Gael Garcia Bernal and Alonso Ruizpalacios on ‘Museo’ and the Real-Life Heist That Inspired It

     September 16, 2018

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One of the many films to play at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Alonso Ruizpalacios’s Museo. Inspired by true events, and shot on never-before filmed locations in Mexico, the film is about two best friends (Gael García Bernal and Leonardo Ortizgris) that steal a number of Mayan artifacts from Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology on Christmas Eve in the mid-1980s. While the heist ends up going off without a hitch, things get a lot more complicated when they try and sell off the relics. Museo also stars Alfredo Castro and Simon Russell Beale.

museo-movie-posterShortly after seeing the film, I got to speak with Gael Garcia Bernal and Alonso Ruizpalacios at the Collider Studio. During the interview, they talked about what it meant premiering their film at TIFF, what the film is about, how much changed from the first idea to the finish product, memorable moments from filming, how hands-on Bernal is in the editing room when he is off set, and more. In addition, towards the end of the interview they played “Get to Know Your TIFF Attendee”, which includes questions like what TV show they would love to guest-spot on, their favorite sci-fi or fantasy film, what is the background on their phone, what movie have they watched more than 20 times, and if they own any movie or TV show props.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

Alonso Ruizpalacios and Gael Garcia Bernal:

  • What it means to have Museo be a part of TIFF.
  • What Museo is about and the heist that inspired it.
  • How Bernal joined the project after a conversation with Ruizpalacios.
  • How much changed from the first idea to the finish product.
  • How hands-on Bernal is in the editing room when he is off set.
  • How early feedback changed the final film.
  • A day or two from filming that they will never forget.
  • They play “Get To Know Your Tiff Attendee which includes questions like what TV show they would love to guest-spot on, their favorite sci-fi or fantasy film, what film scared them as a kid, what they collect, if they own any movie or TV show props, what TV show they have watched all the way through more than once, what is the background on their phone, what movie have they watched more than 20 times, and what moment inspired them to get into the entertainment industry.
museo-gael-garcia-bernal

Image via TIFF

Here’s the official synopsis:

Well into their 30s, Juan Nuñez and Benjamín Wilson still can’t seem to finish veterinary school or leave their parents’ homes. Instead, they wallow in comfortable limbo in the district of Satelite, Mexico City’s version of an American suburb. On a fateful Christmas Eve, however, they decide it’s finally time to distinguish themselves by executing the most infamous cultural artifacts heist in all of Mexican history.

Excusing themselves from the traditional family dinners and seizing on the holiday’s lax security – not to mention the sheer improbability of their crime – they loot Mexico’s iconic National Anthropology Museum of its most precious pieces and embark upon a misadventure that will forever change their lives.

The magnitude of the theft exceeds the amateur thieves’ expectations, and by the very next morning they realize, too late, the full scope and implications of their actions. Stumbling through the next steps of their ill-conceived plan, they leave everything behind and set off on a journey that takes them from the Mayan ruins of Palenque to the decadent underworld of Acapulco Bay in a futile effort to fence treasures so valuable and recognizable that no one dares acquire them.

Finally, big thanks to the partners who made our TIFF interviews possible:

Aurora, Presenting Partner, one of Canada’s largest federally licensed cannabis companies and an official partner of the Toronto International Film Festival. Aurora’s involvement is anchored by its passion for the arts and commitment to providing financial support for the creative community.

Diageo Canada joins as the official spirit sponsor and will be showcasing cocktails featuring brands from their luxury portfolio including Ciroc Vodka,Tanqueray™ No. TEN Gin, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Bulleit Bourbon.

Toasting the evening’s festivities will be La Marca Prosecco, an elegant, luxurious sparkling wine. The premium wines of California’s Ghost Pines Winery will also be served!

Dutch beer brand Grolsch, the official beer sponsor of the Toronto Film Festival recognizable by its iconic swingtop bottle, will tap into the House of Aurora to extend its VIP footprint at the Festival. Grolsch has long been a champion of creativity and independent thinking.

Frank Rea Event Designs Toronto’s top event florist and ambient designer Frank Rea creatively lends his support with décor statements and floral designs through Forget Me Not Flowers & Frank Rea Event Designs.

The Collider Studio at the House of Aurora was produced by A-list Communications and The Substance Group.

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