Full interview with Oscar-nominated stars of 'Roma' on their breakthrough roles

Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira talk to ABC News' Juju Chang about the making of "Roma."
20:01 | 02/20/19

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Transcript for Full interview with Oscar-nominated stars of 'Roma' on their breakthrough roles
Hi I'm juju Chang welcome to ABC news live. And we have a rare opportunity to hear from not one but two Academy Award nominated actors. Ers fall congratulations. To both the view. It must've been thrilling to to be nominated. Atlas atlas. Big surprise for me and what's not expecting at all. It's something nice guy beating even dared to dream that would happen someday you'll that no matter how the Sunnis of have a numbing agents and some contemporaries. But when I heard my name. I I first thought that I eat less confusing reality. And until my phone started to go crazy I set not somebody else heard it too so it must be true. Let's look what was your reaction to the nomination you've been nominated and a lot of different awards but this must have been. Big I spent a cost I didn't expect it either I stopped to see the nominations I was in Tijuana at the time but only with the hope that they were going to nominate the film for the best film until flay. Then the category where I'm nominated was announced and since it's hard for me to understand. I do not speak English. I turned so someone would trans and then I heard my name and I just started crying because of the excitement and is it. It was such a big surprise to hear my name in that category and Nancy the other actresses who are nominee and and yet. I heard that growing up you're kind of turned off by cinema because as you say you were a little bit outside the mainstream and not represented. In the movies being seen it. And they get up picking me. Yes I was young and I would watch television. Yes I was young I would watch television and alleys he women who are so different from the ones I knew and who looked like me. Think that cause me to say at some point in my life. I cannot watch television it's wasting my time when I can be studying and working to finish my career. And work on something that I considered quote unquote real. Can you wanted out laughing at him. Com I'm curious marina what. What inspired you to become an actor and what because you have a lot of experience both in the stage and screen and TV. Well I come from a company that has the theater tradition and my A my late father wanted to be an actor and then he ended up doing something else but he always had like. Theater group that would be Harris at home. And also his brother is very. I'll let known the Saturday entering Mexico. And it's that was my teacher my cost since actors but we have mostly based on the theater industry in. And I always thought that I would only dedicate my knife to be yet you act. And yet here you are a working mom. Playing a working mom. And you you bring such realism to the role. What what does the films say do you think about the matriarch. The strong woman. It in every part of this movie. Well it definitely. Portrays to women aren't left alone to face motherhood in very different ways. And that I'm for me it's I think that for example so Fiat she becomes strong because she has still. Not because it's a statesman like I am going to be inning powered women would not it's just because she has to because she's. She's she's left alone to face motherhood and two and two wept for her children. And she never hears back from her husband to received any money. So that makes her. To have to work than and I think that's a situation of the lots of women around the world. Four of some recent. The at. The society is is easy on men when they. Leave their children. And then some time and I think we should like Warrick on strengthening. The fatherhood. Right. And yet this movie is very much. A love letter. From the director to his mother and that the nanny who raised him. And you see the grandmother to this it's like the strong line of women. In the movie. I think it says something about it an homage to to women. Of course I'm nobody knows that in fact. They leave in the grandmother's house. I don't know that they can't do it because they never say it but it is if there is a house where it Sophia grew up when she was the child and now they leaving her house. So yes it I think it it talks about like yeses generations of women taking care of children and thinking up funny thing. You have a line when you come home drunk and you say to her in a whispered you know. We're on our own and we take terror cells. In. Him. And how much of that is is embedded in not just the movie but in the relationship. Abuse to a well I think they they they actually left alone to face mother. This in and in really different waste. The that men are not there. Two tools to help them moments with something that really it's it's it's it's part of both men and women. But somehow instant win that reality. Vulnerable in motherhood when it went off also told me that line. I release it after I completed an eight disease I've seen it I've seen it in my mother. I've experience it myself I've seen also women. Going to feel and I always ask myself why is it's. Why is this white. Wyatt. Women and children left Sobel of nimble in life. And yet it also highlights for the larger audience the role that domestic workers play. In working mothers worlds in in the world in general in fact one of the labor organizers had a quote saying that. It is the work. The indigenous workers that their work is the work that makes all other work possible. That's I'm so glad you mentioned that because it's true and we really need to be. Grateful because for example I'm here because there's woman that lives with me. And of course a father and my own mother but that woman is likely be the one that knows everything about. What