Gael García Bernal

time 100 2016 Gael Garcia Bernal
Alex John Beck—Chris Boals Artists

Committed to character

A few years ago I received a call in the middle of the night. It was Gael García Bernal, who had just finished shooting as Che Guevara in Walter Salles’ The Motorcycle Diaries. He was in London so a beautician could wax his legs for his next role, the transgender drag artist Ángel/Juan/Zahara in Pedro Almodóvar’s Bad Education. Gael was concerned. He couldn’t wax because of a huge bite on his leg, perhaps acquired while swimming in the Amazon for Diaries. In Madrid a doctor diagnosed the swelling—a spider had planted eggs inside his leg. Removal was a simple procedure, but this was very telling about Gael’s commitment to his characters and to his causes. They get under his skin, and you need a scalpel to remove them. The wax is optional.

Cuarón is the director of Gravity

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