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Gael García Bernal facts for kids

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Gael García Bernal
Gael García Bernal in an interview in May 2017.png
García Bernal in 2017
Born (1978-11-30) 30 November 1978 (age 45)
Education National Autonomous University of Mexico
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (BA)
European Graduate School
  • Actor
  • filmmaker
Years active 1989–present
Children 3
Relatives Darío Yazbek Bernal (half-brother)

Gael García Bernal (Spanish: [ɡaˈel ɣaɾˈsi.a βeɾˈnal]; born 30 November 1978) is a Mexican actor and filmmaker. 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).

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.

Early life

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. ..... 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.

Personal life

García Bernal and Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi met on the set of Private Lives 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 had a child on 30 September 2021.

He has described himself as "culturally Catholic but spiritually agnostic".



Denotes productions that have not yet been released Denotes productions that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
1996 De tripas, corazón Martín Short film
2000 Amores perros Octavio
Cerebro Iván 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
2003 Cuba Libre Ricky
Dot the I Kit Winter
2004 Bad Education Ángel / Juan / Zahara
The Motorcycle Diaries Ernesto "Che" Guevara
2005 The King Elvis Valderez
2006 Babel Santiago
The Science of Sleep Stéphane
2007 Déficit Cristobal Also director and producer
The Past Rímini
2008 8 N/A Director, writer and producer
Segment: "The Letter"
Blindness King of Ward 3
Rudo y Cursi Tatto
2009 Sin Nombre N/A Producer
Mammoth Leo Vidales
The Limits of Control Mexican
2010 Los Invisibles
Letters to Juliet Victor
Even the Rain Sebastián
José and Pilar Himself Documentary
2011 Miss Bala N/A Producer
A Little Bit of Heaven Julian Goldstein
Casa de mi padre Onza
The Loneliest Planet Alex
2012 No René Saavedra
Vamps Diego Bardem
2013 Paradise - Producer
Who is Dayani Cristal? Himself Documentary
2014 The Ardor Kaí
Cesar Chavez Himself Cameo; Also producer
Rosewater Maziar Bahari
2015 The Empty Classroom Narrator Documentary; Also producer
Desierto Moises
Zoom Edward Deacon
Eva Doesn't Sleep Emilio Eduardo Massera
2016 Madly N/A Director and writer
Segment: "The Love of My Life"
Neruda Oscar Peluchoneau
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
2019 Birders N/A Executive producer
Chicuarotes N/A Director
Ema Gastón
It Must Be Heaven Himself
Wasp Network Gerardo Hernández
2021 Old Guy Cappa
2023 Cassandro Cassandro
The Mother Hector Álvarez
2024 Another End Sal
TBA Holland, Michigan dagger 0TBA Post-production
The Ballad of the Phoenix dagger King Terrowyn (voice) In production


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Teresa Peluche 3 episodes
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


Gael García Bernal (Guadalajara Film Festival) (cropped)
Gael García Bernal at the Guadalajara Film Festival

Ariel Award

Year Category Title Result Ref
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

BAFTA Awards

Year Category Title Result Ref
2006 Rising Star N/A Nominated
2005 Best Actor The Motorcycle Diaries Nominated

Cannes Film Festival

Year Category Title Result Ref
2003 Chopard Trophy N/A Won
2007 Caméra d'Or Déficit Nominated

Golden Globe Awards

Year Category Title Result Ref
2016 Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Mozart in the Jungle Won
2017 Nominated

Goya Awards

Year Category Title Result Ref
2002 Best Supporting Actor Don't Tempt Me Nominated

Other honors

Year Ceremony Category Title Result
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



Year Song Album
"Cristobal" (with Devendra Banhart) Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
"Before The Sunset" (with Compass) Compass


Year Song Album
"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)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Gael García Bernal para niños

  • Cinema of Mexico
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