rita Moreno poses for camera at a Hollywood event

By Nicole Acevedo

Rita Moreno’s alphabet of awards is gaining another letter. The Peabody Awards organization recently announced it will honor the Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer with the career achievement award.

That means Moreno, 87, will become the third person to achieve PEGOT status by winning a Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. Film director Mike Nichols and entertainer Barbra Streisand are the other two PEGOT winners.

“So proud to be the first Latino recipient,” Moreno said on Twitter. She is also the second person to ever receive the Peabody Career Achievement Award. The first recipient was legendary comedian Carol Burnett in 2018.

Moreno, who gained widespread fame in the film “West Side Story,” will be honored at the Peabody Awards annual gala in New York City on May 18.

“Rita Moreno is a unique talent who has not only broken barriers, but whose career continues to thrive six-plus decades after her acting debut,” Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody Awards. “We are delighted to celebrate her many contributions to entertainment and media, as well as her passion for children’s programming and important social issues.”

Most recently, Moreno starred in three seasons of the popular Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, “One Day at a Time” on Netflix, which was nominated for a 2017 Peabody Award, She also signed on to be an executive producer in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story — a film in which she is also co-starring.

Moreno has also received other prestigious awards, such as The Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

‘Dora the Explorer’ is all grown up in a live-action movie

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Dora the Explorer Movie Poster

By Gwen Aviles

Last time viewers left Dora from Nickelodeon’s educational animated television series “Dora the Explorer,” the adorable Latina girl was embarking on adventures with her monkey-friend Boots and her talking purple backpack.

Her biggest enemy was Swiper, a thieving fox who could be stopped only if viewers chanted “Swiper, no swiping!” three times.

In “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” an upcoming live-action movie based on the series, things get a bit more complicated for the adventurer, according to the first film trailer that dropped this weekend.

Dora’s parents, portrayed by Michael Peña and Eva Longoria, think it’s time for Dora (Isabela Moner) to gain some stability in her life and decide to ship her off to live with her cousin Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg). Meanwhile, they’ll be exploring an ancient city covered in gold, while Dora attempts to adjust to the structured high school life — a difficult task for a girl who grew up in the jungle.

Just as Dora is starting to get used to school, she and her new friends are kidnapped on a class field trip. In this action-movie reminiscent of the “Spy Kids” series, they must escape and track down Dora’s parents. Luckily for them, a family friend, Alejandro Gutierrez (Eugenio Derbez), arrives to lend them a hand.

WATCH THE TRAILER!

Other talent includes Danny Trejo, who voices Boots, and Benicio Del Toro, who voices Swiper.

Continue on to Latino News to read the complete article.

Alfonso Cuarón Made History at the 2019 Oscars

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This year’s Oscars ceremony may not have ended with what would have been an historic win for Roma as Best Picture, but the Alfonso Cuarón film did manage to break a couple of records with its three wins.

Scoring statues for Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director, the black-and-white period film spoken in Spanish and Mixtec was part of a rather multicultural telecast. There were various firsts, with Black Panther’s costume and production designers becoming the first black women to win in their category; female filmmakers dominating the Shorts races; and winners like Rami Makek (Best Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody) speaking powerfully about being the child of immigrants in this country.

Moreover, in between appearances and speeches by Diego Luna, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo de Toro and Javier Bardem, there was plenty of Spanish to be heard throughout the telecast. So much so that by the time Luna joined chef José Andrés on stage to present a clip from Roma, he went off-script in Spanish (“Buenas noches,” he quipped, “Ya se puede hablar Español en los Oscares!”) before being nudged back into their scripted banter.

 

For the complete article, continue on to Remezcla.

Culture Circuit: Latinos & Film – A Sundance Film Festival Perspective

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The Sundance Film Festival is known for championing eclectic, independent work from artists around the world. Given their specific diversity-driven initiatives of years past, the 2019 edition of the festival was no exception, particularly with respect to cinema of interest to the Latino community. To the contrary, if you spent any time in the last few days in the snowy, mountainous air of Park City, you saw that this year showcases an embarrassment of riches when it comes to quality cinema from Latin America.

But, like all things involving Latino culture, Latino-related films at Sundance defy reductive simplifications. The picture that emerges is of a vibrant, diverse, and complex community of films and filmmakers. As told through the eyes of these artists, Latinos experience much of the same angsts as all other members of society. At the same time, we have a unique set of anxieties—and a beautiful, distinctive perspective—that makes Latin American cinema rewarding.

For the complete article, continue on to Awards Circuit.

Under Alex Gallardo, New Artistic Direction For Sony Music US Latin

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At a time when Latin music is experiencing unprecedented popularity and Sony leads the Latin category in U.S. market share, according to Nielsen Music, Nir Seroussi’s unexpected exit from Sony Music U.S. Latin — on Jan. 18, after four years as president and another four as managing director — came as a surprise to the Latin music community. Sony did not give a reason for the change, although both the label and Seroussi said they were parting on amicable terms.

But the announcement of Alex Gallardo, 43, as the division’s new president puts an artist favorite at the helm of the company and reinforces its commitment to investing in A&R.

“Sony Music Latin Iberia is the home of the artists and will always be. It’s my most important flag,” Afo Verde, Sony Music Entertainment’s chairman/CEO of Latin America, Spain and Portugal tells Billboard. “[Alex] is a consummate professional, musician, A&R, lover of music and all of its creative process from start to finish.”

Gallardo, who spent six years as senior vp A&R for all of the company’s regions and is known as firm and even, will oversee a staff of nearly 100. “What’s important is to understand artists, their needs and motivations, and to create the best environment possible for their creativity to flow,” he says. And his appointment was met with praise from many in the artist community. In a statement, Shakira called Gallardo a “professional” who is “in touch with the musical landscape and understands artists,” while Ricky Martin says, “His focus, knowledge and passion makes artists trust the process.”

To read the complete article, continue on to Billboard.

Schoolteacher Yalitza Aparicio earns Oscar nomination for lead role in ‘Roma’

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Yalitza Aparicio, who was just nominated for best actress in a leading role, gives a compelling and honest performance in her role as the family’s nanny, Cleo.

She is now the second Mexican best actress Oscar nominee.

“From the very first casting call to this morning, my Roma journey has been extraordinary,” she said in a statement to ABC News. “As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen.”

“I am eternally grateful to the Academy for recognizing Roma,” she added.

The 25-year-old told Variety that she related to the character, “because of her background and how she managed to keep going despite adversity.”

However, Aparicio wasn’t on the path to becoming an actress before taking on this big role.

She’s actually a schoolteacher and only auditioned for the part after going to the audition with her sister, who is a singer and wanted to try for the role herself.

Continue on to Abc News to read the complete article.