MICHAEL PENA (CESAR CHAVEZ) has distinguished himself in
Hollywood as an actor with a wide range of performances and has worked with an
impressive roster of award winning directors. Pena earned notable recognition
for his performance in Paul Haggis' provocative Oscar winning film Crash,
alongside Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard. Critically acclaimed for
the film's interpretation of complex race relations in contemporary America,
Pena has garnered multiple best ensemble nominations for his role as 'Daniel the
locksmith' winning awards from the Screen Actors Guild and the Broadcast Film
Critics Association for the cast's performance. He can currently be seen in the
David O'Russell film American Hustle which has won a Golden Globe, as well as
ensemble awards from the Screen Actors Guild and the Broadcast Film Critics. It
is nominated for BAFTA and an Academy Award.
In September 2012, Michael was seen in the critically acclaimed movie End of
Watch, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. The film is about two young
officers in South Central LA who are marked for death after confiscating a small
cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a
routine traffic stop. For his role as Officer Zavala he was nominated for an
Independent Spirit Award and the film was recognized by the National Board of
Review as one of the Top 10 Independent Films of the year.
In March of 2014 Pena can be seen as civil right and labor organizer Cesar
Chavez in Chavez. The film is directed by Diego Luna and produced by Canana and
Mr Mudd. In the film, Pena plays Chavez, a man who embraced non-violence as he
battled greed and prejudice in his struggle for the rights of farm workers.
He is currently shooting the Fox 10 hour mini-series Gracepoint, a remake of
the UK's Broadchurch. The show centers on Detective Emmett Carver (David
Tennant), the lead investigator on the case of a shocking murder of 11-year-old
Danny, that puts a small town under scrutiny. Pena will play Danny's father a
well-liked local plumber and family man. Like anyone else, Mark is left
devastated by the murder, but as his wife, Beth (Virginia Kull), suspects, he
may be hiding something about that fatal evening.
On November 14th he re-teams with director David Ayer for the Sony feature
Fury starring opposite Brad Pitt and Shia LaBouf.
Pena has been seen in a range of films in the past year, including the
independent film Everything Must Go alongside Will Ferrell and Rebecca Hall;
Gangster Squad opposite Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling and in the Fox
animated feature Turbo.
Pena's film credits include The Lucky Ones, co-starring Rachel McAdams and
Tim Robbins; Jody Hill's comedy Observe and Report with Seth Rogen; Robert
Redford's political drama Lions for Lambs, along with Tom Cruise and Meryl
Streep; and Werner Herzog and David Lynch's psychological thriller My Son, My
Son, What Have Ye Done with Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe and Chloe Sevigny.
Pena's other noteworthy credits consist of Oliver Stone's World Trade Center,
which chronicled the heroism of American servicemen in the direct aftermath of
the September 11th attacks; Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby; Matthew Ryan
Hoge's The United States of Leland; Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers; Antoine
Fuqua's Shooter; Brett Ratner's Tower Heist and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's
On television, Pena also starred in the HBO film Walkout. Based on the true
story of a young Mexican American high school teacher who helped stage a massive
student walkout in the mid 1960s, Pena received an Imagen Award for Best Actor
in the television category for his performance. He recently re-teamed with Danny
McBride on the second season of HBO's "Eastbound and Down." He also appeared on
the F/X drama "The Shield" for its fourth season as one of the central leads
opposite Glenn Close and Anthony Anderson. Other television credits include
Steven Spielberg's NBC series "Semper Fi."
Raised in Chicago, Pena began acting when he beat out hundreds of others in
an open call for a role in Peter Bogdonovich's To Sir, With Love 2, starring
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