By the time director Alfonso Cuarón's Y Tu Mamá También took stateside arthouse theaters by storm in the early months of 2002, actor Diego Luna had been a fixture of Mexican film and television for nearly a decade. Though his breakout success could only be hinted at when he appeared in director Julian Schnabel's critically acclaimed drama Before Night Falls the previous year, it was his turn as a naïve, sex-starved teen in Cuarón's coming-of-age comedy drama that catapulted him to international stardom.
A native of Mexico City whose mother died in a car accident when he was a mere two years old, Diego Luna was left to be raised by his father, Alejandro -- widely renowned as one of Mexico's most talented set designers. The draw of the entertainment industry, to which his father's work exposed him, proved too irresistible for the talented aspiring actor, and before long, Luna was refining his skills on both stage and screen. Following his debut in the 1991 short film El Último Fin de Año (The Last New Year), Luna appeared opposite childhood pal Gael García Bernal in the popular television soap opera El Abuelo y Yo (1992). His star quickly rising, Luna was soon noticed by casting directors, and in 1996, he took the lead for the musical drama El Cometa and the thriller Un Dulce Olor a Muerte (both 1999). To those who saw the films, it was obvious that the young star had leading-man talent, though it was a partnership with longtime friend Bernal that truly sparked both actors' careers.