Michael Peña biography

30 Minutes or Less


Date of Birth: January 13, 1976

Born and raised in Chicago, Michael Peña began his acting career in the low budget film Running Free (1994), which never made it to theaters. His first big break came when he beat out hundreds of others in an open call for a role in Peter Bogdanovich's TV movie To Sir, with Love II (1996), starring Sidney Poitier.

Although he hasn't acquired household name status (yet), Michael has worked steadily ever since, amassing an impressive number of television and movie credits.

On television, he's made guest appearances on shows such as Touched by an Angel, The Sentinel, 7th Heaven, Felicity, Roswell, ER, NYPD Blue and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and played a regular role as Detective Armando Renta on The Shield.

His films include Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) starring Nicolas Cage, Buffalo Soldiers (2001) with Joaquin Phoenix, The United States of Leland (2003) with Ryan Gosling, Million Dollar Baby (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, Babel (2006) with Brad Pitt and The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) starring Matthew McConaughey.

For his work in the Oscar-winning film Crash (2004), Michael won a Best Actor Award at the 2006 ALMA Awards. In Oliver Stone's World Trade Center , he garnered a starring role as Will Jimeno, one of two Port Authority police officers who were trapped under the rubble at Ground Zero in New York City on 9/11.

Michael then played a cop opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in End of Watch (2012), which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. He also starred in the highly-anticipated crime drama Gangster Squad (2013) alongside Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Sean Penn, followed by the war drama Fury (2014), played Luis in the animated film Ant-Man (2015), and Rick in the space drama The Martian (2015). More recently, he appeared opposite Will Smith, Kate Winslet, and Edward Norton in the drama Collateral Beauty (2016) and opposite Dax Shepard in CHIPS (2017). He then lent his voice to My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) and also played roles in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie (2017), A Wrinkle in Time (2018) and 12 Strong (2018). He reprised his role as Luis in the sequel, Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) and played Dora's father in the family adventure film, Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019).

Michael makes his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Brie, and their young son.

Michael Peña Filmography


30 Minutes or Less

Genre:  Action/Adventure, Comedy
Running Time:  83 min.
Release Date: August 12, 2011
DVD: November 29, 2011

Current rating: Rating: 3.71
based on 708 votes and 181 reviews
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Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, Michael Peña, Fred Ward