Reporting Lisa Petrillo
MIAMI (CBS4) – In the new film “End of Watch,” a routine traffic stop changes the lives of two young Los Angeles police officers after they confiscate a small cache of money and firearms from members of a notorious Mexican cartel.
Before they know it, Officer Brian Taylor, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Officer Mike Zavala played by Michael Pena, are marked for death.
“These are good guys and it’s pretty hard to write a script about good guys. Two who do good things and make it interesting,” actor Michael Pena told CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.
“I was super stoked when I read the script and I prayed to God that I got it. It’s one of these movies that doesn’t come by often,” explained Pena.
Gyllenhaal and Pena shot the entire movie in 22 days straight after months of rehearsal.
The two actors did not hit it off at first.
“It sort of it didn’t start out totally smooth to be honest,” said Pena. “I was like ‘Dude, what are you talking about man?’, and ‘What are you saying?’ The director said ‘Guys remember you are brothers and I was like ‘whatever dude.’ It was a little rough.”
Pena said the tension eventually broke and he Gyllenhaal finally connected.
Pena credits that to the hours spent training together using real ammunition.
“It was like I was a cop for the first time. I was trained. I went to a shooting range every week for 5 months and we sparred. I actually had to work out a lot,” said Pena.
For Pena, whose had a slew of movies lately including, “30 Minutes or Less,” “Tower Heist,” and “Battle LA,” it’s all a work in progress.
“I’m not where I want to be yet. I want to do more of these kinds of movies, where script this good. It’s something you can really sink your teeth into. I think you have to work harder to get these kinds of movies,” Pena said.
Pena is continuing his busy streak as a hard working actor. He just wrapped filming the movie “Chavez for director Diego Luno, where he will portray the labor organizer Cesar Chavez.
“End of Watch” is rated R and opens in theatres Friday, September 21st.