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Gael García Bernal

García Bernal at the London Film Festival for premiere of The King (2005)
Born November 30, 1978 (1978-11-30) (age 31)
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–present

Gael García Bernal (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaˈel ɡaɾˈsi.a beɾˈnal]; born November 30, 1978) is a Mexican actor and director.

Contents

Early life

García Bernal was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, the son of Patricia Bernal, an actress and former model, and José Angel García, an actor and director.[1] His stepfather is Sergio Yazbek, who his mother married when García Bernal was young.[2] He started acting at just a year old and spent most of his teen years starring in telenovelas. Gael studied the International Baccalaureate, with chemistry being unquestionably his favorite subject. When he was fourteen, he taught indigenous peoples in Mexico to read, often working with the Huichol Indians.[3] In his later teens he took part in peaceful demonstrations during the Chiapas uprising of 1994.[4]

Career

Garcia Bernal at a 2005 screening for The King

García Bernal was becoming a soap opera heartthrob, but at age 19, he left Mexico's television world to study acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, becoming the first person from Mexico to be accepted in the programme. In the brief period beforehand, he had begun to study philosophy at UNAM, Mexico's national university, before a strike closed the college and he then left for London. Describing his time in London as 'life forming', he only considered acting as merely an 'odd job profession' until the Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu tracked him down and offered him a part in Amores Perros. Subsequently, García Bernal starred in some of Mexico's most celebrated recent films, including 2001's Y tu mamá también, and El crimen del Padre Amaro (2002). He has also done some theatre work, including a 2005 production of Bodas de Sangre, by Federico García Lorca, in the Almeida Theatre in London. His debut as a working-class dreamer in the Oscar-nominated Amores Perros, however, was what first grabbed Hollywood's attention.

García Bernal also portrayed Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara twice, first in the 2002 TV miniseries Fidel and then, better known, in 2004's The Motorcycle Diaries, an adaptation of a journal a 23-year-old Guevara wrote about his travels across South America. García Bernal has worked for acclaimed directors including Pedro Almodóvar, Walter Salles, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Michel Gondry, among others. He recently took on roles in English language films, including the Gondry-directed The Science of Sleep, the Alejandro González Iñárritu-directed Babel, and The King, for which he earned rave reviews.[5] He has been nominated for a BAFTA in 2005 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for The Motorcycle Diaries and, in 2006, was nominated for the Orange Rising Star award which acknowledges new talents in the acting industry.

García Bernal also directed his first feature film, Déficit, which was released in 2007.[6][7] García Bernal is also featured on the 2007 Devendra Banhart album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, contributing vocals on the first track entitled "Cristobal." Bernal was cast for the 2008 film Blindness, an adaptation of the 1995 novel of the same name by José Saramago about a society suffering an epidemic of blindness. Like in the novel, the characters have only descriptions, no names or histories; while director Fernando Meirelles said some actors were intimidated by the concept of playing such characters, "With Gael, he said, 'I never think about the past. I just think what my character wants.'"[8]

García Bernal stars in Rudo y Cursi with Diego Luna, directed by Carlos Cuarón. They will also all be at the screening at 2009's Edinburgh Film Festival.

Personal life

He was raised by his mother and stepfather, the photographer Sergio Yazbek. García Bernal studied at The Edron Academy in Mexico City. García Bernal's parents participated in an annual clown competition which inspired García Bernal as a young child to become the actor he is today.

García Bernal is "culturally Catholic" and "spiritually agnostic".[9] He speaks fluent Spanish and English; and Portuguese, French and Italian to some degree.

García Bernal dated actress Natalie Portman from 2003 to 2004.

