Sir David Frost's final screen interview: Gael García Bernal lured into Arsenal admission

4.00

Bernal also quizzed on Che Guevara's legacy and the war on drugs

It is a typical Sir David Frost interview – after a series of gentle probings, the seasoned inquisitor elicits a surprising confession from his subject.

But actor Gael García Bernal’s humorous admission, that he wanted to change his lifetime football allegiance from Spurs to Arsenal, would be the last revelation procured by Sir David, in what proved to be his final interview.

The encounter, screened on Al Jazeera English, took place in Mexico City on July 5, less than two months before Sir David’s death from a heart attack, aged 74.

Sir David flew to Mexico from London to meet the actor, 34, who has filmed a special introduction to “the last interview ever conducted by Sir David Frost”.

The camera shows the actor greeting a rather stiff-moving Sir David before settling into a lavishly-appointed room for an intimate conversation.

“Suddenly I was head-to-head with the most famous interviewer in the world,” says Bernal in his voiceover. The cameras follow the pair as Bernal takes Frost for lunch and then on a visit to his production office.

During the hour-long broadcast, Frost, suited and well-briefed on his subject, quizzes Bernal on Che Guevara’s legacy, the war on drugs, the actor’s homosexual kiss in the Oscar-nominated Y Tu Mama Tambien and Mexico’s relationship with the United States.

Bernal, who played Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries, describes the failure to place Chile’s General Pinochet under trial before his death as “one of the great injustices”.

Lamenting the “huge inequality” in Mexico and its murderous drug battles, Bernal claims that “the possibility of legalising or decriminalising marijuana is around the corner in many parts of the world.”

A relaxed Sir David questions whether Bernal could make his politically-committed films in Hollywood. The actor volunteers that “the US studio system is not as flexible. I could not be as daring. The structures do not allow it.”

Sir David is merely building towards his knockout blow. Both he and Bernal considered careers as professional footballers, 50 years apart, before settling for lives in front of the camera. 

“The only thing I worry about in your affection for football of course, is that you did choose Tottenham Hotspur as your English team and not my team Arsenal,” Sir David ventures.

Like many before him in the hot seat, Bernal cracks. “I know, and that was a conscious choice which I think I regret in a way. I chose Tottenham just because Arsenal was winning everything but now I enjoy a lot Arsenal. I like their philosophy. I like that it represents London because it's players from all over the world.”

“And they need your support now because we haven't had a trophy for seven years,” presses Sir David. “Maybe I should go and just play one season!,” agrees the actor.

The revelation may not be as earth-shaking as President Nixon’s confession but Sir David is visibly delighted.

Frost’s final question is: “What would you like to leave in a sentence, describing your life?” He greets the reply, essentially to have made a difference, by shaking hands with Bernal, saying with warmth: “Thank you so much for a very memorable time. Thanks a million.” It’s a sentiment many viewers observing Frost’s screen finale will feel inclined to share.

The Frost Interview, 9pm Friday, Saturday midday and repeated on Al Jazeera English - Freeview channel 83, Sky Guide 514 and Virgin 622.

It will be available online thereafter at AlJazeera.com and on the channel's mobile apps.

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links