about schedules about full load about. At least about. Illness. And we really sharemarket. That that's way at what that's what I think Sophia understands at the end of the him that be seen. That she quo is going to be that to a compass. In life. And it's another woman that comes from an indigenous community and that that is going to be her from. Explain to an American audience I mean she she's done so eloquently that the division between mainstream. You know sort of a lead Mexican culture ends the indigenous culture which sometimes feels. Under represented an invisible. Well this is something that we carry on in from. Calling me perfect it's something that's been there. And that we. We won't be reiterated that it all how to solve. But women and children from the indigenous community are the ones that suffer more and among vulnerable in a Mexican society. On bases because of so many economic killed at least zones because of racism. Because of this to me nation and it's been going on for generations and generations and generations I read that you got Scripps. Date today that you weren't given the full script at the beginning is that true. Yes it's still in one of us are invited us to this we were together and he said we're gonna work a lot but in really different way. You dais escaped that you would never eat. So I just ask you to. Surrender to this process and that's what we did but I really think that it was a blessing for acting because she really took care. Of the characters not. Not not knowing ahead what's coming to them. Makes I think the performance be more alive and depressants tense. Oh you. You he. I sometimes it wouldn't give us the lines but we would never read what the other cat it was gonna say. Or it below or maybe it's it's something else Ellis less like shocking me. And like for example what she tells me that she's pregnant I what I read winning memorize the scene is that she have broken something from the beating them. Just give you an example the kind of like we did so when she surprised yeah pat yeah I'm that she's pregnant she's really surprising gaffe. And of course then we repeat the scene ends. It also. This thing. The duke could think Clinton doesn't. Cookie cakes. And demanded but wouldn't. It isn't. You know that's how films are gone but you don't we didn't have the chance like to sleep on it so really if we it was like. Like facing life as we do in real life and acting and written exactly you veteran actress. And yet your. Acting against someone who's never acted before what what did you make of her performance. Well it was beautiful we'll she was killed all the time and they from day one. You never like I one of my teachers use to say that what really builds you a catcher is the other activities. That relationship previous what acting it's it's not about you are. Building like. So Fiat its Sophia act hill's relationship. And she helped so much she sees US scale all the time for the children for me. For everybody so there was no question it there was no it didn't matter if she was the first time actress or not that wasn't my mind. And it didn't show a panel. Sure parents reacts to all the success of rumor and especially the nomination. And he stuck as a suddenly content us. By parents are very happy but they're also concerned about what is happening. There are many things that they do not understand because we are not familiar with the industry. They are surprised to see how their reaction of the people who come to ask for autographs or photo that sometimes scares them. So I a but I've read that your father is State Street under. And your mother's domestic worker. They meet up by a is dean. Comments and thank. My father is a merchant he goes place to place selling Pete's. He makes pizzas because he has now is linked to cut my mother is a domestic worker and she has been one for many years and so she does she care for. Adults are for children. I mean yes. Need. Children at first. But later she did not want to do it because they said that the hardest part of their job was to leave the children because she would get very attached to them. That's why she opted to only clean houses and two laundry. But she doesn't want to feel that relationship toward kids being torn because it makes it difficult to leave the job. You know but you must've drawn on some of that with you or roll because. You clearly bond with the children in the movie and they bond to you did you drying out from from your personal experience watching among them. A Siemens Italy's. I was inspired by her work the reason why I chose to do the film was to pay tribute to her. So she would realize how valuable her work is once I was filming I tried to remember moments in which I saw how she did her work. And that's achieve the character. Yes you know that up as some your mother trained you. As the next generation of women how proud. Ishii that you are being and to portray a domestic worker without much dignity and not much respect. EC. I have the best mom in the world. She always taught me that just because we didn't have the means did not mean you couldn't fulfill your dreams she always told me let's work in whatever we can't. We'll figured out how we make it happen. I do not want to see you here with me in the future with injured hands wearing campaign year nails and she would say I need to see you in a stable job. Where icu all piled up with a beautiful club seats and that wouldn't compare up. Look where you ended up. And that is an analyst. At I think it. How much has Alfonso Correa on contributed to helping people who are sometimes invisible. Much more visible. Behind it's it's just say I mean I'm really grateful that he. Put me on this and found those story. Because that that thing that's hanging tales that parents that he says got it's them most horrible thing. I can I completely. I imagine to say to a woman. That those the most incredible and important