Gael García Bernal

Gael García Bernal (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaˈel ɣaɾˈsi.a βeɾˈnal]; born 30 November 1978) is a Mexican actor and producer. García Bernal is best known for his performances in the films Bad Education, The Motorcycle Diaries, Amores perros, Y Tu Mamá También, Babel, and Coco, and for his role as Rodrigo de Souza in the Amazon Studios' web television series Mozart in the Jungle. He and Diego Luna founded Canana Films in Mexico City.

Gael García Bernal
Gael García Bernal at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival
Born (1978-11-30) 30 November 1978[1]
OccupationActor, producer
Years active1989–present
Partner(s)Dolores Fonzi (20082014)

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.[2]

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.[3] His stepfather is Sergio Yazbek, whom his mother married when García Bernal was young.[4] He started acting at just a year old and spent most of his teen years starring in telenovelas. When he was fourteen, he taught indigenous people in Mexico to read, often working with the Huichol people.[5] At the age of 15, he took part in peaceful demonstrations during the Chiapas uprising of 1994.[6][7]

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.[7] He then moved to London, and became the first Mexican accepted to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama.[8][9]


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. From there, Garcia Bernal went on to star in several films, including director Alfonso Cuarón's Y tu mamá también (2001) and the Mexican box-office record-breaker 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. García Bernal also portrayed Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara twice, first in the 2002 TV miniseries Fidel and then, better known, in The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), an adaptation of a journal the 23-year-old Guevara wrote about his travels across South America. He was nominated for a BAFTA in 2005 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for The Motorcycle Diaries.

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.[10]

García Bernal directed his first feature film, Déficit which was released in 2007.[11] 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.'"[12] 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.[13] 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 May 12.[14] 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.[15] García Bernal's next projects included a film adaptation of José Agustín's Ciudades Desiertas and the Jon Stewart directorial biopic Rosewater,[16] 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.[17]

In April 2014, he was announced as a member of the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.[18]

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 selected to enter the competition 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,[19] 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.[20] For this work, he was awarded the Washington Office on Latin America's Human Rights Award in 2011.[21]

Personal life

García Bernal was with his partner, Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi, from 2008 to 2014. They met on the set of Vidas privadas in 2001. Contrary to media reports, they never married, according to an interview given by Bernal in Elle magazine.[22] On 8 January 2009 their son Lázaro was born in Madrid, Spain.[23][24] Their daughter, Libertad, was born on 4 April 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[25] The couple ended their relationship in September 2014.[26] He divides his time between Buenos Aires and Mexico City.[27]

He has described himself as "culturally Catholic but spiritually agnostic".[28]



1989TeresaPelucheRecurring role
1992El abuelo y yoDaniel Garcia MedinaLead role
2000Queen of SwordsChuri"Honor Thy Father" (season 1, episode 8)
2006Soy tu fanEmilio"¡Que viva México!" (season 1, episode 8)
2014–2018Mozart in the JungleRodrigo de SouzaLead role
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Image Foundation Award for Best Actor – Television


