The Washington Post

Celebvocate: Gael García Bernal speaks up for Latin American migrants

Gael García Bernal during a press conference on Tuesday at the National Press Club. (Courtesy of WOLA)

An occasional look at the showbiz professionals flacking causes in trade for good karma. Tuesday’s trouper: Gael Garcia Bernal

Venue: The National Press Club.

Cause: Latin American immigrants

Bona Fides: Mexican art-house hearthrob (“Y Tu Mama Tambien”) who has twice played Che Guevara (“The Motorcycle Diaries,” miniseries “Fidel”); longtime celebvocate for poverty, hunger, and social justice causes.

What he wants: To shed light on the struggles of migrants trying to cross the border into the U.S.

How he looked: Shaggy ear-length hair, gray v-neck t-shirt, blazer.

How he sounded: Shy and apprehensive, at least when speaking English. Breaking out the Spanish, Bernal was way more suave, drawing chuckles from the bilingual speakers in the room.

Charming anecdote: While filming “The Invisibles,” a series of documentaries following the path of migrants, Bernal and his crew attempted to swim over the border between Guatemala and Mexico, where, what do you know, turns out he’s got some fans. “As we were approaching, there was this person on top of some corn sacks and on the side of Guatemala,” the actor recalled. “He stood up and he said, ‘Are you Che Guevara?’”


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