Gael Garcia Bernal is one of the celebrities at Cannes this year, and he's been busy talking up and celebrating his new film No. The picture is set in 1988, the year the Chilean people ousted dictator General Pinochet through a democratic vote. Gael plays René Saavedra, an ad man who accepts the potentially dangerous job of spearheading the TV campaign for the people against Pinochet, those who will vote "no" in the election.
Reviews of Gael's No have been quite good, and both he and director Pablo Larraín confessed to being really excited about the response. Pablo told us he cast the "wonderful" Gael as the leading man in the film because Gael has the mysteriousness to play René, a job that had to carry the whole production. Gael spoke about the challenges of creating a movie based on real events, his plans for a break, and how his career decisions are affected by his two kids, 1-year-old daughter Libertad and 3-year-old son Lázaro. Gael said:
- On the challenges of making a movie based on a true story: "Any film is an interpretation of what happened, whether or not you're doing a true story. And in this film, we're doing a bio-film but a complete free interpretation where my character didn't exist. He's an amalgam of two characters, Garcia and Salcedo, who actually were the main publicists in the 'No' campaign."
- On going full '80s in the film: "It's funny because now we laugh a lot. Always in retrospective, things that we took so seriously look so funny. The fashion, the microwave oven fascination — I remember when the microwave oven came out. I remember my mother talking about it . . . and it was like, 'What is that?' Nobody understood it. Invisible heat?!"
- On how his life is way different now from the '80s: "We were fascinated by the TV as well. Because TV was such a big part of our lives back then. Now it's not so. For me it's not a big part at all, not for the last fifteen years. Only for football games and maybe the news. I don't watch TV at all. Before it used to be everybody. It was the only way you'd get the news, apart from newspapers."
- On family time: "Last year I only did No, this film. I do produce stuff in my company in Mexico, and help out with a documentary film festival that we have. And that takes a lot of time. But I fortunately have the time to take it easy and spend the quality time that one should spend with their kids."
- On if being a parent affects his career choices: "For the first time, yeah. There is one project that is there, maybe, and I think about it because I know that my kids are going to like it."