Bichir was born in Torreón, the son of Alejandro Bichir and Maricruz Nájera. His brothers, Odiseo and Bruno, are also actors. He worked at the National Theater Company, performed Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky, and won several awards from the Mexican Association of Theater Critics. Bichir attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. After learning English, he worked at the Rosa Mexicano Restaurant.
Bichir played Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh's biopic film Che on the life of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in A Better Life (2011). In Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, he played Bob, a mysterious Mexican. His directorial debut film, Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song, premiered at the Morelia International Film Festival. Bichir starred in Alien: Covenant, the second prequel film for the Alien franchise. In 2017, he stars in The Conjuring spin-off film, The Nun (2018) and joined the cast for Doug Liman's 2019 film adaptation Chaos Walking, based on Patrick Ness' trilogy novels.
Bichir was married to signer Lisset Gutiérrez from July 2001 to 2003. His daughter, Gala, is from a brief relationship with a Spanish woman. Bichir was in a relationship with Stefanie Sherk from 2011 until her death by suicide in April 2019.
- His parents took his name from the Herman Hesse novel 'Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclairs Youth'.
- He is an American Civil Liberties Union Ambassador for Immigration Rights.
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