When I visited Jody Hill in the editing room of "Observe and Report," one of the first scenes he showed me was an extended sequence that spotlights Dennis, one of the co-workers of Ronnie, the character played by Seth Rogen. After the clip, I turned to Jody and said, "That guy's awesome. Who is he? Cause it's funny how much he looks like Michael Pena."
"Uhhhh... that is Michael Pena."
I suspect I will not be the only one to have that reaction. Pena is known more for dramatic work in films like "Crash" or "World Trade Center," and he's made a good career out of playing sensitive and earnest. But there's a crazy person bubbling deep inside, and Hill finally tapped into that to spectacular result. When I was in Austin for SXSW, I sat down with Pena to discuss his new role, perceptions of him in the business, and our Facebook friendship.
Motion/Captured: Michael, this is a reinvention for you in a lot of ways, in terms of how people will perceive you.
[more after the jump]