Gael García Bernal has been in show business since he was a teen. Born in Mexico, he followed in his parents’ acting footsteps and appeared in several telenovelas. Now, his success has gone beyond Spanish-language soaps. García Bernal’s bilingual career is on fire, and at just 40 years old, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
At 18, García Bernal decided to commit to his acting craft. He moved to London and became the first Mexican student to enroll in the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. “I never thought I was going to be acting in movies to begin with,” he said in a red carpet interview. “It’s a great surprise, great opportunity and a great privilege.”
That serious commitment paid off. He’s been in more than 37 films, including Amores Perros, Babel and The Motorcycle Diaries, and he is the voice of Hector in Pixar’s Coco. The animated flick scored two Academy Awards this year, receiving top honor for Best Animated Feature Film. García Bernal has his own awards to brag about. In 2016, he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series for his role as Rodrigo in Mozart in the Jungle. “As actors, you get a chance to live different lives, but sometimes you get a chance to live lives you wish you did,” he told Business Insider.
Along with an illustrious career, García Bernal has one of the best bromances in Hollywood. He and fellow actor Diego Luna have known each other since birth! “I met him when he was 2 days old and I was about 1, and my mother took me to visit him in the Mexican hospital where he was born,” Bernal said. The pair have starred in three movies together, are producing partners and have joined forces to start a film festival. In 2005, Luna and García Bernal launched the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, geared toward showcasing Latinx filmmakers.
García Bernal also uses his celebrity platform to address political issues. He dedicated the movie Coco to Latinx kids living in the Trump era, saying: “In this moment, these kids are growing up with a lot of fear because the established narrative says that they come from families that come from rapists, murderers and drug traffickers. We are such a complex and profound culture, and these kids need to be empowered to stand up and say that what is being said about them is a complete lie.”
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