When Bernal was in the acting school in London, Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu offered him a part in Amores Perros. To avoid an absence, he said he was sick for a week to make the audition for the part. He received get-well-letters from the school, making him feel very embarrassed.
Has been cast twice as the revolutionary guerrilla fighter Ernesto "Che" Guevara. First in the miniseries Fidel (2002) and later in the film Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries - 2004).
He is the son of Patricia Bernal and José Ángel García.
He's a close friend of Argentinian actress Dolores Fonzi.
He dated actress Natalie Portman from March of 2003 until May of 2004.
His favorite actor is Javier Bardem and he would love to work with him in the future.
As he is Mexican born, he had to be able to do a convincing Spanish accent before Pedro Almodóvar would allow him to get his role(s) in the movie La Mala Educación (2004).
He was invited to join AMPAS in 2005.
Bernal can speak English, Italian, Spanish, and French.
Bernal is a close friend of Diego Luna.
At seventeen, Bernal traveled to Europe and, in 1999, studied dramatic art at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England for three years. He was the first Mexican to be accepted at this prestigious school.
Bernal was named one of "People en Español"'s 25 Most Beautiful 2002 (June 2002 Issue).
He's 5'6½" (1.69 m) tall.
Bernal: I mean, I think Dumbo changed me, a lot!
Bernal: I think we're all political, in a way. What has happened recently in my case is that, fortunately, I've been able to get more in touch with the things I can change and do.
Bernal: I believe fervently in the nature, in truth and imagination, I believe in the blood, in life, words, and motivations.
Bernal: The histories are to educate, so that we understand better for ourselves and for motivation.
Bernal: The talent survives and remains while the beauty is diluted.
Bernal: The democracy we should practice it not each six years, but each day.
Bernal: A person isn't born with the intelligence to be with someone especial, you learn it, and you fail in the path of life, but you don't have to give up the chance to love.