This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is García and the second or maternal family name is Bernal.
Gael García Bernal (Spanish pronunciation: ɡaˈel ɣarˈsi.a βerˈnal; born November 30, 1978) is a Mexican film actor, director, and producer. He founded Canana Films in Mexico City.
Gael 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 a year old and spent most of his teen years starring in telenovelas. Garcia studied the International Baccalaureate, with chemistry being his favorite subject. When he was fourteen, he taught indigenous peoples in Mexico to read, often working with the Huichol Indians. In his later teens, he took part in peaceful demonstrations during the Chiapas uprising of 1994.
García Bernal was becoming a soap opera heartthrob. At age 19, he left Mexico's television world to study acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, the first person from Mexico to be accepted into the program. Briefly before this, he had begun to study philosophy at UNAM, Mexico's national university, before a strike closed the college and he left for London. Describing his time in London as 'life forming', he considered acting simply an 'odd job profession' until the Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu offered him a part in Amores Perros. His debut as a working-class dreamer in the Oscar-nominated Amores Perros was what first grabbed Hollywood's attention.
Subsequently, García Bernal starred in some of Mexico's most celebrated recent films, including 2001's Y tu mamá también, and 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. García Bernal has worked for acclaimed directors including Pedro Almodóvar, Walter Salles, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Michel Gondry, and Iciar Baillin, among others. He has taken on roles in English-language films, including the Gondry-directed The Science of Sleep, the Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel, and The King, for which he earned rave reviews. He was nominated for a BAFTA in 2005 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for The Motorcycle Diaries and, in 2006, was nominated for the Orange Rising Star award, which acknowledges new talents in the acting industry.
In 2007 he was also a member of the jury of the 57th Berlin International Film Festival.
García Bernal directed his first feature film, Déficit (2007).
Pursuing musical interests, García Bernal is also featured on the 2007 Devendra Banhart album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, contributing vocals on the first track entitled "Cristobal."
Bernal was cast for 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 starred in Rudo y Cursi with Diego Luna, directed by Carlos Cuarón.
García Bernal and Diego Luna own Canana Productions. 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. This tetralogy is called "Los Invisibles" 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), the official Spanish entry for the Academy Awards; it made the nine-film shortlist and received high praise from critics.
García Bernal narrated Human Planet for Hispanic audiences, which premiered on Discovery en Español on April 25, 2011 and aired on Discovery Channel in Latin America on May 12. 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 include 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 starred 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.
Gael García Bernal was with his partner, Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi, from 2008 to 2014. They met on the set of "Vidas privadas" in 2001. They never married, contrary to media reports according to an interview given by Gael Garcia Bernal in Elle magazine. On Thursday January 8, 2009, their son Lázaro was born in Madrid, Spain. Their daughter Libertad was born on April 4, 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The couple ended their relationship in September 2014.
Gael García Bernal helped to create the organization and film festival Ambulante A.C. 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.
He has described himself as "culturally Catholic but spiritually Agnostic".
In 2008, Gael García Bernal was honored with the Excellence in Acting Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival. And at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Gael García Bernal won the award for Best Actor.
El abuelo y yo
Daniel Garcia Medina
Queen of Swords
"Honor Thy Father" (Season 1, Episode 8)
Soy tu fan
"¡Que viva México!" (Season 1, Episode 8)
Mozart in the Jungle
De tripas, corazón
Ariel Award for Best Actor, Silver Hugo Award for Best Actor, Premio ACE for Best Actor
Cinema Writers Circle Award for Best Actor, Goya Award for Best Supporting Actor
The Last Post
BAFTA Nomination for Best Short Film
Gustavo "Gana" Bertolini
Y tu mamá también
Valdivia 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)
El ojo en la nuca
Honorary Foreign Student Oscar Award
Ernesto "Che" Guevara
El Crimen del Padre Amaro
Ariel Award for Best Actor, Premio ACE for Best Actor, MTV Movie Award for Favorite Actor,
NominatedChicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer,
Nominated--MTV Movie Award for Sexiest Scene (shared with Ana Claudia Talancón)
Released as Cuban Blood in the US
Dot the I
Ft. 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
The Motorcycle Diaries
Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna
Premio ACE for Best Actor,
Nominated--BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture
Gotham 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
The Science of Sleep
French film, written and directed by Michel Gondry
King of Ward 3
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film
Rudo y Cursi
The Limits of Control
8 - 'The Letter'
Letters to Juliet
Even the Rain
Premio ACE for Best Supporting Actor, Palm Springs International Film Festival Award -- Ensemble Cast Award
José and Pilar
Doc about José Saramago (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1998)
Producer from Canana Films
A Little Bit of Heaven
Casa de Mi Padre
The Loneliest Planet
Who is Dayani Cristal?
El aula vacía
Also producer; film directed by 10 directors
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license