The Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN star was given the opportunity to introduce a song from his countrywoman Salma Hayek's film Frida, about artist FRIDA KAHLO, at the event. But although he was honoured to be chosen, Bernal was also horrified at the cliched, patronising script the Academy wanted him to read - especially considering his stance on the US's imminent war against Iraq.
And so Bernal played along until the night - when he said exactly what he wanted to, introducing Brazilian musician CATEANO VELOSO by reading from Kahlo's diary and saying, "If Frida Kahlo was alive, she would certainly be on our side against the war."
He recalls of the testing moment, "My hands were white with nervousness. But in a way I felt very free to say it. I couldn't fear anything because I hadn't done a film (in Hollywood). I don't belong there. S***, now they'll never let me in...
"But seriously, they should have called one of their own of they wanted someone to read the script.
"It was the first time I acted with common sense. Real common sense."02/10/2003 17:13