End of Watch’s Michael Pena on growing up in the “ghetto” and how Hollywood is getting diversity

michael-pena-end-of-watchMichael Pena thinks Hollywood is finally starting to diversify. 

The Latino actor, who was cast alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in the cop drama End of Watch, tells Movieline that “the script was written for actors like Jake Gyllenhaal and me—a Latin dude. It had to be a Latin dude, there is so much Latin [material] in it.  Ten years ago, I don’t know if that would have been the case.  I don’t know if it would have been so easy to do.”

Pena, who has appeared in films like Crash, Million Dollar Baby, and The Lincoln Lawyer, could definitely relate to a character familiar with rough neighborhoods.  “I never wanted to be in a gang,” he said.  “I didn’t want to follow anybody’s orders.  I thought of myself as an individual ever since I was little.  I grew up in the ghetto, and the thing is when there were problems, I knew when to get away.  But police go to the problems.  I didn’t do that growing up.”

“Seeing it through Jake’s eyes, it re-ignited what I always knew, but I guess I had buried it.  I’ve been living in Hollywood for the past 15 years.  And reality just smacks you in the face—that feeling of potential danger everywhere.”

It was essential for Pena and Gyllenhaal to create a realistic bond when portraying the two partners.  “It took three months to click,” the actor said.  “There’s a lot of pressure to play like brothers.  We had to spend a lot of time together opening up to each other as well as tactical training, rehearsing.  Three months later we had a good rapport and we put that in the movie.”

End of Watch comes out Friday, September 21.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/director-david-gordon-greene-nar.jpg
Director David Gordon Green Narrates a Scene From ‘Joe’
Director David Gordon Green narrates a sequence from his new film, Joe, featuring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan. In the video, he mentions his reasons why he likes to hire non-traditional actors. He likes people who have real skill-sets and not actors who have the skills on their resume. He also talked about this in […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/david-gordon-green-joe.jpg
Director David Gordon Green: “I find actors in unusual places”
I keep missing screenings of director David Gordon Greene‘s new film, Joe. I hear it’s really good so I’m looking forward to catching it at some point. Joe stars Nicholas Cage as ex-con Joe Ransom, who isn’t the greatest of role models until he meets a 15-year-old boy (Mud‘s Tye Sheridan). In this featurette, Green […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/judy-greer-i-dont-know-why-you-know-me-from.jpg
Please Don’t Say These Things To Judy Greer (video)
Judy Greer - who we love here at Daily Actor – has a new book called, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star), a series of essays about her life as an actress, friend and someone who everyone thinks they might know. Here’s a blurb about the book: “Want to […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Captain-America-SamuelNick-Fury.jpg
How Samuel L. Jackson Learns His Lines for the Marvel Movies (video)
Samuel L. Jackson stopped by Good Morning America earlier this week to talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier – which is terrific, by the way – and he told Robin Roberts that for the first Cap film, he had trouble learning his lines. “I sat at home and I did all my studying, and […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/andy-karl-margot-seibert-rocky.jpg
Andy Karl and Margo Seibert Talk ‘Rocky: The Musical’ on ‘Today’
Andy Karl and Margo Seibert, the stars of Rocky: The Musical, talked to Today‘s Matt Lauer about the new Broadway musical. Karl talks about the final fight and taking on the iconic role. This is Seibert’s Broadway debut and she’s asked about her callbacks (9 in all!) and more. Check it out!