Grammy Award-winning singer and Tony Award-nominated actress Eva Noblezada makes her big-screen debut this Friday in Yellow Rose, the story of Rose Garcia, an undocumented, 17-year-old Filipina living outside of Austin, Texas, who dreams of one day becoming a country western music star.
Noblezada, who is Mexican American on her mother’s side and Filipina on her father’s, won a Grammy Award last year for Best Musical Theater Album for Hadestown. She earned a Tony nomination for Best Actress in 2017 for her role in the revival of Miss Saigon. In Yellow Rose, she plays a shy wallflower who comes into her own after her mother is picked up by immigration officials and placed in a detention center.
During this time, Rose hops around to different homes with guitar in hand waiting to hear word on the fate of her mother. When she lands in the spare room of a local honky tonk bar, Rose is given the opportunity to share her distinctive take on the music genre and star building a career. But when she learns her mother will be deported back to the Philippines, she is torn between staying in Texas or going back East to a country she doesn’t know.
The trailer begins with the song “Square Peg” from the film’s soundtrack. Viewers watch Noblezada’s Rose look at herself in the mirror and try to widen her eyes with her fingers. The lyrics, “I never fit in/Never could win/Though I tried and tried/This Feeling Don’t End” are palpable. No matter one’s ethnic background, it’s something many undocumented immigrants experience when their status looms over them and the place they live doesn’t feel entirely like home.
Yellow Rose opens in theaters Friday, October 9.