Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which has already nabbed three Golden Globe nominations, is finally easily streamable. The film was given a wide theatrical release in November, but is available on Netflix as of December 14, and it is there that many people will finally get the chance to view the moving portrait of Cuarón’s childhood and the live-in caretaker who helped raise him. That’s also where Yalitza Aparicio, the 26-year-old first-time actor plucked up by Cuarón to star in the film, comes into view.
Aparicio plays Cleo, a maid working for a middle-class family that closely resembles the director’s real-life family in Mexico City during the early 1970s. In the film, Cuarón uses the family as a blueprint to unpack the class dynamics and political changes of the era in Mexico City. But before signing on to play Cleo, Aparicio had never acted before. She was discovered when Cuarón traveled to indigenous communities around Mexico for casting calls and was convinced by her sister to go to one in Oaxaca, according to an interview Aparicio gave to Variety. After the audition process was complete, Aparicio was chosen to play a character based on the live-in housekeeper that helped raise Cuarón as a young child.
Aparicio—who has now been nominated for both a Critics’ Choice Award for best actress and a Gotham Independent Film Award for breakthrough actor—stands a fair chance of receiving an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Cleo in Roma. Amid all of the buzz surrounding the newcomer, there is no mistaking that Aparicio is about to take awards season and Hollywood by storm, but for now, her social media presence would lead one to believe she’s just humbly enjoying her life while she can, and bringing her friends and family along for the ride.
Look to Aparicio’s Instagram for some truly wholesome content—she can be seen visiting Hollywood, New York, Mexico City, and beyond, and appears to be earnestly enjoying every last minute of her travels.
Like any average 25-year-old with this social media app on her phone, there are plenty of selfies to be seen on Aparicio’s Instagram, but she also brings her mom along, to her Disney World adventures, her New York City escapades, and her Mexico City tourist experiences. (For what it’s worth, her little brother gets enough love on the ’gram too, and beautiful throwback photos of her mom make their way to her main feed as well.)
Now that awards season is in full swing, Aparicio will probably begin to share more glamour shots and Hollywood moments, but as the up-and-comer’s star power (and social media follower count) rises, it would appear that she remains grounded online. Here’s to hoping Aparicio at least brings her mom as her inevitable Oscars date; it would only be fitting.