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Accueil du site > Interview-Portrait > Gael García Bernal (22 mai 2007)
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Gael García Bernal

photo by Lasse Lecklin

Between the districts of pendejo, guey and chingon, a car rolls through the streets of Mexico City. In the back seat, a dog is suffering from a knife wound. The speed, the nerves and the betrayal drive the car towards an unpredictable crossroads. Gael García Bernal is launched into the international sphere. Amores Perros (2000), the start of a bright future destined for this talented actor. Mexico, neighbouring the most prosperous cinema industry in the world, is nevertheless far-removed from the blockbusters and big-budget productions. Within this framework, the young actor possesses an added value and, as a result, a greater responsibility. Gael García Bernal has accepted this compromise, and this has made him a symbol of the latin industry and culture.

Tapatio of origin - even if this could be a sort of physical description, it in fact denotes the inhabitants of Guadalajara, Mexico - this young talent was born behind the scenes of the farandula. The son of actors, you could say that Thalia, the muse of theatre, accompanied him from a very early age. His determination would then lead him to refine his talent at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. This wandering boy presents himself as a defender of Spanish-language cinema. Coloured by different accents but with a common language, Gael brings to life Mexican Octavio (Amores Perros), Argentinean Ché Guevara (The Motorcycle Diaries, 2004) and Spanish Angel (or Juan) in Bad Education (2004). However, whatever the language, this (Central) American actor succeeds in constructing a completely different character in each film. Only those green cat-like eyes provide the link between Father Amaro and the future revolutionary leader.

Gael García Bernal’s sensuality has emerged in roles featuring a strong sexual emphasis, notably in the film Y tu Mama Tambien (2001) from director Alfonso Cuarón, which aroused controversy in America, and even amongst his fellow Mexicans. In the Aztec country, they considered badly their national star dressed as a woman, as the transvestite Zahara (Bad Education), a typically Almodovarian character. Not to mention how he puts into question the purity of men of the church (The Crime of Father Amaro, 2003). An advocate of a common Latin cinema, he has taken part in European projects, notably Spanish, but also English and French. His arrival in the more commercial sphere came with Babel (2006). Although working again with the director who launched him, Alejandro González Iñárritu, the film was nevertheless conceived somewhat differently - an American production which presents him as a star, alongside Brad Pitt.

The Mexican still has a rather secondary role however… He will return to this year’s Cannes festival as ambassador of the 46th Critics’ Week. A festival which propelled him to fame and which is now offering him the opportunity to present his first film as a director, Deficit. A good omen for this young talent who was born under a lucky star.

Mercedes Alvarez

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