Gael Garcia Bernal, the young Mexican actor, plays Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the film's undisputed hero. Salles is Brazilian. Veteran Hollywood actor Robert Redford is the film's producer. Non-actors from villages in Chile and Peru portray the people Guevara and Granado meet along their journey of self-discovery. Almost all the Americas are represented in The Motorcycle Diaries, a film that shares the epic spirit of a classic journey drama like Lawrence of Arabia.
De La Serna understands the Hollywood comparison. Yet, for him, the film stays true to its Latino origins.
"I love a diversity in film, and I can enjoy all types of films from all countries," he says, speaking recently at the Toronto Film Festival. "But Walter's (Salles) films have a very rare sensibility. This is a movie that a Latin American person can be very proud for participating in it. I think what makes the difference is the Latin American feeling this movie has."