1996De tripas, corazónMartínShort film
2000Amores perrosOctavioAriel Award for Best Actor
Silver Hugo Award for Best Actor
Premio ACE for Best Actor
2000CerebroIvánShort film
2001Don't Tempt MeDavenportCinema Writers Circle Award for Best Actor
Goya Award for Best Supporting Actor
2001The Last PostJosé FranciscoBAFTA Nomination for Best Short Film[29][30]
2001Vidas privadasGustavo "Gana" Bertolini
2001Y Tu Mamá También Julio ZapataValdivia International Film Festival — Best Actor (shared with Diego Luna)
Venice International Film Festival — Marcello Mastroianni Award (shared with Diego Luna)
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer
MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Diego Luna)
2001El ojo en la nucaPablo UrrutiaHonorary Foreign Student Oscar Award
2002FidelErnesto "Che" Guevara
2002I'm with LucyGabriel
2002The Crime of Father AmaroPadre AmaroAriel Award for Best Actor
Premio ACE for Best Actor
MTV Movie Award for Favorite Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Sexiest Scene (shared with Ana Claudia Talancón)
2003Cuba LibreRickyReleased as Cuban Blood in the US
2003Dot the IKit Winter
2004Bad EducationÁngel/Juan/ZaharaFt. Lauderdale International Film Festival — Jury Award
Glitter Award for Best Actor
Valdivia International Film Festival — Best Actor
Cinema Writers Circle Award for Best Actor
Spanish Actors Union Award for Lead Film Performance
2004The Motorcycle DiariesErnesto "Che" Guevara de la SernaPremio ACE for Best Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture
2005The KingElvis Valderez
2006BabelSantiagoGotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Palm Springs International Film Festival Award — Ensemble Cast Award
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated—Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2006The Science of SleepStéphaneFrench film, written and directed by Michel Gondry
2007DéficitCristobalAlso director/producer
2007El PasadoRímini
2008BlindnessKing of Ward 3Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film
2008Rudo y CursiTatto
2009Sin NombreProducer
2009MammothLeo Vidales
2009The Limits of ControlMexican
20098 - 'The Letter'Producer/writer/director only
2010Los Invisibles
2010Letters to JulietVictor
2010Even the RainSebastiánPremio ACE for Best Supporting Actor
Palm Springs International Film Festival Award — Ensemble Cast Award
2010José and PilarHimselfDocumentary about José Saramago (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1998)
2011Miss BalaProducer from Canana Films
2011A Little Bit of HeavenJulian Goldstein
2011Casa de Mi PadreOnza
2011The Loneliest PlanetAlex
2012NoRené SaavedraTrue story of the advertising campaign in 1988 Chilean plebiscite, ending the military dictatorship
2012VampsDiego Bardem
2013Who is Dayani Cristal?Himself
2014The ArdorKaí
2014Cesar ChavezCameoAlso producer
2014RosewaterMaziar Bahari
2015El aula vacíaNarratorAlso producer; film directed by 10 directors
2015ZoomEdward Deacon
2015Eva Doesn't SleepEmilio Eduardo Massera
2016NerudaOscar Peluchoneau
2016Salt and FireDr. Fabio Cavani
2016You're Killing Me SusanaEligioNominated—Ariel Award for Best Actor
2017If You Saw His HeartDanielToronto International Film Festival - Platform competition[31]
2017CocoHéctor Rivera (voice)
2018The Kindergarten TeacherSimon
2018MuseumJuan NuñezNominated—Ariel Award for Best Actor (Also executive producer)
2018The AccusedMario Elmo
2019Wasp Network


Golden Globes

2016Best Actor – Television Series Musical or ComedyMozart in the Jungle Won[32]
2017Best Actor – Television Series Musical or ComedyMozart in the JungleNominated[32]

BAFTA Awards

2006Rising starNominated[32]
2005Best ActorThe Motorcycle DiariesNominated[32]

Abu Dhabi Film Festival

2012Best ActorNoWon[32]

Alma Awards

2007Outstanding Actor - Motion PictureBabelNominated[32]

Ariel Award

2001Best Actor (Mejor Actor)Amores PerrosWon[32]
2017Best Actor (Mejor Actuación Masculina)You're Killing Me SusanaNominated[32]
2019Best Actor (Mejor Actuación Masculina)MuseoNominated[32]

Awards Circuit Community Awards

2006Best Cast EnsembleBabelNominated[32]

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

2007Best Acting EnsembleBabelNominated[32]

Cannes Film Festival

2003Chopard Trophy (Male Revelation)Won[32]
2007Golden CameraDéficitNominated[32]

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

2003Most Promising PerformerThe Crime of Father Amaro
Y Tu Mamá También

Chicago International Film Festival

2000Best ActorAmores perrosWon[32]

Chlotrudis Awards

2003Best ActorY Tu Mamá TambiénNominated[32]
2005Best ActorBad EducationWon[32]
2007Best ActorThe Science of SleepNominated[32]
2014Best ActorNoNominated[32]

Cinema Brazil Grand Prize

2009Best Supporting Actor (Melhor Ator Coadjuvante)BlindnessNominated[32]

Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain

2002Best Supporting Actor (Mejor Actor Secundario)Don't Tempt MeNominated[32]
2005Best Actor (Mejor Actor)Bad EducationNominated[32]

Cork International Film Festival

2013Audience AwardWho is Dayani Cristal?Won[32]

Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards

2013Best ActorNoNominated[32]

Goya Awards

2002Best Supporting ActorDon't Tempt MeNominated

Premios Oye!

