Actor Diego Luna in the Mexico City theater whereby he is starring in the hit play “Privacidad,” or “Privacy.”
Reporting native MEXICO CITY—Five year ago, gibbs Diego Luna was living the Hollywood dream. A house by the beach, a production company with his best friend and also a glut of great parts in good films.

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But there was something absent from his life.

Mexico.

Luna, 38, who very first gained worldwide acclaim because that his role as a sex-crazed teen in the 2001 mexico road trip movie “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” and who go on come star in “Rogue One: A Star wars Story,” to be watching advancements back in his native nation with a sense of longing but additionally unease. He to be thrilled by exciting experiments in culture — the world-renowned chefs, musicians and also fashion developers who uncovered inspiration in the streets and Mexico’s native past. And also he to be infuriated through the politics — the brazen corruption, massive disappearances and also seemingly infinite drug battle violence.


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Modern Mexico to be rife v contradictions, and Luna wanted to it is in a component of it. For this reason he did the point you’re not an alleged to do when Hollywood has embraced you, as soon as you’ve been given a golden ticket most human being will only dream about.

He left.

“I feel an urgency to be a component of what was happening in mine country,” Luna stated on a recent morning, sipping environment-friendly tea at house in a quiet neighborhood on the south side the Mexico City. “I don’t desire my youngsters to see me looking at the news indigenous my life room in L.A., complaining around what’s keep going in Mexico. I desire them to watch me here, fighting for something i love.”

Since Luna returned, he has kept a toe in the Hollywood waters. This year, that has little parts in Woody Allen’s “A merganser Day in new York” and a film by Barry Jenkins, the manager of Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” referred to as “If Beale Street might Talk.”


But he has overwhelmingly focused his energy on jobs here. That helps run a well-known documentary film festival and is right now shooting the 4th season of the Netflix hit “Narcos,” which is set in Mexico. 4 days a week he stars in “Privacidad,” or “Privacy,” a play around internet security that has resonated deep in Mexico, where last year it was revealed that the federal government was spying on several significant journalists and also human rights defenders.

In a widely covered occasion after the play’s 100th present last month, Luna screened a video interview he performed with Edward Snowden, the previous National Security company contractor that revealed the details that U.S. Electronic surveillance programs. He invited several of the victims of Mexico’s spying scandal onstage, and devoted a plaque to them and to “the indirect” victims of the mexican government’s spying.

“We’re every victims,” Luna said, to robust applause. “We live in a country where those top top the appropriate side of history are persecuted and also spied on, and also there aren’t the problems to freely exercise the journalism that us citizens deserve.”

Luna’s development into an outspoken political activist and critic of mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has had public the opposite to regulation that would more militarize Mexico, where much more than 238,332 world have to be killed due to the fact that soldiers were very first sent into the roadways to fight the drug war about a decade ago. He also has repeatedly called for justice in the loss of 43 students in ~ a college in Ayotzinapa in central Mexico in 2014.

After twin earthquakes win the country in September, death hundreds, Luna and also his childhood friend and frequent collaborator Gael Garcia Bernal started a non-profit that raised $1.5 million because that relief efforts, a strategic relocate in a country where many citizens nothing trust their leaders not to steal help money.


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Diego Luna.
Ahead the this summer’s presidential election, Luna has been courted by several opposition parties, including one that he said readily available him the place of a senator (in Mexico, some members of conference are preferred by politics parties). Yet he says he’d rather maintain his duty as a movie critic from outside the system. He states he might not endorse a candidate in the election.

Though part Mexican actors have been known to sweet in on elections and also dabble in activism, it’s much less usual in Mexico 보다 in the U.S. Luna links his enthusiasm for politics in component to the era in which he flourished up, when the autocratic seven-decade preeminence of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or the PRI, was beginning to come to an end.

He tho remembers the outrage that gripped his left-leaning father and nanny as soon as opposition leader Cuauhtemoc Cardenas shed to the PRI candidate in the rigged 1988 presidential election. That remembers the tumultuous occasions of the 1990s, consisting of a terrible financial crisis, the assassination that a presidential candidate, the Zapatista aboriginal uprising and the PRI’s eventual loss that the presidency in 2000.

Luna’s work matters due to the fact that he is one of the country’s biggest stars. Almost everywhere he goes, he is mobbed by fans, largely women, who technique with cellphones outstretched. He frequently obliges selfies, flashing his well known boyish smile.

With his shaggy hair and thin frame, Luna quiet looks a lot favor the kid from “Y Tu Mama Tambien.”


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His role in the film together Tenoch Iturbide, the pot-smoking son of a wealthy Mexican politician that shares a memorable menage a trois v an enlarge woman and his best friend, played by Garcia Bernal, catapulted that to global stardom. Yet Luna had already been renowned in Mexico for years. He was just 7 when he starred in his first play, in part to be closer come his father, a prominent set designer who elevated Luna after ~ his mother passed away in a car accident.

“When other youngsters were being just kids, i was already trying to it is in an adult,” Luna said.

By period 15, Luna had actually acted in a cable of popular telenovelas and also no longer relied ~ above his father financially. By 18, he was working at Mexico’s nationwide theater firm and had actually his own apartment.

“I had actually a terrific life,” the said. “I to be very, very happy. It can not be better.”

In 2008, he married actress and also singer Camila Sodi and also they made decision to relocate to Los Angeles, where they had actually their very first child. In ~ first, he was most regularly recognized by mexican immigrant restaurant workers or valets. The insignificant in L.A. Aided Luna’s career, but he feel a coldness. He missed the required intimacy of a crowded metropolis like Mexico City.

“We were invited to events many times, however it was challenging to obtain into someone else’s intimate world, which is sort of the point,” the said.

He was doing more directing, including the 2014 biopic “Cesar Chavez,” which he filmed in northern Mexico, and also had noticed how much simpler it was working at home, whereby government resources for movies way directors are much less constrained by advertisement limitations, and also where filmmakers generally confront less red tape.

“It’s hard to find someone that will tell you no here, versus in the States, whereby it’s no after ~ no after ~ no after no,” the said.


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Luna separated indigenous Sodi in 2013. He came earlier to Mexico approximately the same time, returning to the exact same modernist residence he had purchased as soon as he was 21. Set behind high wall surfaces on a narrow cobblestone street, the a haven of tranquility in a chaotic city. Art books are haphazardly stack on tables and also Polaroid photographs of Luna’s friends and family adorn the walls. The end back, a lush garden is shaded by a majestic, ivy-covered tree.

One reason Luna want to return was so his children could thrive up in Mexico, and at a slower pace than his very own frenetic childhood. He said he and also Sodi had embraced a mantra: “Let’s let them be children for as lengthy as lock can.”

On a current late morning, his 9-year-old son, Jeronimo, ran roughly the home in underwear and a T-shirt. When he asked Luna if he might go down the street come buy a treat at the corner store, Luna nodded, but said he placed on clothes and shoes first.

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Luna thinks he’s probably missed some good opportunities in Hollywood, however he no care. “If castle really need me, they’ll pertained to me,” he claimed in English, smiling. His Spanish interval had gotten thicker.