Gael Goes Norteño

Studio 360

Back in 2006, Ideclared my lovefor Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal on our radio show. He was just starring in his first English role, and I was afraid he would be catapulted from indie brilliance into mainstream cheesiness, much in the way of Antonio Banderas.

I'm thrilled that three years later, Bernal is still starring in Mexican films, and remains unafraid to portray characters in awkward, less-than-flattering situations. Witness this music video. It's from the new movie Rudo y Cursi, where Bernal plays a soccer star who longs to be a norteo singer. (His talent only lies with the former.) This is his performance of "Quiero Que Me Quieras," aka Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me."

Rudo y Cursi is a somewhat predictable rags-to-riches fable, but the soundtrack (out May 19) is actually full of refreshing alt-Latin tunes that are sung on-key. One is by Bostich and Fussible of the electronica-meets-folk group Nortec Collective, whom Kurt interviewed last week. Viva Mxico!