It's four hours before Roma wins Best Picture at the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards, but spirits at The London hotel, where stars Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira are getting ready for the red carpet, are already sky-high. Roma, a black-and-white drama loosely based on the director's upbringing in Mexico City, charts the life of a middle-class family's live-in housekeeper. De Tavira plays the mother of the family, and Aparicio plays the housekeeper.
Born in Mexico City, 44-year-old de Tavira has been acting in Mexico for decades but has never experienced a big American break like Roma, whose Oscar buzz intensifies by the day. Better yet, Roma was not the first-ever acting experience for Aparicio, a 25-year-old Oaxaca native. Afternoons spent beautifying in West Hollywood hotel suites before evenings amid hundreds of A-list celebrities are new to both women, whose humility and excitement fill the suite where we've been invited to capture their getting-ready processes.
Sophie Lopez, Aparicio and de Tavira's stylist, calls the experience of working with clients as green as these two "incredibly refreshing." Aparicio's classically feminine look for tonight consists of an embellished baby-pink Prada gown and silver jewels by Anabela Chan, Marli New York, and Kallati. De Tavira's almost-Victorian ensemble is composed of a navy Vivienne Westwood dress, six-inch black Louboutins, and Kallati statement drop earrings.
Glowing about what it's like working with Aparicio and de Tavira, Lopez says, "The girls are so new to it, they have no hang-ups. Occasionally, you can work clients who will only wear certain shapes or colors. Yalitza and Marina are open-minded and try everything." It's a unique breed of fun learning the personal styles of up-and-coming stars, says Lopez, who describes Aparicio's look as "feminine and ethereal" and de Tavira's as "elegant, sophisticated, but still with that fashion, arty edge." As Lopez says, "Yali herself is a gentle, soft spirit. Marina is also feminine, but she has a more serious side to her. She's very much an actor and has a great appreciation for artistry. So with Marina, the Vivienne Westwood feels right for her."
Scroll on to see the photos we captured from before the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards—and to read our three-way interview with Aparicio, de Tavira, and Lopez, in which we discussed award season excitement, personal style, and tricks for surviving the red carpet.
Congratulations on Roma! How are you taking in your first award season?
YALITZA APARICIO: Thank you. I'm enjoying each and every moment I'm experiencing, and learning a lot from the people around me.
MARINA DE TAVIRA: It has been both beautiful and tiring. Since the movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival, we haven't stopped traveling. I think we've taken over 30 flights. It's something I never expected, never imagined, but it has been really amazing and moving. All these red carpets! They really can be overwhelming.
Who have you been most excited to meet on the red carpet or at events?
YA: I'm always very excited to see Regina King.
MDT: I've met and seen some of the actors and directors I admire the most and have been following their work for years. The first one that caught my breath was Cate Blanchett in Venice. Since then, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Spike Lee, Melissa McCarthy, Viola Davis, Gary Oldman. Really! The list goes on and on.
What do you love about working with stylist Sophie Lopez?
YA: I love her taste in clothes and the way she helps me make decisions given how much she knows about these events and her experience working in this field for so long.
MDT: Sophie Lopez is amazing, and we're really lucky to be working with her. She's British and Colombian, so she understands our Latin side, but she has a unique and very refined fashion knowledge. She really gets the idea of our figures and personalities. I feel very comfortable with her and her team, and I trust her completely.
What has been your favorite red carpet look so far?
YA: My favorite has been the violet dress I wore from designer Lela Rose.
MDT: Oh, there have been so many! It’s difficult to say, but I loved the Badgley Mischka for the L.A. premiere and the Vivienne Westwood for the Critics’ Choice Awards. Also, the Mexican designer Sandra Weil for the Mexican premiere.
How has this newfound access to fashion changed your own personal style?
YA: Not at all. I'm still the same, and I still dress the same as always. I'm only just starting to dip my toes into the world of fashion. I'm not an expert!
What are some self-care rituals you do on the day of a big red carpet event to keep yourself calm?
YA: I try to clear my mind by talking to the people that I always have around me, like the women from the grooming crew like Matilde Campos, Carissa Ferreri, and Sophie and her team.
MDT: Well, for the Critics' Choice, I went directly from the airplane to glam, so there was really no time to relax or do a facial treatment or anything of the sort. But I always would recommend good sleep and treat yourself with some nice face treatments. Also, laugh a lot with your makeup and hair artists. Enjoy the process!
What is the first thing you are going to do to relax after award season is over?
MDT: I'm going to start working on a play. That will be a change of rhythm and a change of state of mind. But hopefully I will get to spend a weekend at the beach.
What message do you hope people take away from watching Roma?
YA: Each person will take away something different depending on their own memories. I only hope that they realize how important achieving equality is, as well as respecting each other as human beings.
MDT: That we should acknowledge the people that take care of us. That love and family come in very different forms. That we should turn around and see the people we take for granted.
Yalitza, do you want to continue telling stories as an actor? If so, what kind of stories do you want to tell?
YA: I'd like to continue telling stories that are about reality and that carry a message to their audience.
Sophie, what do you keep in mind when picking looks for Yalitza and Marina?
SOPHIE LOPEZ: There are three things I keep in mind with every client, which are body type, complexion for colors, and their personality.
What are some essentials you have in your kit this award season that you didn't have last year?
Do you have any styling tips for everyday women who are going to a formal event?
SL: I think it would be to invest in tailoring. The tailors make sure the fit on these gowns is perfect. It makes every difference.
Next: Don't miss our cover shoot with actress Yara Shahidi.