Born in Mexico City, Diego Luna Alexander had show business in his blood. He was the son of Alejandro Luna, a famous Mexican set designer, and Fiona Alexander, an English costume designer who tragically died in a car accident when Luna was two. At age seven, Luna took on his first acting role in the stage play "De Película." By age 13 he landed the role of Luis in the television soap opera "El Abuelo Y Yo" alongside a young Gael García Bernal and the two quickly became best friends. In 1995, Luna appeared in his biggest feature film role up to that point, "Un hilito de sangre" ("A Trickle of Blood") starring as León, a 14-year-old who follows his dream woman to Guadalajara. English-speaking audiences had their first, fleeting glimpse of Luna when he filmed a small role as a childhood friend of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas (the Oscar-nominated Javier Bardem) in the successful "Before Night Falls" (2000).
Luna broke through globally with Alfonso Cuarón's rapturously received "Y tu mamá también" ("And Your Mother Too") (2001) alongside longtime buddy Bernal. A dreamy road trip movie about an older woman traveling with two hormonally-charged teenage boys, the film intelligently explored the teens' erotic awakening as well as portraying the mature woman's wise and wry analysis - especially with a sexual twist that surprised many. The film was a hit in its native Mexico and earned numerous critical awards in America, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film and an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Luna and Bernal also shared the prestigious Mastroianni Prize for Best Young Actor at the 2001 Venice Film Festival for their performances.
For his first English-speaking lead role, Luna swiveled his hips as the star of the strange, semi-sequel "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" (2004). Luna was able to grab a plum supporting role in Steven Spielberg's bittersweet comedy "The Terminal" (2004), starring Tom Hanks as a man trapped inside JFK International Airport when he is denied entry into the United States, as well as a return flight to his fictional native country.
Luna also began to move into directing, lensing the documentary short "J.C. Chávez" (2007) about the life and career of the Mexican boxer Julio César Chávez. Reuniting with Bernal proved a good career move for Luna, as the two formed a production and business company together, Canana Films, as well as starred in Carlos Cuarón's "Rudo y Cursi" ("Rude and Tacky"). Luna returned to a big-budget, critically beloved movies with Gus Van Sant's successful biopic of the gay rights leader Harvey "Milk" (2008).
In 2010, Luna returned behind the camera to co-write and direct "Abel," the winning, strange tale of an unusual nine-year-old boy who literally steps into his missing father's shoes to become the "man of the house." The offbeat dramedy received good reviews. Still wearing his director's hat, Luna signed up to lens a segment of the short-film anthology, "Revolución" (2010).
For the fourth time, Luna reunited with fellow friend Bernal in the American Spanish-language comedy film "Casa de Mi Padre" with Will Ferrell. In June 2012, he began directing his first English-language film "Cesar Chávez," a biopic about the life of American labor eponymous leader, who founded the United Farm Workers.
Luna gained greater recognition with American audiences while starring as Mexican drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico, which premiered in November 2018.
He and Bernal, co-founded Ambulante A.C., their organization and film festival that works to bring documentary films to places where they are rarely shown. Ambulante was awarded the Washington Office on Latin America's prestigious Human Rights Award in 2011.
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