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Gael Garcia Bernal
Mexican Film Star Gael Garcia Bernal Combines Artistic Integrity with Sex Appeal.
By Luther Orrick-Guzman
On June 8, 2001, an incredible movie called Y Tu Mama Tambien, (And Your Mother Too) opened in Mexico. That week, the film shattered box office records by grossing $2.2 million in its first weekthe biggest opening ever for a film in Mexico. And now, this astonishing movie, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film, is about to open in the U.S. qvMagazine spoke with the films handsome young star, Gael Garcia Bernal about the movie and about his tremendous success as an actor.
We first saw Gael Garcia Bernal in the 2001 Oscar-nominated film Amores Perros. And if Amores Perros didnt take Gael to sex symbol status, then the erotic drama Y Tu Mama Tambien definitely will.
When I tell him this, he laughs. He pauses for a moment, then says, I dont know, thats a hard thing to say whether or not this will take me to sex symbol status. But if you say so!
He then modestly adds, I dont do things because I want to reach sex symbol status. I choose roles that I like and that I feel need to be toldnot because of what theyre going to make me look like or where they are going to take me.
Bernal, an actor with integrity and good looks, provides a thirsty Latin and worldwide audience with a new hero.
In Y Tu Mama Tambien, Bernal plays a young man named Julio who embarks on an adventurous road trip with his best friend Tenoch (played by Diego Luna) and a sexy older woman named Luisa (played by Maribel Verdu) whose marriage is on the rocks.
The film was directed by Alfonso Cuaron who is best known in the US for directing the 1997 film, Great Expectations. Alfonso co-wrote the film along with his brother Carlos.
The films plot is quite difficult to describe. Bernal says, Its hard to describe the plot of the film. But, its about a lot more than two young guys who get to f*ck a tantalizing woman.
As a matter of fact, there is actually an on-screen kiss between the two guys! Bernal explains, The two male characters arent homosexual, but there is a very tender love between them and they probably share the most tender kiss throughout the whole movie.
He continues, When you start to think of the affect this kiss has between them and how society would interpret it, I think it makes a very bold statement. Its very original and very well-written by the Cuaron brothers. Its a very common tragedy that after two guys kiss, they cant react intelligently to what has happened.
Bernal says the casts chemistry was incredible both on and off screen. He explains, The ambiance on the set was very serious and intimate. It was great. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The sex scenes were difficult, but I have to say they were the easiest because you just take your clothes off, do the scene, and you have nothing to lose.
Obviously, the incredible writing and the chemistry of the cast had a lot to do with the film success in Mexico where it was the biggest box office hit of last year, much to Bernals surprise.
Bernal says, I didnt expect it to do so wellit was a hit at the box office as well with the critics.
Now that Y Tu Mama Tambien is finally hitting U.S. theaters, Bernal says he plans to take a few months off before he starts work on yet another film.
In the long run, Gael says, Id like to be able to work everywhere, to do all sorts of characters and make a living at it.
Gaels first film, Amores Perros is currently available on VHS and DVD. Y Tu Mama Tambien opens in movie theaters nationwide in March 2002. Visit the films website at www.ytumamatambien.com for photos, video previews, and more.
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