Okay, I admit it. I've had a serious film-crush on Gael Garcia Bernal ever since I saw him in Amores Perros (It's all about the acting -- nothing to do with his gorgeous jawline. Really.) My crush further solidified with Y Tu Mama Tambien a year later. Bernal has been slowly and steadily notching an impressive number of solid roles on his belt, with The Motorcyle Diaries in 2004, and two films currently in arthouse theaters: Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep, and The King, directed by James Marsh.

As if that weren't enough hot roles for a serious young actor, Bernal has a starring role in Babel, debuting next week at Cannes, and four -- FOUR -- films in pre-prod. One of those films, Toto, is a soccer film, so Martha can start going into her soccer-movie ecstasies now. Also on his plate: O, Pasado, directed by Hector Babenco (Kiss of the Spiderwoman), about a man who ends a relationship but is still hounded by his ex; Deficit, which he is also directing (because, you know, he's just not busy enough lately), about a clash between two social classes at a family gathering in Mexico; and the one I'm personally most excited about, Master of Space and Time, another Gondry flick with a screenplay by Daniel Clowes (Art School Confidential, Ghost World). 

 Whew. I'm tired just thinking about everything Bernal is juggling, but I'm ecstatic to have so many opportunities to see him on the big screen. I love how Bernal is mixing up the Spanish films with stuff like Babel and the freaky-good Gondry films, too. All you pretty-boy actors out there who think you have to take roles in crap movies to build a career? Start taking notes, because Bernal (along with some other smart young actors like Joseph Gordon Levitt and Lee Taylor Pucci) is doing it right. And wouldn't I love to see Levitt and Bernal do a film together? You bet I would.