Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Roma star refused US visa ahead of Oscars

Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martínez has made three unsuccesful applications to date

Roma director Alfonso Cuaron on set with Roma lead Yalitza Aparicio. Courtesy Netflix.
Roma director Alfonso Cuaron on set with Roma lead Yalitza Aparicio. Courtesy Netflix.

Alfonso Cuarón’s stunning 1970s drama Roma is hotly tipped for Oscars success having picked up 10 nominations, including Best Picture earlier in the week.

But at least one of its stars — Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martínez, who plays the surly, martial arts loving militant, and father to lead character Cleo’s baby — looks unlikely to attend having already been refused a US visa.

Guerrero has revealed to the Mexican media that he has been refused a visa on three separate occasions. The first time was early in 2018, when he applied for a tourist visa unsuccessfully.

The two most recent refusals came for applications to attend screenings and press and industry events for Roma, and came despite the fact that Guerrera submitted supporting letters from both Netflix top brass and his Oscar-winning director.

The actor said in a TV interview: “I tried giving it to the consul. They grabbed the paper and literally just returned my passport through the teller window. If they don’t want to read it, then it’s going to be very difficult.”

Guerrero appears to be remarkably stoical about his dilemma. He told the Mexican daily El Universal that he did not feel “offended, angry or victimized,” even noting that plenty of other Mexicans have visas denied all the time.

He did add that he planned to have one more try ahead of the ceremony in February, although if consul officials refuse to consult his documents again no amount of Oscars seem likely to secure him entry to the US.

“I hope that this can be resolved in the best way,” he told the newspaper. “And I insist that if I don’t go, I’ll still be thrilled. It’s 10 nominations, darn it. This doesn’t happen every year!”

Updated: January 25, 2019 05:24 PM