2009Popular Breakthrough of the YearRudo y CursiWon[33]
2009Best theme for a filmRudo y CursiNominated

El Heraldo de México

2001Best actorY Tu Mamá TambiénNominated

Premios Juventud

2010Can He Act or What?Rudo y CursiNominated

Venice Film Festival

2001Marcello Mastroianni Award (shared with Diego Luna)Y Tu Mamá TambiénWon

ACE Awards New York

2005Best ActorThe Motorcycle DiariesNominated

Mayahuel de Plata Awards

2009Achievement AwardWon



«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 Garcia Fonzi)
«Juanita» Coco (Banda Sonora Original)
«Un poco loco» (with Luis Ánge Gómez Jaramillo)
«Recuérdame (Arrullo)» (with Lucy Hernández)

See also


  1. "Jason Momoa Has Gael Garcia Bernal & James Feeling Smaller". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  2. Cuarón, Alfonso (21 April 2016). "Gael García Bernal: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  3. "Gael García Bernal: he plays everybody's favorite revolutionary onscreen, but he's not just playacting, Interview".
  4. Binoche, Juliette (November 2004). "Gael García Bernal: he plays everybody's favorite revolutionary onscreen, but he's not just playacting". Interview. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  5. "Gael García Bernal". Then It Must Be True. July 2004. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  6. Calhoun, Dave (2006-04-25). "Gael García Bernal interview". Time Out London. Archived from the original on 2006-05-25. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  7. Al Jazeera English (5 October 2013). "The Frost Interview - Gael Garcia Bernal: 'Being optimistic'" via YouTube.
  8. Staff, Guardian (16 October 2006). "Gael Garcia Bernal" via
  9. Gritten, David (19 April 2002). "Mexican rave" via
  10. Louie, Rebecca (2006-05-26). "Gael García Bernal breaks barriers and tackles tough issues". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 2006-06-14.
  11. Miranda, Carolina A. (2007-03-02). "Q&A with Gael García Bernal". Time.
  12. "Fall Movie Summer Preview, September: Blindness." Entertainment Weekly, Iss. #1007/1008, August 22/29, 2008, pg.55.
  13. "Watch the Invisibles". Amnesty International. November 8, 2010.
  14. Benzine, Adam (13 April 2011). "Gael García Bernal to voice Hispanic "Planet"". realscreen. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  15. Buchanan, Kyle (14 April 2011). "Will Ferrell's Spanish-Language Movie: ¿Qué?". New York Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  16. White, James (May 22, 2013). "Gael Garcia Bernal Starring In Rosewater". Empire.
  17. Sneider, Jeff (February 16, 2012). "Garcia Bernal to mark Fox's 'Zorro Reborn'". Variety.
  18. "The Jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes". Cannes. Archived from the original on 2016-09-07. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  19. "Ambulante A.C." Ambulante A.C. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  20. "Crossing Mexico: A Journey Of Grave Perils". NPR. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  21. "WOLA's Human Rights Awards". Washington Office on Latin America. 20 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  22. "Gael Garcia Bernal: The Intellectual Woman's Hearththrob". 17 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  23. El País, El actor mexicano Gael García Bernal será padre en diciembre, 5 August 2008, accessed 5 August 2008
  24. Gael García Bernal and Dolores Fonzi Welcome a Son Celebrity Baby Blog, January 9, 2009
  25. "Hija de Gael García nacio en Buenos Aires". 10 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  26. "Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal confirms split from long-term love Dolores Fonzi... but reveals they NEVER married". Mail Online. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  27. Heawood, Sophie (30 December 2015). "Gael García Bernal: 'Donald Trump calls Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. It's hate discourse'" via
  28. Scholz, Pablo O. (2003). "El cine es para viajar y hacer amigos". El Universal (Caracas) (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 December 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  29. "BAFTA Awards".
  30. "The BAFTA Award Nominations". Daily Mail.
  31. Kohn, Eric. "How TIFF's Platform Section Is Pivoting After Launching 'Moonlight' | IndieWire". Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  32. "Gael García Bernal". IMDb.
  33. "Premios OYE! - Ganadores". Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
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