Gael García Bernal Pretended He Wrote a Neruda Poem to Impress a Girl

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Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage

In Pablo Larraín’s new biopic, Neruda, Gael García Bernal co-stars as an officer on the hunt for the famous poet, who’s gone into hiding after throwing his lot in with the Communist Party. Larraín and Bernal were on hand to celebrate the New York Film Festival premiere of the movie at a party hosted by Peggy Siegal at the Leopard at des Artistes. It was familiar stomping ground for the Mozart in the Jungle star, who said that Lincoln Center “feels very much like home … Maybe not many people can say that.”

In real life, Bernal once used Neruda’s own words — or very-close versions thereof — to try and win over a girl. Shockingly, it didn’t work. “When I was 15 … I paraphrased the poem of Neruda in order to get a girl, and no, she didn’t react,” he confessed. “It was too good, the poetry. She immediately realized that it was not me.” (Whoever this girl was has probably gone on to regret her mistake many times over. Hello, Y Tu Mamá También.)

Larraín divulged a few more damning details that the actors revealed at the Toronto Film Festival. “Gael and Luis, the actor who plays Neruda, we were in Toronto in an interview, and they admitted that they actually used those poems to conquer girls. The difference is that one of them actually admitted to the girl that it was not written by him, and the other one — I’m not going to tell you who — said that he did it.”

Larraín also directed Jackie, the buzzed-about Natalie Portman feature that hits theaters smack dab in the middle of Oscar season on December 2. That means this stop at NYFF is just the beginning of what’s sure to be a very busy few months for the director; however, he’s not complaining. “I know filmmakers, they don’t care if people see their movies or not. I do care. And if any of this is going to help making more people to watch them, fantastic. And also I’m a member of the Academy since, I think, three years, and I think now they add more members and it’s gaining a lot of diversity, which is great. And I think it’s important to protect it, because in our world there’s so much noise and so much danger, there’s still people that care about cinema, and I do. So why not?”

Gael García Bernal ‘Paraphrased’ Neruda Poem to Woo a Girl