Peña at the premiere of Fury in Washington D.C, October 2014
|Born||Michael Anthony Peña
January 13, 1976
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Michael Anthony Peña (born January 13, 1976) is an American 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), Gangster Squad (2013), American Hustle (2013), Cesar Chavez (2014) and Fury (2014).
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 is a Scientologist.
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 (2004) and Crash (2005). 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 (2007) 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 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 (2014). He also portrayed Luis in Ant-Man.
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 but co-wrote the track, "Beast" which reached #26 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs Chart.
|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|
|2000||The District||Sante||Episode: "The Real Terrorist"|
|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
|2003||ER||Police Officer||3 episodes|
|1997, 2004||NYPD Blue||Ferd
|2005||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Juanito Concha||Episode: "Snakes"|
|2005||Shield, TheThe Shield||Detective Armando Renta||10 episodes|
|2006||Walkout||Sal Castro||TV Movie
Black Reel Award for Network/Cable - Best Supporting Actor
Imagen Award for Best Actor - Television
Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie
|2008||My Name Is Earl||Circus||Episode: "No Heads and a Duffle Bag"|
|2010||Eastbound & Down||Mr. Cisneros||5 episodes|
|2011, 2013||American Dad!||Maguerite||Voice
|2014||Gracepoint||Mark Solano||10 episodes|
- Rusoff, Jane Wollman (2005-05-07). "Michael Pena stands out in 'Crash'". Tribune. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Michael Peña: "Nunca pensé en hacer telenovelas"". People. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "MIKE PEÑA, nació en Chicago de padres mexicanos. Su madre, de Charcas.". 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Michael Pena has luck on his side: Article at Chicago Sun-Times
- Daunt, Tina (2006-10-01). "He's all about survivor roles". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Michael Peña". Church of Scientology. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- 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.