10 Gael Garcia Bernal’s Performances to Watch After ‘Werewolf By Night’

Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s first special presentation Werewolf at night was a breath of fresh air for the 14-year-old franchise. The composer directed it Michael Giacchino, the black and white film follows Jack Russell, who is invited to a mysterious cabal to hunt a monster and wield the bloodstone. Not only does it expand Marvel’s rich roster of super beings, but it also opens up a fantastical but darker side of the universe.

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Jack Russell is played by a charismatic Mexican actor Gael García Bernal on his first foray into the MCU. Its performance, along with the unique old-movie look and suspenseful soundtrack, received critical acclaim from audiences and critics alike. After 53 minutes, viewers may want to see more of Bernal’s other movies or shows. The good news is that the actor has starred in more than 50 titles, so there’s plenty to choose from. He is known for his versatile appearances in various films, from coming-of-age dramas to an animated film and from comedy series to art-house cinema.


‘Station Eleven’ (2021 – 2022)

Based on a novel by Emily St. John Mandel, station eleven is a post-apocalyptic miniseries that follows a group of people after a deadly pandemic. Aside from Bernal, the series starred Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Pateland Danielle Deadwyler.

Bernal played Arthur Leander, an actor famous for Shakespeare plays who died when the pandemic began. While Bernal’s character is a supporting role, appearing in only a handful of episodes – all in the pre-pandemic timeline – he is central to the series, as his relationships with all of the main characters get the plot going. The HBO Max series is praised for its patient but rewarding storyline and ensemble cast performances.

‘Old’ (2021)

M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed this horror-mystery film based on a graphic novel about a family trapped on a beach that caused them to age rapidly. Old has all the usual elements of a Shyamalan film, such as creative and masterful cinematography, a twist in the third act, and a cameo by the director himself.

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Gael Garcia Bernal led an ensemble cast that includes Vicky Krieps, Thomas McKenzie and Alexander Wolff. Bernal delivered an emotional pivotal performance as a husband on the brink of divorce thrown into this unimaginable scenario. The film explored themes of family relationships and sudden deaths while delivering the usual thrills of a Shyamalan film.

‘Ema’ (2019)

ema was the third collaboration between Bernal and the director Pablo Larrain (spencer, jackie) after no and Neruda. Set in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, the film follows an artist couple as they come to terms with their relationship after a failed adoption.

The film expertly delves into difficult themes of loss and modern-day relationships, accompanied by great cinematography and electrifying music. Bernal and the eponymous Ema, played by Mariana di Girolamohave a strong chemistry that makes it impossible for viewers to look away when they’re on screen.

‘Coconut’ (2017)

When music was banned from his home, Miguel traveled to the land of the dead to find his great-great-grandfather, who was a famous singer. An Oscar winner and a box office hit, coconut is rich in Mexican culture and features an all-Latin lead vocal, including Bernal, Benjamin Brat, Ana Ofelia Murguia and Edward James Olmos.

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As is usual with most Pixar films, coconut is a heartfelt, tearful story of family ties that will touch the hearts of viewers. coconut is Bernal’s first time as a voice actor in an animated film. Not only did he do an excellent job as Hector, he also managed to smash a couple of songs on the soundtrack, namely the Oscar-winning song “Remember Me”.

‘Mozart in the Jungle’ (2014 – 2018)

One of the first original series from Amazon Prime Video, Mozart in the Jungle follows eccentric genius Maestro (Bernal) and rising oboist Hailey (Lola Kirke) on the hunt for music, love and ambition at the New York Symphony.

The show is a unique comedy series set in the world of New York musicians, including politics and classical music that goes beyond Mozart. Bernal has performed beautifully throughout the show’s four seasons, winning his first Golden Globe for the role of Rodrigo. His on-screen chemistry with Kirke is one of the highlights of the series, and as the series grew it gave the cast and crew more room to experiment with the format and storyline. It’s a very refreshing series to watch.

“Casa de Mi Padre” (2012)

Casa de Mi Padre is a Spanish-language Hollywood production with Will Ferrell in the lead. The film follows a rancher who must defend his land from a ruthless drug lord.

The film presented itself as a parody of Mexican telenovelas, so the comedy lies in its larger-than-life dialogue, over-the-top moments and Ferrell speaking full Spanish. In his role, Bernal is also a capable partner for Ferrell in his first full-fledged comedic role, bringing both drama and laughs.

‘Babel’ (2006)

babel follows several narratives set in different locations, Morocco, Japan, the United States and Mexico. These stories are set in motion after an accident involving an American couple (Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett) in Morocco.

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babelreunites Bernal with Alejandro G. Inárrituwho directed his breakout role Amore Perros(2000). Bernal’s character Santiago is set in the USA/Mexico segment, in which he was tasked with helping the American couple’s nanny when she took the couple’s two children to Mexico for their son’s wedding. The film is a powerful demonstration of human connection, even though they are miles apart.

‘Bad Parenting’ (2004)

Directed by the legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Bad Education tells the story of two childhood friends who meet again later in life and deal with the consequences of sexual abuse and their harsh Catholic school methods.

Bernal had to give up his Mexican accent and had over five months of training to get into the role. As the film’s plot delved into mixed identities and metafiction (the film has a story within a story within a story), Bernal played three different interlocking characters. In a film with heavy themes like this, Bernal delivered a memorable performance that deserves numerous awards.

‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ (2004)

Based on Che Guevara’s own memoir, The motorcycle diaries chronicles Guevara’s journey through Latin America in his youth with his friend Alberto Granado. On her journey, Guevara discovered the inequalities and injustices in the region and eventually discovered his vocation to challenge the situation.

Directed by a Brazilian director Walter Salles, the film offered dramatized accounts of the Cuban leader’s early days. Although he had already played Guevara two years earlier, Bernal deepened his research by meeting Guevara’s family and reading literature read by him. As a result, his portrayal was fascinating and earned him international acclaim.

‘Y tu mama también’ (2001)

Y tu mama también is a coming-of-age film directed by Alfonso Cuaron (heaviness, Roma). It follows two young men and an older woman who went on a journey as they discovered life, friendship and love together against the politics and culture of Mexico.

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At this critical favorite and box office success, Bernal shared the screen Maribel Verdu (Pan’s Labyrinth) and his longtime friend Diego Luna (Andor). With its strong on-screen chemistry, the film presented a sensual and intelligent exploration of human connection, particularly in adolescents, that has rarely been portrayed before.

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Sarah Ridley

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