Jorge Antonio Guerrero, one of the stars of Oscar favourite Roma, has said that he fears he will miss the ceremony after already being denied a US visa three times.
Guerrero, who plays Fermin in the movie, the boyfriend of the film’s breakthrough star Yalitza Aparicio, was turned down in applications to the US embassy last year.
Newspaper El Sol de Tijuana questions ‘Racism?’ in a headline describing the actor’s predicament, while in an interview with Quien, he explained that even though he had an invitation letter from the movie’s producers, he was still refused a visa.
“The first was at the beginning of last year. At that time, I still did not have news related to the movie. At that time, my reasons were tourist only. They deny it to me, and by October or November, which had already premiered (the film) at the Festival of Morelia, is when they begin to make these invitations from Netflix, both for red carpets and Golden Globes,” he said.
“Expressly, I took a letter that they did not want to read. In my second attempt, they said that I was going to work, and I answered no, that I was going as a guest. And this last attempt was unmemorable, it seemed that there was even an anger on the part of the young lady who interviewed me.
“What I want to interpret is that it is a matter of procedure. It is a procedure that I want to do and that I have been denied by the interviewers that have touched me. I want to think that, because if we could find a way for a consular officer or someone in the embassy to read those letters of invitation, one could understand the artistic figure that I have and the cultural exchange that is brewing between two nations.
“What happens is that you have a questionnaire about your training, how many times have you left the country and based on that they are making a profile, I do not know. But they do not always ask you for the material that you carry. On this occasion, it was important to me that the consul could read the letter. I said all the time that I was a guest of the film that Alfonso Cuarón had made in Mexico.”
However, whether he gets to attend the ceremony or not, he says he’s still rooting for Aparicio, who’s nominated for Best Actress for Cuarón’s movie along with Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy, Olivia Colman, and Glenn Close.
“I’m super happy. Hopefully, I hope, and I say it with all my heart, Yalitza takes the Oscar. I’m thinking more about that,” he said.
Roma swept the board when nominations were announced this week, with the black and white period piece featuring in 10 categories, including Best Film.
It’s not the first time that issues surrounding visas have dogged the Oscars.
In 2017, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi refused to attend the ceremony, despite being nominated for his film The Salesman, over the Trump administration’s muslim ban.
The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
However, Syrian producer Kareem Abeed, who made Last Men In Aleppo about the White Helmets organisation, was granted a last minute visa to enter the US for last year’s ceremony, after initially being turned down.