Gael Garcia Bernal Stretches Acting's Boundaries Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal's work is often cited for its intensity and vulnerability. His latest films are Babel and The Science of Sleep. He talks about acting -- and the leap of faith it requires.

Gael Garcia Bernal Stretches Acting's Boundaries

Gael Garcia Bernal Stretches Acting's Boundaries

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Gael Garcia Bernal plays Santiago, who Bernal describes as "a normal kid who got drunk and made the wrong decision," in the new film Babel. Eniac Martinez hide caption

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Eniac Martinez

Gael Garcia Bernal plays Santiago, who Bernal describes as "a normal kid who got drunk and made the wrong decision," in the new film Babel.

Eniac Martinez

See Bernal in 'Babel'

The actor Gael Garcia Bernal has a small frame and a commanding presence on screen.

The 27-year-old Mexican actor, whose work is often cited for its intensity and vulnerability, currently has two movies in theaters. In Babel, he is drunk and armed when he comes up against a hostile border agent at a U.S.-Mexico crossing.

In The Science of Sleep, Bernal takes a comic turn as Stephane, a man who's held captive by his dreams and is obsessed with his neighbor in Paris.

Bernal has drawn acclaim for his earlier roles, among them, as a randy teenager on a road trip in Y Tu Mama Tambien and as a young Ernesto Guevara -- before he became Che -- in The Motorcycle Diaries.

For Bernal, acting is an inner journey.

"It's a safe way, and an exciting way, to test yourself and to be able to travel these distances, and be blunt and brave and throw yourself into it. And maybe it won't look good, but at least that golden dust that comes out of an act of faith is always there, it always transcends, it is always worthwhile," he says.