CANNES, France (AP) — Gael Garcia Bernal is finding it’s a lot more relaxing being at the Cannes Film Festival as a director than as an actor.
“As a director everything is done,” says Garcia Bernal, whose film “Chicuarotes” is playing as an official selection but out of competition at Cannes.
“There’s nothing else to do. So, I just, I don’t know, let myself go. And I love the movie, I like it a lot. I like what we all did, all the collaborators did a wonderful job. And I’m proud of them and I’m happy,” he said.
“Chicuarotes” follows two teenage friends in a town within Mexico City who turn to crime in an attempt to change their lives. The Mexican star says the lives of the characters are completely foreign to what he experienced growing up.
“What’s so striking about the world they live in is they grew up in something that I am so far away from,” he told The Associated Press in an interview this week. “I grew up in a very loving family and these kids (have) not. They don’t have it. And I just can’t understand how anyone grows up like that.
“It’s like ‘how do you do it?’ I don’t know there’s something about wanting to know a person … (and) the consequences of this cycle of violence that they go through.”
This is not the directorial debut for Garcia Bernal, but he is better known for his acting projects, including “The Motorcycle Diaries,” “Bad Education” and “Mozart in the Jungle.”
Garcia Bernal first considered making the film a decade ago but decided to put things on hold following the birth of his son.
“I had to get out from it a little bit. So, I’ve been revisiting it constantly and now I’ve ended up making it,” he says.
The film stars Daniel Giménez Cacho and Dolores Heredia, along with Benny Emmanuel, Gabriel Carbajal and Leidi Gutiérrez.
Gael Garcia said the casting was among the more complicated aspects of getting the movie done, particularly casting Emmanuel as the main character Cagalera.
“We had to find him, or rather he had to find us — rather he had to discover us because that’s more or less what ended up happening,” he said.
He added: “We did workshops for two years with actors and yes, it was really nice. It was wonderful.”