Who Is Daniela Vega?
Meet the First Openly Transgender Oscars Presenter, Daniela Vega
Sunday night was all about the 90th Annual Academy Awards, and although most people focus on the winners of the night like Allison Janney for I, Tonya, (we see you girl!) or Jordan Peele's win for best original screenplay, making him the first African-American writer to do so, there were so many iconic moments throughout the night. We were especially impressed and excited about Daniela Vega's big moment. If you're not aware of who Daniela is or what her Oscars moment was don't worry, we've got you covered!
- She made Academy Award history.
When Daniela stepped onto the stage for the 90th Annual Academy Awards this weekend as a presenter, she did so as the first openly transgender presenter! This is huge, and she totally nailed it. She introduced Sufjan Stevens and St. Vincent to perform "Mystery of Love" from the Oscar-nominated film Call Me By Your Name, and she handled it with such style and grace.
- She was born and raised in Chile.
The 28-year-old actress is from San Miguel, Santiago, Chile and has lived in Chile her entire life, making her Oscars debut even more impressive and noteworthy.
- Her breakout role almost never happened.
Daniela played Marina Vidal in the film A Fantastic Woman, which took home the award for best foreign language film. The film itself is about a transgender woman in Chile and the discrimination she encounters when her older boyfriend suddenly passes away, but she was initially hired only as a consultant for the film. "He asked to meet and there was an immediate trust and affection between us. He lived in Berlin at the time and I lived in Chile, so we e-mailed and we Skyped," she told W magazine about her first talks with director Sebastián Lelio. "When we saw each other, we spent time together and had a great time. When he sent me the script for A Fantastic Woman that's when I realized he wanted me for the role."
- Her voice is out of this world.
The Chilean actress has another big talent that you might not know about . . . she is a classically trained opera singer (with a mezzo-soprano voice). "It was a self-discovery for me to move from imitating others to me growing to sing in my own voice. The opera was difficult and it felt like a personal conquest," she told W magazine in 2017.
- She went to an all-boys school.
Daniela has been facing hardships and overcome adversity throughout her life, especially when she attended an all-boys school at a young age. "I faced a certain amount of violence. It taught me that I had to learn to protect myself — and it made me stronger," she told The Guardian in February 2018. "It could have made me step backwards with my self-discovery. Instead, it pushed me further."
- Her talent is what she is really focused on.
Even though Daniela is an advocate for trans rights, she really wants her talents as an actress to shine through in all of her performances. In fact, in her debut role that was the main thing she wanted to stress. "I truly appreciate that I'm getting a lot of love from the public, from everybody, from the media. But I respect those people who are activists, who are committed to changing the world and to having an impact from a legislative standpoint when it comes to the LGBT community," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "But my, myself, I feel that I am an actress and that's my role."
You go girl!
Image Source: Getty / Kevin Winter