Michael Peña: 'Scientology made me a better actor' - 2016-10-06
L ike all of us, Michael Peña is talking about Donald Trump. "But what do you think?" He looks at me curiously. I blurt out something garbled about the stealthy rise of fascism. "I just can't believe he's made it this far. That's my thing. I mean, having absolutely no experience. It's like this guy just picked up a tennis racket and now he thinks he can beat Djokovic."
Peña is a movie star, although you might not know it from his sweatshirt and Nikes, or his hey-brother affability. He turned 40 this year, his face boyishly round but with grey whispers in his beard. He is also the son of Mexican immigrants, so abused in the speeches of the US presidential candidate. His parents were undocumented – illegals, Trump would say – starting a family in North Lawndale, Chicago, before securing green cards.
"He just wants to be elected," Peña says. "So that's him trying to relate to the majority of white Americans." And do most white Americans feel the same way? He rephrases the question. "Is there an immigration problem? There's an immigration problem in every country that has money, in that people there have a problem with immigration. Look at England. You guys have money, and maybe you can call that luck, and maybe you don't think about how lucky you are. Me, I'm an American, and I live pretty well. But go down to Mexico and a lot of people really don't. So what, we're going to blame them for trying to get out?"