An actor nearly all his life, the endearingly handsome Gael García Bernal began performing in stage productions with his parents in Guadalajara, Mexico, and later studied at the Central School for Speech and Drama back home in London. Bernal then appeared in several plays, soap operas, and short films before his major feature film debut in Amores Perros, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2000. He gained more attention for Alfonso Cuarón's Y Tu Mamá También, where he starred opposite his real-life close friend, Diego Luna. Appearing as Che Guevara in the TV miniseries Fidel, Bernal was cast to play the revolutionary leader again in the 2003 film The Motorcycle Diaries, and he again earned positive notices for his work. Bernal shored up his art-house cred playing a typically flamboyant leading role for Pedro Almodovar in Bad Education. In 2006 he teamed with Michel Gondry for his follow-up to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep. He joined up again with the director of Amoros Perros for the well-received drama Babel opposite Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.
Bernal made his directorial debut with 2007's Deficit, and had a major part in the big screen adaptation of Blindness in 2008. That same year he executive produced the well-received Sin Nombre, and reteamed with old friend Diego Luna in the soccer drama Rudo y Cursi. In 2009 he worked with director Jim Jarmusch on The Limits of Control.
He continued to work steadily, making a surprise change of pace in 2012 when re joined forces with Luna as well as Will Ferrell for the Spanish-language comedy Casa de mi Padre.