Peña in March 2012
|Born||Michael Anthony Peña
January 13, 1976
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Brie Shaffer (2006–present)|
Michael Anthony Peña (born January 13, 1976) is an American film and television actor, and musician. He is best known for his roles in the films Crash (2004), World Trade Center (2006), Shooter (2007), Observe and Report (2009), 30 Minutes or Less (2011), Tower Heist (2011), End of Watch (2012) and Gangster Squad (2013).
Peña was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Nicolasa, a social worker, and Eleuterio Peña, a button factory worker. Peña's parents were originally farmers, and emigrated from Mexico; his father was from Villa Purificación, Jalisco, and his mother was from Charcas, San Luis Potosí. Peña attended Hubbard High School in Chicago. Peña and his wife, Brie Shaffer, welcomed their first child in September 2008, a boy named Roman. He is a Scientologist.
Though Peña has been a regular in independent productions since 1994, his breakthrough performances came in 2004 in two Best Picture Oscar-winning Paul Haggis penned films, Million Dollar Baby and Crash. The latter was also directed by Haggis, while the former was helmed by Clint Eastwood. 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 (2007) as novice FBI agent Nick Memphis.
In 2006, Peña performed in the HBO film Walkout playing the part of 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 2012, he co-starred with Jake Gyllenhaal as a Los Angeles police officer, in End of Watch. The same year, he began filming Chávez, a biopic about the life of American labor leader César Chávez, who founded the United Farm Workers. Peña stars as Chávez. He will appear alongside Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, and Logan Lerman in the World War II-set action film Fury (2014).
Peña also formed the Los Angeles rock band Nico Vega in 2005, which is named after his mother Nicolasa. He left the band in 2007 to concentrate on his acting career.
|1996||My Fellow Americans||Ernesto|
|1997||Star Maps||Star Map Boy|
|1998||Boogie Boy||Drug Dealer|
|1998||Cucaracha, LaLa Cucaracha||Orderly|
|1999||Paradise Cove||Dan Running Horse|
|2000||Gone in 60 Seconds||Ignacio||Credited as Michael A. Pena|
|2001||Semper Fi||Douglas Cepeda||Television film|
|2003||United States of Leland, TheThe United States of Leland||Guillermo|
|2004||Calcium Kid, TheThe Calcium Kid||Jose Mendez|
|2004||Million Dollar Baby||Omar|
|2005||Untitled David Diamond/David Weissman Project||Scott||Television film|
|2006||Walkout||Sal Castro||Television film|
|2006||World Trade Center||Will Jimeno|
|2007||Lions for Lambs||Ernest|
|2008||Lucky Ones, TheThe Lucky Ones||T.K. Poole|
|2009||Observe and Report||Dennis|
|2009||My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?||Detective Vargas|
|2010||Everything Must Go||Frank Garcia|
|2011||Good Doctor, TheThe Good Doctor||Jimmy|
|2011||Battle: Los Angeles||Joe Rincon|
|2011||Lincoln Lawyer, TheThe Lincoln Lawyer||Jesus Martinez|
|2011||30 Minutes or Less||Chango|
|2011||Tower Heist||Enrique Dev'reaux|
|2012||End of Watch||Officer Zavala||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male|
|2013||Gangster Squad||Navidad Ramirez|
|2013||American Hustle||Paco Hernandez||Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|2014||Cesar Chavez||César Chávez||Post-Production|
|2014||Hell & Back||Abigor||Voice
|2014||The Vatican Tapes||Father Lozano||Post-production|
|1996||Pacific Blue||Rabbit||Episode: "Bangers"|
|1997||Touched by an Angel||Reynaldo Estes||Episode: "At Risk"|
|1998||Homicide: Life on the Street||Luis Carrenza||2 episodes; credited as Michael Anthony Pena|
|1998||Sentinel, TheThe Sentinel||Johnny||Episode: "Night Shift"; credited as Michael A. Pena|
|1998||7th Heaven||Roger||Episode: "Let's Talk About Sex"; credited as Michael A. Pena|
|1999||Moesha||Alejandro||Episode: "Life Imitating Art"|
|1999||Profiler||Alex Lopez||Episode: "Spree of Love"; credited as Michael Anthony Peña|
|1999–2000||Felicity||Brian Burke||5 episodes|
|2001||Men, Women & Dogs||Miguel||2 episodes|
|2002||American Family||2 episodes|
|2002||Andy Richter Controls the Universe||Patrick||Episode: "Wedding"|
|2003||The Twilight Zone||Noah||Episode: "Sunrise"; credited as Michael A. Peña|
|1997, 2004||NYPD Blue||Ferd/Wilmer Lopez||2 episodes|
|2005||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Juanito Concha||Episode: "Snakes"|
|2005||Shield, TheThe Shield||Detective Armando Renta||10 episodes|
|2008||My Name Is Earl||Circus||Episode: "No Heads and a Duffle Bag"|
|2010||Eastbound & Down||Mr. Cisneros||4 episodes|
|2011, 2013||American Dad!||Maguerite||Voice
|2014||Gracepoint||Mark Lasseter||Upcoming series|
- Michael Peña article at E-Online
- Michael Pena has luck on his side: Article at Chicago Sun-Times
- Peña, Michael (2005). "Celebrity interview with Michael Peña". Celebrity (368): 8–11.
- Observe and Report
- McNary, Dave. "Participant Marches With 'Chavez'." Variety. June 5, 2012.
- The Hollywood Reporter (May 14, 2013). "Michael Pena Boards David Ayer's Fury". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 15, 2013.