public that a brewing in makes a difference for lots of families and children. And until and women from mother's soul. It it just was about time for someone to say thank you. It's lovely. And that you had to learn that you had to learn the indigenous. Dialects that you speak in that movie was that difficult having to go about doing it. Flee Olympic. It was somewhat complicated because even though I grew up in a Meeks take a region. The dialect is no longer spoke it has been lost because people think that the fact that you speak either sample Tenneco or makes echo. Are any other dialect that exists in our state they can become the object of discrimination. And since I was not used to listening to it. When there were scenes in which I had to speak in the state now Nancy had to help me correctly pronounce words she speaks and writes knicks think also she was or translator. And although it was difficult and we were always laughing because I could not announce it for me it was very important that the film showed how these friends kept their time and that is why I tried my best must be nice to be able to speak a dialect though inning. Big Hollywood movie CIC. On that I do you support gay. Yes it was a wonderful thing because at first I did not note the film would have such an impact but now we are given an opportunity to be seen around world. They're also giving us the opportunity to see this diverse culture that we have in Mexico. At the same time and allows people who still speak these languages to feel motivated to preserve it and also passed from generation to generation so now with all of your high visibility do you think you might. Inspire younger. People who are indigenous to become actors get a look at it case to listen output to meet up at a saying yes well I want to believe that this is an opportunity for all Adam and I always sent us a nomination as more people like us back in the nineteen in the industry. Because the little research I've done about cinema because I haven't had much time. I've realized that there are not a lot of Mexicans and Hollywood and I wish we could achieve more of that inclusion. And the that a move my sister and was. You know there was a controversy a couple of years ago called Oscar so whites about you know to mini. Of the winners and nominees being white. Caucasian and your nomination I think speaks volumes and it also and yet your. Opposite five. White women what what do you think about the state of representation in Hollywood now and and what Roman does for that. Says. Plays. Well I hope moving forward you'll see more of an inclusion of difference in collars. They're still so many characteristics are reflected on screen and the fact of sharing this category with women who are mostly white well it's flattering to be in that category. Not to say that for the simple fact of saying I'm of cholera and less than. But to say look we have this diversity in appearances and we are just as talent that looks almost it wasn't that includes. Nearly I know you're a preschool teacher and I wonder if that helped to. Interact with the child actors on the sat consider can see that is now seeing me preface and and I think my progression did help me the fact that I chose to be a teacher was because I like to be here on children. I feel that they have that purity that they managed to transmit and in the film in the film I'm able to work with them even though they are younger but they were lovely. They had an incredible talent. I was surprised at how quickly they memorize things I liked working with them because you would learn a lot from them. Attacked a little bit about you being a teacher and I learned this phrase in the research about normally stop us. Right that's that you know. And that that in the movie the norm at least as are the ones who are protesting. And you know there's been a lot of political turmoil around the disappeared normally says. Recently. What. What role do teachers play and in. Sort of moving the political debate forward to and do you do use sympathize with the normally says in the Meehan and in real. For me being norm at least it means to have them location to be teacher. It is this time period where you are preparing yourself to help new generation and above all the time to teach new generations to always fight for their rights. And always fight for what. Seemed tough but he. You mentioned drowning scene and how these are these two women who anchored to save this family in these children. Together but I heard that she doesn't. Didn't enjoy it at all that the swimming was terrifying to tell me about what it was like it's to shoot that scene and how emotionally. You reacted to. I do not know how to swim but in defense of the crew they did ask me and I told them hood I never imagined that we are going to shoot inside Nancy. But you didn't really. Now that it's not well. I didn't understand turn out well I did not amount of up. It's a good laugh for the director it's okay. As they're asking too yeah that's not fair. And yet it's true to character act right. And that's a magic about this this film somehow the cactus seem to have. That that that that the actor's that they the cactus and to have the same. Second. Anchor it with in the craziest fun part of this told runup to the Oscars we've met incredible people that we. Just have seen on the screen and that at Miami but Nimitz thought we will have moved. Or at. I. Admit that at it what Alison acting school sometimes my friends would joke. Like what would you say you fuel if you won an Oscar if you were not mean it and that what I haven't even there to joke about that. It was thanks so far away from Anemia and he could every imagine so it's big week. I don't know I'm still waiting to wake up the cook up. How fabulous is that you're watching ABC news live stay.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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