A Look Back at the Time Natalie Portman & Gael García Bernal Dated

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
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Hollywood is an industry that encourages beautiful people to date beautiful people. And in the early to mid-aughts, an unknown force gave us the mega beautiful couple comprised of Natalie Portman and Gael García Bernal. The two stars are both child actors who managed to transition into adult roles and have had long-lasting careers. They are also, unfortunately for us, very private.

While we’ve seen photographic evidence of their relationship (here’s them taking a stroll), few details exist about this time of their lives. As a result, a lot of the limited information that exists is unverifiable. But because we didn’t pay enough attention when this relationship was happening in real time, we’ve decided to gather as much as we can about the former couple. Here’s what we learned.


They supposedly started dating in ~2003.

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While the dates are fuzzy, it seems as though they coupled up in the early aughts. Quién reports that they met at a post-Oscars party. The relationship was supposedly short lived.


They got back together a few years later.

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Again, the dates are not clear, but by 2006 or 2007, they were back on. One outlet claims that it took place in 2006 after they were seen spending time together and going on dates at the Berlin International Film Festival. Though we don’t know exactly how long they were back on, we do know that Getty has pictures of the two of them in 2007, including this cute snap of them hanging out at the US Open.


She loved 'Y Tu Mamá También'

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20 Minutos reports that there was a time when Natalie named Y Tu Mamá También as one of her favorite movies. The film was released a couple of years before they met.



Their idea of PDA was subdued.

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Since neither is very open about their relationships, it wouldn’t be surprising that they weren’t overly affectionate in public. In 2007, tabloids said that inside the Vanity Fair party – where they hung out with Helen Mirren – they didn’t shy away from showing the world they were together, but it was casual. “At one I’m told she was complaining about her shoulder, he rubbed it, not in a pervy way but in the comfortable way between two people extremely comfortable with each other,” Lainey Gossip reported at the time. “Later on, she leaned over and sipped from his drink, wrapping her hand around his and bringing it to her mouth.”


Or it wasn't – depending on who you believe.

Another report, from 2006, said the two couldn’t keep their hands off each other. “They put on quite a show,” an eyewitness said. “They were all over each other all night. They did not care who saw, they had eyes only for themselves. We couldn’t believe it.”


There was a reported love triangle.

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In 2006 – the same year he was linked to Natalie – Gael was linked to Dolores Fonzi, who is the mother of his two children. Gael and Dolo met in 2001 when they filmed Vidas privadas. Gael may or may not have been smitten with Fonzi while dating Natalie – so much so that he supposedly promised to break up with the Hollywood actress so he could be with Dolores. At the time, Clarín best summed up the drama as: “Who is Gael García Bernal dating? We don’t know, but they’re all in Buenos Aires. All meaning him + Dolores Fonzi + Natalie Portman.”


Natalie allegedly attacked a photographer.

Many outlets reported that following rumors of a Gael + Dolo relationship, Natalie headed to Baires to fight for her man (or something along those lines). She supposedly became fed up with the cameras following her and attacked a pap.