Michael Anthony Peña (//; Spanish: [ˈpeɲa]; born January 13, 1976) is an American character actor. He has starred in many films, including Crash (2004), World Trade Center (2006), Shooter (2007), Observe and Report (2009), Tower Heist (2011), Battle: Los Angeles (2011), End of Watch (2012), Gangster Squad (2013), American Hustle (2013), Fury (2014), Frontera (2014), The Martian (2015), Collateral Beauty (2016), CHiPs (2017), My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), Ant-Man (2015) and its sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), A Wrinkle in Time (2018), 12 Strong (2018) and Fantasy Island (2020). Peña had the title role in Cesar Chavez (2014) and played the co-lead role in the first season of the Netflix TV series Narcos: Mexico (2018). He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance in End of Watch.
Michael Anthony Peña
January 13, 1976
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Peña was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Nicolasa, a social worker, and Eleuterio Peña, a 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. He grew up in the North Lawndale area and attended Marist High School.
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 (2004). The former was directed 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 film Babel. This gives him the rare distinction of having appeared in three consecutive Oscar-nominated films.
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 (2014), and portrayed Luis in Ant-Man (2015).
In 2015, Peña was a principal-player of the ensemble-cast for his role on board the Aries-III space-craft to Mars, in the award-winning Ridley Scott sci-film The Martian. Peña starred in 12 Strong alongside 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 (known as "Red").
In December 2017, it was reported that Peña had joined the cast of Narcos for its upcoming fourth season. It was later revealed that the fourth season would be a new series, Narcos: Mexico, with Peña starring as DEA agent Kiki Camarena.
Peña voiced the character Ricky in the FX animated comedy Chozen. In Turbo, he voiced Tito, and in My Little Pony: The Movie, he voiced Grubber. He also provided vocals for the character Marguerite (in the episode 'Hot Water') for the popular animated series American Dad.
In 2005, Peña formed the Los Angeles rock band Nico Vega, 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 No. 26 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs Chart.
In 2006, he married Brie Shaffer. He has one son, named Roman, born in 2008.
|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||The 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||Tracey Takes On...||Busboy||Episode: "Scandal"|
|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||The Shield||Detective Armando Renta||10 episodes|
|2006||Walkout||Sal Castro||Television film|
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||Sebastián Cisneros||5 episodes|
|2011, 2013||American Dad!||Marguerite (voice)||2 episodes|
|2014||Chozen||Ricky (voice)||10 episodes|
|2014||Gracepoint||Mark Solano||10 episodes|
|2018||Narcos: Mexico||Kiki Camarena||Main cast; 10 episodes (Season 1)|
|2016||Lego Marvel's Avengers||Luis||Ant-Man downloadable pack|
- 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.
- Pearlman, Cindy. "Michael Peña has luck on his side". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 26, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Daunt, Tina (2006-10-01). "He's all about survivor roles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Chicago native Michael Pena talks End of Watch". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- Leydon, Joe (2009-03-18). "Observe and Report". Variety. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
- 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.
- Dread Central (May 14, 2013). "The First Trailer for Marvel's "Ant-Man" Is Here". Dread Central. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
- Stefansky, Emma (November 3, 2016). "'A Wrinkle in Time' Casts Michael Peña as Mysterious Character 'Red'". Screen Crush. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
- Otterson, Joe (2017-12-19). "'Narcos' Season 4 to Star Michael Peña, Diego Luna". Variety. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
- "Netflix Releases First Look at Reset 'Narcos: Mexico'". The Hollywood Reporter. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- Leigh, Danny (October 6, 2016). "Michael Peña: 'Scientology made me a better actor'" – via www.theguardian.com.
- "Michael Peña on How Fatherhood Shaped His Approach to 'Narcos: Mexico'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
- Ahmet, Yildirim (February 5, 2021). "Ant-Man Türkiye'de çekiliyor!". Teknolojioku.com (in Turkish). Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021.