Oscar nominee for 'A Better Life' talks about leaving Mexico and his move to the U.S.

From the Huffington Post:

Demian Bichir learned an important lesson when he left his native Mexico to launch a U.S. acting career and ended up working in a Mexican restaurant in New York: How to live the invisible life of an undocumented immigrant with dignity.

It's a subtle quality he brings to his Oscar-nominated role of Los Angeles gardener Carlos Galindo in the movie "A Better Life."

This week, we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our podcast, NCR in Conversation. Catch the latest episode here.

Like Galindo, Bichir came to the U.S. illegally. The U.S. amnesty program in 1986 put him on the road to a Green Card. The character he plays is not so lucky, trying to climb the rungs from day worker to owner of a gardening business while keeping his American-born teenage son from street gangs.

"It was important for me to relate to that time when I arrived in New York," Bichir told The Associated Press. "Carlos Galindo's dignity is similar to all those 11 million undocumented workers in U.S. They live their lives with ... that power and that passion, and they never give up. That's me."

The result brought the first best actor nomination for a Mexican native since Anthony Quinn 47 years ago. Bichir is up against big-name stars Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Gary Oldman, as well as Jean Dujardin in Sunday's ceremony.

Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.

We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.


Looking for comments?

We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.