Yes, those fingers have been wrapped around the cans attached to an E-meter, and all that can-grabbing is the reason why Michael Peña is as successful an actor as he is. Michael is currently promoting the upcoming film War on Everyone, and he recently spoke to The Guardian about his new movie and being an actor and whatnot. Something you may not know about Michael Peña is that he’s deep into that Scientology lifestyle. Some famous Scientologists pledge their allegiance to L. Ron Hubbard on the down-low, while others – cough Tom Cruise cough – get so giddy when they talk about it, they make dialogue in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical sound like an Arthur Miller play. Michael is sort of the first one; he’s usually pretty quiet about Scientology, but he did kiki with The Guardian a little about it.
Michael was sort-of raised Catholic, but he joined the Church of Scientology in 2000 after being in Hollywood for a bit. He says he originally joined to help him with his boozing, and he stuck around after doing their detox program. Which brings us to the part about Scientology helping him be a better actor. I was hoping this would be where Michael spilled the beans that David Miscavige hosts a monthly acting workshop in the celebrity center basement called Stop Suppressing Your Inner Star. Instead, Michael’s acting skills came from a Scientology reading program called Study Tech. Study Tech may sound like ITT Tech’s even less-legitimate cousin, but Michael claims it helped him get better at reading, which in turn made him better at reading and understanding scripts. Michael also isn’t here for Scientology haters. Going Clear is The Sun to Michael Peña.
“I don’t read that stuff. 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.”
It’s a good thing for Scientology that Michael Peña willingly chooses not to read some things. Because honestly, Scientology having a reading program is a pretty risky move. I can only imagine how nervous the higher ups at Scientology are when the Study Tech students put their new reading skills to use and pull a copy of Dianetics out of the Scientology library. “Galactic Confederacy…ghost souls trapped in a volcano…oh shit, THIS is what we believe? Eesh, I’m out.”