Gael García Bernal (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaˈel ɣaɾˈsi.a βeɾˈnal]; born 30 November 1978) is a Mexican actor and producer. He is best known for his performances in the films Bad Education, The Motorcycle Diaries (where he played a young Che Guevara), Amores perros, Y tu mamá también, Babel, Coco, and Old, and for his role as Rodrigo de Souza in the Amazon Studios streaming television series Mozart in the Jungle. He and Diego Luna founded Canana Films in Mexico City.
Gael García Bernal
|Born||30 November 1978|
|Partner(s)||Dolores Fonzi (2008–2014)|
Fernanda Aragonés (2019-present)
|Parent(s)||José Ángel García|
|Relatives||Darío Yazbek Bernal (half-brother)|
García Bernal was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Motorcycle Diaries in 2005, and in 2016 won his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for Mozart in the Jungle. In 2016, Time magazine named him in the annual Time 100 most influential people list. In 2020, The New York Times ranked him No. 25 in its list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.
García Bernal was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, the son of Patricia Bernal, an actress and former model, and José Ángel García, an actor and director. His stepfather is Sergio Yazbek, whom his mother married when García Bernal was young. He started acting at just one year old and spent most of his teen years starring in telenovelas. García Bernal and frequent collaborator Diego Luna were friends from infancy in Mexico City.
When he was fourteen, García Bernal taught indigenous people in Mexico to read, often working with the Huichol people. At the age of 15, he took part in peaceful demonstrations in support of the Zapatista uprising of 1994.
He began studying philosophy at UNAM, Mexico's national university but, during a prolonged student strike, he decided to take a sabbatical to travel around Europe. He then moved to London, and became the first Mexican accepted to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
After García Bernal's success in soap operas, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu offered García Bernal a part in the Oscar-nominated Amores perros (2000). The film won rave reviews, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
His next role was Alfonso Cuarón's Y tu mamá también (2001), which was a crossover success into American markets and gained him notice on the international stage, becoming the second-highest grossing Spanish language film in the United States. The next year, García Bernal went on to portray Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara in the 2002 TV miniseries Fidel and the morally troubled Father Amaro in the Mexican box-office record-breaker El crimen del Padre Amaro (2002). García Bernal again portrayed Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), an adaptation of a journal the 23-year-old Guevara wrote about his travels across South America. The film broke the box office record set 3 years prior by Y tu mamá también garnered Bernal a BAFTA nomination in 2005 for Best Performance by an Actor.
García Bernal has worked for acclaimed directors including González Iñárritu, Pedro Almodóvar, Walter Salles, Alfonso Cuarón, Michel Gondry, and Iciar Bollaín, among others. He has taken on roles in English-language films, including the Gondry-directed The Science of Sleep and The King, for which he earned rave reviews.
García Bernal directed his first feature film, Déficit which was released in 2007. He was cast in the 2008 film Blindness, an adaptation of the 1995 novel of the same name by José Saramago, winner of the Nobel Prize, about a society suffering an epidemic of blindness. As 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.'" García Bernal again paired with Diego Luna in Rudo y Cursi directed by Carlos Cuarón.
García Bernal and Diego Luna own Canana Films. The company recently joined with Golden Phoenix Productions to produce a number of television documentaries about the unsolved murders of more than 300 women in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.
In 2010, he co-directed with Marc Siver four short films in collaboration with Amnesty International. The tetralogy, called "Los Invisibles", is about migrants from Central America in Mexico, their journey and risks, their hopes, and what they can contribute to Mexico, the US and the world. He directed the movies, did the interviews and also narrates the four short movies. He starred in Even the Rain (2010), Spain's official entry for the 2011 Academy Awards.
García Bernal narrated Human Planet for Hispanic audiences, which premiered on Discovery en Español on 25 April 2011 and aired on Discovery Channel in Latin America on 12 May. For the third time García Bernal appeared with Diego Luna in the American Spanish-language comedy film Casa de mi padre, opposite Will Ferrell, where he played a feared drug lord. García Bernal's next projects included a film adaptation of José Agustín's Ciudades Desiertas and the Jon Stewart directorial biopic Rosewater, in which he portrayed Maziar Bahari to widespread critical acclaim. He was set to star in the 20th Century Fox reboot Zorro film called Zorro Reborn. The script is by Glen Gers, Lee Shipman, and Brian McGeevy.
In June 2014, he began production as the star of the dramatic comedy Zoom, directed by Pedro Morelli.
In 2014, he was cast in the lead role of Rodrigo de Souza in the Amazon Studios comedy-drama television series Mozart in the Jungle. His performance in the show was met with rave reviews, earning him a Golden Globe Award in 2016.
In 2017, he was announced as a member of the U.S. Dramatic Jury at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. That same year, he provided the voice of Héctor, an undead trickster and one of the main protagonists of the Pixar animated film Coco.
García Bernal founded The Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, which works to bring documentary films to places where they are rarely shown, and helped to create the Amnesty International Short Documentary Series Los Invisibles. For this work, he was awarded the Washington Office on Latin America's Human Rights Award in 2011.
García Bernal was with his partner, Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi, from 2006 to 2014. They met on the set of Vidas privadas in 2001. They never married, according to an interview given by Bernal. On 8 January 2009 their son Lázaro was born in Madrid, Spain. Their daughter, Libertad, was born on 4 April 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The couple ended their relationship in September 2014. He divides his time between Buenos Aires and Mexico City.
