Why have we chosen Gael García Bernal as the Language Role Model of the Week?

Well, I cannot deny a personal preference in terms of his acting abilities, but this is mainly because he has 5 languages under his belt.

Gael García Bernal is a Mexican film actor and director. He has starred in some of Mexico’s most celebrated films, including Y tu mamá también and El crimen del Padre Amaro. 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. However, his debut in the Oscar-nominated film Amores Perros was what first attracted mass attention to his acting skills.

Gael García Bernal has worked for acclaimed directors including Pedro Almodóvar, Walter Salles, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Michel Gondry, among others. He has taken on roles in English language films too, including The Science of Sleep, Babel and The King, for which he earned rave reviews.

What makes Gael García Bernal admirable, apart from his acting talent, is his aptitude in foreign languages. He speaks fluent Spanish and English, as well as Portuguese, French and Italian to some degree. He studied the International Baccalaureate, and at the age of 19 he left Mexico to study acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, becoming the first person from Mexico to be accepted into the program. This is probably where he got the opportunity to practise and elevate his English language skills. He also narrated the British television documentary series Human Planet for Hispanic audiences on the Discovery en Español channel, which aired on the Discovery Channel in Latin America.

Gael García Bernal also embraces social causes through his acting career. He helped to create the organisation and film festival “Ambulante A.C.”, which works to bring documentary films to places where they are rarely shown, and he also helped to create the Amnesty International Short Documentary Series Los Invisibles.

All this, combined with his linguistic abilities, certainly make him a force to be reckoned with.

For more information on the languages we work with, please vist our languages page.