Yalitza Aparicio is "not in favor" of Trump's border wall

By Raha Lewis
February 20, 2019 11:57 AM

Yalitza Aparicio, the Mexican newcomer nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for Roma, doesn’t believe in the border wall President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency for.

The 25-year-old star has no problem expressing her distaste in the political backdrop that is playing out, especially in regard to the Trump Administration’s wall.

“This is of course a situation that I’m not in favor of, because I really do feel that walls separate people rather than unite people,” the actress told PEOPLE at the Vanity Fair and L’Oreal Paris New Hollywood party in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

| Credit: Alfonso Cuarón

When asked what she would want to use her newfound platform to promote the most, the actress had two things to say.

“One, the respect towards each other, because I think as a society we’re beginning to lose that, and also, for each of us to have confidence in ourselves,” she said.

Credit: Victor Chavez/Getty

Aparicio credits her mom for teaching her how to beat the odds and have that confidence in herself.

“My mother taught me how to be strong and how to fight for what I wanted,” Aparicio said. “I think that’s an amazing experience for especially women to have.”

Yalitza Aparicio
| Credit: We Are The Rhoads

What’s even more amazing is that Aparicio—who had not had any formal acting training when she was cast as the lead in Roma—might walk away with an Oscar on Sunday.

As for what that means to her? “Really, I don’t know,” she said. “But I think no matter who wins, all the effort that whoever it is that wins has made is worth it, because we’ve all worked really hard for the characters that we’ve played.”

With just days to go, Aparicio has not yet chosen what she is going to wear to the awards ceremony. “We did have a little test a moment ago,” the actress said. “But we haven’t chosen yet the dress that I’m going to wear.”

RELATED VIDEO: Marina De Tavira on Mexico’s Reaction to ‘Roma’: ‘It Opened an Important Conversation for Our Country and for the World’

Aparicio is not used to dressing up, in fact she is used to dressing down, which is what she did in her days as a school teacher. “I think at the end of the day we all sort of like playing dress-up, and I do enjoy it,” she said. “But because I was a teacher, I was more used to thinking about what was the most comfortable clothes that I could wear because I was going to be playing with kids. I was thinking about the kinds of jeans and the kinds of shoes that would allow me to best play with kids, so this is different.”

The 91st Academy Awards air live Feb. 24 on ABC at 8 p.m.