On Thursday 8 January 2009, girlfriend Dolores Fonzi gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Lázaro in Madrid, Spain.[10][11]

García Bernal's best friends are Diego Luna and Saul "Tato" Herrera whom he met when he was one year old.[citation needed]

Roles in Academy Award-nominated films

Gael García Bernal has been in six Oscar-nominated films:

Quotes

García Bernal in 2005
  • "The talent survives and remains while the beauty is diluted."[12]
  • "Changes occur that way. Suddenly the bricks fall into place in some sort of chaotic serenity." [13]
  • "I'm an actor. I don't need to abide by any ethnicity."[14]
  • "I was very involved. I helped with sending food, writing and reading about the situation, and demonstrating about it on the marches. It was great. I was young, and it was fun. And I've got to say, I met my first girlfriend – my first real girlfriend - there as well. It was a great place to meet girls!"- Gael on the Chiapas uprising[4]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Queen of Swords Churri TV episode Honor Thy Father
Amores perros Octavio Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film
2001 Sin Noticias de Dios Davenport Goya nominations for Best Film and Best Supporting Actor
Vidas privadas Gustavo 'Gana' Bertolini
Y tu mamá también Julio Zapata Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay
El ojo en la nuca Pablo Urrutia Honorary Foreign Student Oscar Award
2002 I'm with Lucy Gabriel
Fidel Ernesto "Che" Guevara
El Crimen del Padre Amaro Padre Amaro Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film
2003 Dreaming of Julia Ricky Released as Cuban Blood in the US
Dot the I Kit Winter Deauville winner for Audience Award
2004 Bad Education Ángel/Juan/Zahara Goya nomination for Best Film
The Motorcycle Diaries Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna Oscar winner for Best Song, nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay
2005 The King Elvis
2006 Babel Santiago Oscar winner for Best Score, 7 total nominations including Best Picture
The Science of Sleep Stéphane French film, written and directed by Michel Gondry
2007 Déficit Cristobal Also directed and produced the movie
El Pasado Rímini
2008 Blindness King of Ward 3
Rudo y Cursi Tatto released 19 December 2008
2009 Mammoth Leo Vidales released 23 January 2009
The Limits of Control Mexican released 1 May 2009
8 - 'The Letter' Director World Premiere / Opening Rome International Film Festival 2008
2010 Letters to Juliet Director World Premiere / Released 7 May 2010

References

  1. ^ Gael Garcia Bernal: he plays everybody's favorite revolutionary onscreen, but he's not just playacting Interview | Find Articles at BNET.com
  2. ^ Binoche, Juliette (November 2004). "Gael Garcia Bernal: he plays everybody's favorite revolutionary onscreen, but he's not just playacting". Interview. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1285/is_10_34/ai_n6338666. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Gael Garcia Bernal". Then It Must Be True. July 2004. http://www.thenitmustbetrue.com/garciabernal/garciabernal1.html. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  4. ^ a b Calhoun, Dave (2006-04-25). "Gael García Bernal interview". Time Out London. http://www.timeout.com/film/news/1097.html. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  5. ^ Louie, Rebecca (2006-05-26). "Gael Garcia Bernal breaks barriers and tackles tough issues". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 2006-06-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20060614044123/http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/entertainment/movies/14672037.htm. 
  6. ^ Miranda, Carolina A. (2007-03-02). "Q&A with Gael Garcia Bernal". http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1595499,00.html. 
  7. ^ (2007-05-09) Gael García Bernal on Directing. URL accessed on 2007-08-14.
  8. ^ "Fall Movie Summer Preview, September: Blindness." Entertainment Weekly, Iss. #1007/1008, August 22/29, 2008, pg.55.
  9. ^ INTERVIEW: Padre, Padre: Mexico's Native Son Gael Garcia Bernal Stars in the Controversial "The Crime of Father Amaro"
  10. ^ El País, El actor mexicano Gael García Bernal será padre en diciembre, 5 August 2008, accessed 5th August 2008
  11. ^ Gael Garcia Bernal and [[Dolores Fonzi Welcome a Son] Celebrity Baby Blog, January 9, 2009
  12. ^ "G-Guys - Gael Garcia Bernal". Glamour (UK). http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/g-guys/default.aspx?id=33231. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  13. ^ Sharp, Richard (2003). "New Latin Revolution (Interviews - Gael Garcia Bernal)". Chicago Film. http://www.chicagofilm.com/interviews/bernal/default.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  14. ^ Hornik, Susan (October-November 2004). "Gael: taking the reins of his career". Latino Leaders: The National Magazine of the Successful American Latino. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PCH/is_5_5/ai_n6332911. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 

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