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Gael García Bernal on being hesitant to label his sexuality & his similarities to gay wrestler ‘Cassandro’

Gael Garcia Bernal

The story of Cassandro is a very modern, archetypal one of a person that had to play another character in order to be himself. I play a different character in order to be myself. That’s why I’m an actor. I play different characters to find out who I am.

It doesn’t matter your sexuality in order to play an exótico [the campy category of Lucha Libre wrestling which Cassandro inhabited]. You can be straight and play an exótico. They played an archetype, and so, before the gay movement [of the 1970s in Mexico], this category was something more, a little bit more permissive in a way.

All of a sudden, it was like there were so many taboos that were broken, and when they were broken, everyone was like, Yeah, it wasn’t such a big deal.

Straight is a term that I didn’t invent. I like women. But at the same time, being an actor allowed me to explore that transgender quality that we all have in a way. It allowed me the freedom to do that. And if I wasn’t an actor, I would’ve acted [anyway] as a sport, as a hobby, in order to explore that.

[Straight] is a definition that I’ve fortunately never allowed society or family or whatever to impose on me. This is what I am. If forced to do that, then I would not sign it. I would not sign the paper.

Gael García Bernal speaking to GQ about gay wrestler Cassandro’s impact on masculinity in Mexico and why he’s resistant to put a label on his own sexuality.
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