Mexican movie star Gael Garcia Bernal became an instant hero with lepers on
the set of acclaimed new movie The Motorcycle Diaries by ignoring advice and
The actor, who plays a young ERNESTO 'CHE' GUEVARA in the film, shot
scenes of the heroic Cuban revolutionary's visit to a Amazonian leper colony
near the site of the real place, and insisted some of the lepers played
He says, "We were 13 kilometres up river from where the real leper colony
was because the leper colony now is pretty modern, so we couldn't shoot
"They built up an inspired replica of what it was like and many patients
came to work with us. It was incredible to share that experience with them; to
have that opportunity to receive the immense gratitude that they gave us after
you came and
touched them and had contact with them.
"These are people who don't get touched. Imagine living your life without
being touched; it's pretty horrible. You give them one gram of attention and
they give you a ton of gratitude back.
"Five of them had actually met Ernesto when he travelled through the leper
colony, so it was very moving."