Gael García Bernal (Spanish: [ɡaˈel ɣaɾˈsi.a βeɾˈnal]; born 30 November 1978) is a Mexican actor and producer. He is known for his performances in the films Bad Education (2004), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), Amores perros (2000), Y tu mamá también (2001), Babel (2006), Coco (2017), and Old (2021), for his role as the titular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe television special Werewolf by Night (2022), and for his role as Rodrigo de Souza in the series Mozart in the Jungle (2014–18).
Gael García Bernal
|Born||30 November 1978|
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
|Relatives||Darío Yazbek Bernal (half-brother)|
García Bernal was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of a young Che Guevara in 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.
He and fellow actor Diego Luna founded the production company Canana Films in Mexico City. 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 childhood 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 fifteen, 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. Bernal also attended the European Graduate School.
After García Bernal's success in soap operas, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu offered García Bernal a part in his feature directorial debut, 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.
He also did some theatre work, during this time, including a 2005 production of Bodas de Sangre, by Federico García Lorca, in the Almeida Theatre in London.
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 May 2010, García Bernal did a cameo appearance as himself playing Cristiano Ronaldo in Ronaldo: The Movie for the Nike advertisement, Write the Future.
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 April 2014, he was announced as a member of the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
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 2016, he starred in two movies that were submitted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Desierto (Mexico) and Neruda (Chile).
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.
In October 2019, García Bernal and Diego Luna announced they were joining the Creative Advisory Board for TV and Film development company EXILE Content along with Adam Grant.
In 2021, García Bernal starred in the M. Night Shyamalan thriller Old. In November 2021, Bernal was cast in the Disney+ special Werewolf by Night by Marvel Studios, based on the comics character of the same name.
García Bernal and Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi met on the set of Vidas privadas in 2001. On 8 January 2009 their son was born in Madrid, Spain. Their daughter was born on 4 April 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 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 a child on 30 September 2021.
He has described himself as "culturally Catholic but spiritually agnostic".
|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||—||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|
|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||—||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|
|Coco||Héctor Rivera (voice)|
|2018||The Kindergarten Teacher||Simon|
|Museum||Juan Nuñez||Also executive producer|
|The Accused||Mario Elmo|
|It Must Be Heaven||Himself|
|Wasp Network||Gerardo Hernández|
|The Mother||Hector Álvarez|
|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)|
|2021–2022||Station Eleven||Arthur Leander||Miniseries|
|2022||Werewolf by Night||Jack Russell / Werewolf by Night||Lead role; Disney+ television special|
|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|||
|2005||Best Actor||The Motorcycle Diaries||Nominated|||
|2016||Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Mozart in the Jungle||Won|||
|2002||Best Supporting Actor||Don't Tempt Me||Nominated|
|2000||Chicago International Film Festival||Best Actor||Amores perros||Won|||
|2001||El Heraldo de México||Best Actor||Y Tu Mamá También||Nominated|
|Venice Film Festival||Marcello Mastroianni Award (shared with Diego Luna)||Won|
|2002||Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain||Best Supporting Actor (Mejor Actor Secundario)||Don't Tempt Me||Nominated|||
|2003||Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Most Promising Performer||The Crime of Father Amaro, Y Tu Mamá También||Nominated|||
|Chlotrudis Awards||Best Actor||Y Tu Mamá También||Nominated|||
|2005||ACE Awards New York||Best Actor||The Motorcycle Diaries||Nominated|
|Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain||Best Actor (Mejor Actor)||Bad Education||Nominated|||
|Chlotrudis Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|2006||Awards Circuit Community Awards||Best Cast Ensemble||Babel||Nominated|||
|2007||Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|||
|Alma Awards||Outstanding Actor – Motion Picture||Nominated|||
|Chlotrudis Awards||Best Actor||The Science of Sleep||Nominated|||
|2009||Cinema Brazil Grand Prize||Best Supporting Actor (Melhor Ator Coadjuvante)||Blindness||Nominated|||
|Premios Oye!||Popular Breakthrough of the Year||Rudo y Cursi||Won|
|Best theme for a film||Nominated|
|Mayahuel de Plata Awards||Achievement Award||Himself||Won|
|2010||Premios Juventud||Can He Act or What?||Rudo y Cursi||Nominated|
|2012||Abu Dhabi Film Festival||Best Actor||No||Won|||
|2013||Cork International Film Festival||Audience Award||Who is Dayani Cristal?||Won|||
|Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Actor||No||Nominated|||
|2014||Chlotrudis Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|"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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- Gael Garcia Bernal on Twitter (in Spanish)
- Gael García Bernal at IMDb
- Gael García Bernal interview for Rudo & Cursi By Alastair Smart, Daily Telegraph, 8 July 2009
- 2014 Cannes Film Festival Screening