Actor Michael Pena Credits His Success to the Church of Scientology

Actor Michael Pena Credits His Success to the Church of Scientology

Actor Michael Pena Credits His Success to the Church of Scientology
US Department of Labor [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mexican-American actor speaks about how the church helped in his career as a Hollywood star.

Michael Pena is one of Hollywood's success stories. Born into a family of Mexican immigrants, he has made huge strides on-screen and is well-loved by fans. However, it is not just his looks and talent that have made him successful. He attributes his fame to another driving force in his life, Scientology.

Actor Michael Pena Credits His Success to the Church of Scientology[/tweetthis]

Pena has not really been open about his faith, however, when asked about his religion in an interview, the 40-year-old actor was more than happy to share his story. Pena said he first heard about Scientology when he was living in Hollywood. He and his roommate were watching television one day when he caught a glimpse of an interview with Jenna Elfman talking about how Scientology helps practitioners to be themselves without the addition of unnecessary dogmas. These few seconds proved to be a turning point in his life. He felt it was truly amazing something like that could exist.

Recalling that day in an interview with the Scientology Celebrity Centre, Pena remembers thinking “ ‘Wow, if Scientology is for real, I want part of it.’ So I literally just walked into the church and asked, ‘How do I start? How do I become a Scientologist?’ ”

When asked what really motivated him to seek guidance in a church, he said he was on his way to chronic alcoholism. While he hadn't yet become an alcoholic, when he joined the church in 2000, he says he was almost on the brink. Becoming a Scientologist saved him from becoming an addict. He says “for me, it isn’t religion like a belief; it’s practical things you do.” As such, the church had a huge role in helping him to get over his drinking problem.

Pena, whose resume includes The Martian, Crash, and Million Dollar Baby, also credits the Church of Scientology for making him a better actor. He says he learned to understand scripts better because of the church's Study Tech program. He says regularly attending this program led to him becoming more confident as a reader. As such, his acting performance was considerably improved.

Pena describes the controversies surrounding the church as being “misinformed.” He added that he avoids reading stories on the church's alleged controversies because he knows they are false. He explained his positioning in an interview with The Guardian: “Yeah but – OK, imagine we’re friends, you and me. Buddies. And there’s a tabloid story about you. There’s no way I’m going to read some fucking tabloid story about you. Especially when I know it’s misinformed.”

Pena plays a corrupt cop in his newest film, War on Everyone, in theaters today.


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