Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martinez
Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martinez Image Credit: Supplied

Alfonso Cuaron’s 1970s drama ‘Roma’ is a critical darling with 10 Oscar nominations to its credit. But one of its stars — Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martinez, who plays the brooding militant Fermin — has not been able to secure a visa to attend screenings and other industry events in the US, according to an interview the actor gave to the Mexican lifestyle magazine Quien.

In that interview, Guerrero said he has been denied visas to the US on three occasions, despite the fact that, at one point, he submitted a letter from the film’s producers as evidence that he had official invitations to appear in the US.

“Specifically, I took a letter and they refused to read it,” he told Quien. “On my second attempt, they said I was going to go work, and I said that, no, I had been invited.”

In a separate interview with the Mexican entertainment programme ‘De Primera Mano’, he said specifically that the letters came from Cuaron and Netflix (the production company for ‘Roma’) and reiterated that they went unread.

“I tried giving it to the consul, they grabbed the paper and literally just returned my passport through the teller window,” he stated. “If they don’t want to read it, then it’s going to be very difficult.”

Cuaron, in the meantime, has been sharing media stories about the visa denial on his Twitter feed.

Guerrero, who has appeared in the series ‘Narcos: Mexico’ and is known in his native country for a supporting role in the Telemundo series inspired by the life of pop singer Luis Miguel, told Quien that he first applied for a visa to enter the US early last year so that he might visit as a tourist. That visa was denied. His subsequent applications have been for appearances related to ‘Roma’.

Some media outlets in Mexico, such as El Sol de Tijuana, have speculated that Guerrero might have been denied a visa due to racism, since the actor is indigenous in appearance.

Guerrero, however, told the Mexican daily El Universal that he did not feel “offended, angry or victimised,” noting that plenty of other Mexicans also have their visas denied.

In fact, he is hopeful that he might nonetheless be able to secure a visa to come to the US in time for Academy Awards celebrations at the end of February.

“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!”