He has been in a relationship with Mexican journalist Fernanda Aragonés since 2019. They welcomed their first child in 30 September 2021.
|Denotes productions that have not yet been released|
|1996||De tripas, corazón||Martín||Short film|
|2001||Don't Tempt Me||Davenport|
|The Last Post||José Francisco||Short film|
|Vidas privadas||Gustavo "Gana" Bertolini|
|Y tu mamá también||Julio Zapata|
|El ojo en la nuca||Pablo Urrutia||Short film|
|2002||Fidel||Ernesto "Che" Guevara|
|I'm with Lucy||Gabriel|
|The Crime of Father Amaro||Padre Amaro|
|Dot the I||Kit Winter|
|2004||Bad Education||Ángel / Juan / Zahara|
|The Motorcycle Diaries||Ernesto "Che" Guevara|
|2005||The King||Elvis Valderez|
|The Science of Sleep||Stéphane|
|2007||Déficit||Cristobal||Also director and producer|
|2008||8||N/A||Director, writer and producer|
Segment: "The Letter"
|Blindness||King of Ward 3|
|Rudo y Cursi||Tatto|
|The Limits of Control||Mexican|
|Letters to Juliet||Victor|
|Even the Rain||Sebastián|
|José and Pilar||Himself||Documentary|
|A Little Bit of Heaven||Julian Goldstein|
|Casa de mi padre||Onza|
|The Loneliest Planet||Alex|
|2013||Who is Dayani Cristal?||Himself||Documentary|
|Cesar Chavez||Himself||Cameo; Also producer|
|2015||The Empty Classroom||Narrator||Documentary; Also producer|
|Eva Doesn't Sleep||Emilio Eduardo Massera|
|2016||Madly||N/A||Director and writer|
Segment: "The Love of My Life"
|Salt and Fire||Dr. Fabio Cavani|
|You're Killing Me Susana||Eligio|
|2017||If You Saw His Heart||Daniel|
|2018||The Kindergarten Teacher||Simon|
|Museum||Juan Nuñez||Also executive producer|
|The Accused||Mario Elmo|
|It Must Be Heaven||Himself|
|Wasp Network||Gerardo Hernández|
|1992||El abuelo y yo||Daniel García Medina||Lead role (90 episodes)|
|2000||Queen of Swords||Churi||1 episode ("Honor Thy Father")|
|2006||Soy tu fan||Emilio||1 episode ("¡Que viva México!")|
|2014–2018||Mozart in the Jungle||Rodrigo de Souza||Lead role (40 episodes)|
|2021||Station Eleven||Arthur Leander||Miniseries|
|2022||Untitled Marvel Halloween special||Werewolf by Night||Lead role; Upcoming Disney+ television special|
|2016||Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Mozart in the Jungle||Won|||
|2017||Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Mozart in the Jungle||Nominated|||
|2005||Best Actor||The Motorcycle Diaries||Nominated|||
Abu Dhabi Film Festival
|2007||Outstanding Actor – Motion Picture||Babel||Nominated|||
|2001||Best Actor (Mejor Actor)||Amores Perros||Won|||
|2017||Best Actor (Mejor Actuación Masculina)||You're Killing Me Susana||Nominated|||
|2019||Best Actor (Mejor Actuación Masculina)||Museo||Nominated|||
Awards Circuit Community Awards
|2006||Best Cast Ensemble||Babel||Nominated|||
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
|2007||Best Acting Ensemble||Babel||Nominated|||
Cannes Film Festival
|2003||Chopard Trophy (Male Revelation)||Won|||
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
|2003||Most Promising Performer||The Crime of Father Amaro
Y Tu Mamá También
Chicago International Film Festival
|2000||Best Actor||Amores perros||Won|||
|2003||Best Actor||Y Tu Mamá También||Nominated|||
|2005||Best Actor||Bad Education||Won|||
|2007||Best Actor||The Science of Sleep||Nominated|||
Cinema Brazil Grand Prize
|2009||Best Supporting Actor (Melhor Ator Coadjuvante)||Blindness||Nominated|||
Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain
|2002||Best Supporting Actor (Mejor Actor Secundario)||Don't Tempt Me||Nominated|||
|2005||Best Actor (Mejor Actor)||Bad Education||Nominated|||
Cork International Film Festival
|2013||Audience Award||Who is Dayani Cristal?||Won|||
Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards
|2002||Best Supporting Actor||Don't Tempt Me||Nominated|
|2009||Popular Breakthrough of the Year||Rudo y Cursi||Won|
|2009||Best theme for a film||Rudo y Cursi||Nominated|
El Heraldo de México
|2001||Best actor||Y Tu Mamá También||Nominated|
|2010||Can He Act or What?||Rudo y Cursi||Nominated|
Venice Film Festival
|2001||Marcello Mastroianni Award (shared with Diego Luna)||Y Tu Mamá También||Won|
ACE Awards New York
|2005||Best Actor||The Motorcycle Diaries||Nominated|
Mayahuel de Plata Awards
|"Cristobal" (with Devendra Banhart)||Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon|
|"Before The Sunset" (with Compass)||Compass|
|"Vagabundo"||El abuelo y yo|
|"If You Rescue Me (Chanson des Chats)" (with Sacha Bourdo, Alain Chabat and Aurelia Petit)||The Science of Sleep|
|"Quiero que me quieras»||Rudo y Cursi|
|"A Morte De Pé Em Palco" (with José Saramago)||José e Pilar (Banda Sonora Original)|
|"Everyone Knows Juanita»||Coco (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|"Un poco loco" (with Anthony Gonzalez)|
|"Remember Me (Lullaby)" (with Gabriella Flores and Libertad García Fonzi)|
|"Juanita»||Coco (Banda Sonora Original)|
|"Un poco loco" (with Luis Ánge Gómez Jaramillo)|
|"Recuérdame (Arrullo)" (with Lucy Hernández)|
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