Michael Peña is best known for his dramatic work, which has recently included gripping performances alongside Brad Pitt in “Fury” and partnering with Jake Gyllenhaal as cops patrolling South Central L.A. in “End of Watch.“
But starring as Luis in “Ant-Man,” Peña delivers a scene-stealing performance playing Ant-Man’s side kick who has a knack for telling drawn out stories and having a positive attitude on just about anything.
That last trait helped the Luis character evolve from just a character that would take up space for a few scenes to becoming one of its most memorable in the movie.
“I don’t think my part was even that big in the beginning,” Peña told Business Insider. “I just wanted to be in a Marvel movie. But then a couple of scenes happened and then suddenly I was put in a couple of more and the role expanded. I’m really grateful.”
In the movie, when Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) gets out of prison Luis is there to pick him up and gives him a place to stay as he tries to leave his life of crime as a burglar. It doesn’t help that Luis is also a career-criminal and fills Lang’s mind with jobs they can do now that he’s out.
But what really makes his performance stand out is the happy-go-lucky personality Peña gave Luis, which was inspired by a friend he knew back in his hometown of Chicago named Pablo.
“He has this attitude which I always found funny,” said Peña. “He could be complaining about the worst things ever and he’s always got a smile on his face. He’s the guy that when you say, ‘Buddy, what did you do this week?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, I went to jail,’ but with a smile.”
Peña believes it’s the personality he gave Luis inspired by his buddy that caused the role to evolve into being Ant-Man’s most trusted ally.
And the actor hopes to play him again.
Though Peña said he hasn’t been told of a sequel yet, he has signed a three-picture deal with Marvel. Stating that’s what the studio does so if there are sequels there’s no contract negotiations for future movies.
“It’s a crazy character and it’s fun to do so I would love to do a couple more movies with the guy,” Peña said.
Here’s a little taste of the Luis character:
“Ant-Man” opens in theatres Friday.
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