Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN star GAEL GARCIA BERNAL spent months getting fit for his new film The Motorcycle Diaries because he wanted to replicate the young ERNESTO 'CHE' GUEVARA's swim across the Amazon.

The Mexican hunk plays the Guevara in the acclaimed road movie, and insisted he didn't need a stand-in to shoot scenes in which the Argentine revolutionary crossed one of the world's most dangerous rivers.

Bernal, who admits the river swim was a real challenge, was amazed to learn that Guevara took the plunge - to visit poverty stricken supporters - even though he was a chronic asthmatic.

The actor says, "He swam across the Amazon river, and he did it with asthma. It's a pretty hard river to swim across.

"I prepared a lot physically for four months; I worked out every day. The river is very hard to swim across after six takes."

18/10/2004 09:22