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Bichir at the Vanity Fair party for the Tribeca Film Festival, April 17, 2012
|Born||Demián Bichir Nájera
August 1, 1963
Mexico City, Mexico
Demián Bichir Nájera (Spanish pronunciation: [deˈmjan biˈtʃir ˈnaxeɾa]; born August 1, 1963) is a Mexican actor. Bichir is part of the famous Mexican family of actors which include his parents Alejandro Bichir and Maricruz Nájera and his brothers Odiseo and Bruno Bichir. He began his acting career starring in many Mexican telenovelas and films before achieving fame for his roles in Mexican films such as the record-breaking Sexo, pudor y lágrimas and Sin noticias de Dios.
Bichir would then breakthrough to mainstream U.S. cinemas following his critically acclaimed performance as Carlos Galindo in the 2011 drama A Better Life, which garnered him nominations for the Independent Spirit Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. His success would continue to expose him to a wider range of American audiences with roles in various films such as Savages, The Heat, and Machete Kills. In 2013, he began starring in the FX drama television series The Bridge as Detective Marco Ruiz.
Life and career
Bichir was born in Mexico City, Mexico, the son of actors Alejandro Bichir (Alejandro Bichir Batres) and Maricruz Nájera (María de la Cruz Nájera Botello). He began his acting career at the age of 14 in the telenovela Rina with Ofelia Medina. His second acting role was as an adult in Vivir enamorada – both telenovelas were during his years with Televisa. The following year he obtained a role in his first movie, the American production Choices of the Heart. He got his first starring character in the Telenovela El Rincon de los Prodigios where he acts as a stranger who performs miracles in front of the people confronting the corrupt authorities and the church.
He then continued his acting roles in telenovelas with film productions of Mexico, Spain and the United States. After a long retirement of the Mexican telenovelas in favor of a movie career, he went back to TV Azteca in the telenovela Nada Personal where he played the role of an honest detective trying to tackle corruption and drug problems in Mexico. His performance led him to act as the same detective in Con Toda El Alma.
Mexican movie breakout
His movie Sexo, pudor y lágrimas (1999) broke box-office records in Mexico becoming the #1 movie in the history of Mexican cinema. He performed one of the main characters and brought him sufficient praise to earn him the Ariel. This movie brought a lot of attention to him and to his brothers. They acted in so many movies that in the MTV Movie Awards-México a special category was created: "Mejor Bichir en una Película" ("Best Bichir in a movie"). He earned this award for the 2003 film Bendito infierno (Holy Hell or Don't Tempt Me), in which he co-starred with Victoria Abril, Penélope Cruz, and Gael García Bernal.
Participation in American films and TV
His American debut occurred in the film In the Time of the Butterflies (2001) starring Salma Hayek, based on the real life of a group of sisters that fought against the government of a Dominican dictator. Later he got some recognition when he depicted Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh's biopic Che (2008) on the life of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara.
He was exposed to a wider American audience with his recurring role as Esteban Reyes, the corrupt mayor of Tijuana and love interest of Nancy Botwin from Season 4 to Season 7 of the Showtime series Weeds.
On 24 January 2012, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in A Better Life, where Bichir plays Carlos Galindo, an undocumented Mexican gardener who goes with his son to find his stolen vehicle while trying to convince his son to avoid becoming a delinquent. His nomination came as a shock to both Mexican and American audiences alike since he had only been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role beforehand. He is the first male Mexican actor to receive this nomination since Anthony Quinn. Though Bichir failed to win the award, he followed it up with roles in the major American releases Savages, The Heat, and Machete Kills.
When Bichir was 22, he moved to New York City with his ex-girlfriend in order to get into the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Then for a brief period he decided not to act and started working at the Rosa Mexicano Restaurant in NYC while learning English. Later, he moved to Los Angeles but had no success landing any acting roles, ultimately deciding to go back to his native Mexico where he found great success.
Bichir was married once, to Mexican singer Lisset Gutiérrez whom he divorced in 2003. He has since stated that it is hard for him "to stay in a long-term relationship." He had a short-lived relationship which led to the birth of his daughter in May 2011 in Spain. He remains involved in the child's life. Bichir is dating Canadian model-actress Stefanie Sherk.
Telenovelas and TV series
- La otra mitad del sol (2005) as Felipe Saenz
- Demasiado Corazón (1998) as Comandante Alfonso Carbajal
- Nada personal (1996) as Comandante Alfonso Carbajal
- Lazos de Amor (1996) as Valente Segura
- El rincón de los prodigios (1988)
- Los años felices (1984) as Tomas
- Guadalupe (1993)
- Cuando los hijos se van (1983) as Ricardo
- Vivir enamorada (1982) as Nacho
- Rina (1977) as Juanito
- Weeds (2008) as Tijuana mayor and drug kingpin Esteban Reyes
- The Bridge (2013) as Det. Marco Ruiz
|1983||Choices of the Heart||Armando|
|1987||Hotel Colonial||Young Hotel Clerk|
|Aladdin||Aladdin||(singing voice – Spanish dub)|
|La vida conyugal||Gaspar||Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor|
|1994||Ya la hicimos|
|Pruebas de amor|
|Hasta morir||Mauricio||Ariel Award for Best Actor|
|1995||Cilantro y perejil||Carlos Rodríguez||Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor|
|Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto||Omar|
|Salón México||Insp. Casteléon|
|Luces de la noche||Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Todo el poder||Gabriel|
|Sexo, pudor y lágrimas||Tomás||Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor|
|2000||El silencio del tiempo|
|La toma de la embajada||Rosemberg Pabón, 'Comandante Uno'|
|2001||Sin noticias de Dios||Manny||MTV Movie Award for Best Bichir in a Film|
|In the Time of the Butterflies||Manuel 'Manolo' Tavárez Justo|
|2002||Ciudades oscuras ("Dark Cities")||Mario||Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Bichir in a Film|
|2004||Zapata: Amor en Rebeldía||Emiliano Zapata||(miniseries)|
|Noche en Lima|
|2007||Fuera del cielo|
|2010||Hidalgo: La historia jamás contada||Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla||Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actor|
|2011||A Better Life||Carlos Galindo||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated – ALMA Award for Favourite Male Actor
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Latino Performance
|2012||Savages||Alex||Nominated – ALMA Award for Favorite Movie Actor: Supporting Role|
|El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza||Cerdo Gutiérrez (voice)|
|Machete Kills||Mendez the Madman|
|Dom Hemingway||Mr. Fontaine|
|2014||Muerte en Buenos Aires||Inspector Chávez|
|Award||Category||Title of work||Result|
|Academy Awards||Best Actor||A Better Life||Nominated|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite Movie Actor||A Better Life||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best Male Lead||A Better Life||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role||A Better Life||Nominated|
- "Demián Bichir" (in Spanish). Esmas.com. Televisa. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Demián Bichir" (in Spanish). Las noticias de México. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Nominees-The Oscars 2012". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- Kuckzynski, Alex. "The Devil and Demian Bichir". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Cohen, Sandy. "Mujeres en el Cine y Bichir, celebran nominadas". El Diario. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- Demián Bichir at the Internet Movie Database
- The Young Castro Comes Alive Through Actor Demian Bichir's Performance by Brad Balfour, The Huffington Post, May 8, 2009