Narcos: Mexico star Michael Pena: Taking colourful sarees for my wife from India
On his maiden visit to India, Narcos: Mexico star Michael Pena on being bowled over by Mumbai's vibrancy and getting familiar with Hindi cinema
He may have veered towards comedy in the past few years with outings like Chips (2017) and A Wrinkle In Time, but Michael Pena is back to doing what he does best — drama. In his next offering, Netflix's Narcos: Mexico, the actor, 42, has taken on the role of Drug Enforcement Administration officer, Kiki Camerana — a mighty rival to Diego Luna's drug lord Félix Gallardo.
Talking to mid-day during his recent visit to India, Pena sheepishly admitted that while the three seasons of the show may have taken the world by storm, he was unaware about the series. "I hadn't watched Narcos till I was approached for this one. Before I started shooting, I binge-watched the previous seasons."
In his maiden visit to India, Pena said he was bowled over by the people and their warmth. "I saw women wearing these amazing wrap-around dresses [sarees]. I showed them to my wife who loved them. I am taking a few colourful ones for her. Mumbai is such a vibrant city and the food is fantastic."
The trip also gave him the opportunity to meet Indian filmmakers. "We exchanged ideas about cinema. I want to watch films like Gold, Black Friday (2007) and Maqbool (2003). I am going to catch up on Sacred Games as well."
Born to Mexican parents, the actor admitted that it was difficult to get a break in Hollywood. "While growing up, I did face a lot of racism from neighbours and friends. I understood that racism stemmed from ignorance more than anything else. Initially, it was difficult in the industry too as I would be selected only for a particular kind of role. But things have become easy over time. In Narcos: Mexico, you have two Latinos on the poster of an American show. I can't give you a better example. I hope the change is for everyone, including minorities and women."
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