Michael Pena is a Hispanic-American actor who is known for his performances in "American Hustle," "Ant-Man," "Narcos: Mexico" and "Fury."
Though Peña has been a regular in independent productions since 1994, his breakthrough performances came in two Best Picture Oscar-winning Paul Haggis-penned films, Million Dollar Baby and Crash. The former was helmed by Clint Eastwood, and the latter was directed by Haggis. Though both films are critically acclaimed, Peña received attention for his particularly emotional performance in Crash.
The following year, he appeared on the Golden Globe winning series, The Shield. In 2006, he starred in Oliver Stone's film based on the September 11, 2001 attacks, World Trade Center. He also had a small role in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe-winning film Babel. This gives him the rare distinction of having appeared in three consecutive Oscar nominated films. He also starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in Shooter as novice FBI agent Nick Memphis.
In 2006, Peña starred in the HBO film Walkout as Sal Castro, a Mexican-American high school teacher who inspires a group of East L.A. high school students to fight for Chicano rights. In 2009, he played a mall security guard alongside Seth Rogen in Jody Hill's Observe and Report.
In 2012, he co-starred with Jake Gyllenhaal as a Los Angeles police officer, in End of Watch. The same year, he began filming César Chávez, a biopic about the life of American labor leader César Chávez, who founded the United Farm Workers. Peña stars as Chávez. He appeared alongside Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, and Jon Bernthal in the World War II-set action film Fury, and portrayed Luis in Ant-Man.
In 2018, he starred in "Narcos: Mexico," a branch of "Narcos" covering the drug trade in Mexico, as infamous DEA agent Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena, whose tragic story inspired change within the DEA.
Peña starred in 12 Strong along Chris Hemsworth. He also starred in the 2018 remake of "A Wrinkle in Time," where he played the main antagonist, The IT, in his human form name, Red.
He also played Dora's father in "Dora and the Lost City of Gold," alongside Eva Longoria as Dora's mother in 2019.
Peña has been a member of Scientology since 2000.
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