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CCFF 2016: On the red carpet with Michael Peña

May 25, 2016



On Saturday, May 21st, Chicago-born actor Michael Peña returned home as a guest of the fourth annual Chicago Critics Film Festival to promote his film, “War On Everyone”, the latest from writer/director John Michael McDonagh (“The Guard” and “Calvary”). In it Peña plays one of two corrupt cops with Alexander Skarsgard in modern-day New Mexico, who set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path. Things take a sinister turn, however, when they try to intimidate someone who is more dangerous than they are. It’s a clever, hilarious and purposefully offensive comedy that’s a bit of a departure from Peña after roles in big-budget films such as the Oscar-nominated “The Martian” and his scene-stealing work in last summer’s “Ant-Man“.

Before introducing the film on stage at the Music Box Theatre and participating in a post-screening Q&A, Peña took some time on the red carpet in front of the theatre to talk to myself and some of my colleagues. The picture above was taken by Dann Gire, president Chicago Film Critics Association president and film critic at the Daily Herald and includes myself (near the entrance) lined up alongside fellow critics, Pat McDonald of HollywoodChicago, Ian Simmons of Kicking the Seat and Emmanuel of Eman’s Movie Reviews (not pictured is Jon Espino of The Young Folks and Leo Brady of A Movie Guy), all waiting to speak with Peña. I tried Facebook Live without realizing that it was giving me hiccups and for some reason was void of sound. Enter film critic and director, Collin Souter, who saved the day with his own recording of all of us. That’s right, unbeknownst to me, Collin recorded footage of the whole thing and edited it together nicely.

Check it out below, where you’ll see and hear Peña navigate each question and even poke fun at me for trying to record him on my phone while talking to him (I think I need an assistant)….





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