Elizabeth Pena

Elizabeth Pena

actress
For some performers, the art of entertainment is discovered early on and tirelessly studied in an endless quest for perfection, and for others, a career on the stage and screen is a birthright that they are seemingly destined to fulfill. This isn't to say that they don't work just as hard to become the best they can be at their craft, but simply that actors such as the lovely and talented Elizabeth Peña have a distinct advantage in coming from a long line of talented entertainers. The daughter of a well-known Cuban-American writer/actor/director who founded the off-Broadway Latin American Theater Ensemble, Peña was born in New Jersey and raised in New York. By the tender age of eight, young Peña -- having been reared in a household of creativity and parental encouragement -- had realized without question that she wanted to dedicate her life to a career in the entertainment industry. Peña's education at New York's High School of the Performing Arts was complimented by a series of simultaneous roles in repertory theater and a handful of commercial appearances. At the age of 17, the rising starlet gained positive notice for her film debut as a rebellious teen in the award-winning independent movie El Súper. Subsequent roles in Times Square (1980), They All Laughed (1981) and Crossover Dreams (1985) may have done little to expose audiences to Peña's true dramatic abilities as an actress, but it was only a matter of time before a move Los Angeles found her star beginning to burn brighter than ever. Determined to make an impression in her new surroundings, Peña placed her demo tape and future fate as an actress in the hands of a security guard at a major studio -- and the gamble paid off more than she might have ever imagined. Not only did the guard stay true to his word and deliver the tape to the studio's casting director, but it was only 45 minutes until Peña received a phone call requesting that she return to the lot to meet director Paul Mazursky -- who was preparing to cast the role of lusty maid Carmen in the upcoming comedyDown and Out in Beverly Hills. Peña landed the part, and the rest is history. In the years that followed, Peña made quite an impression with parts in such high-profile features as La Bamba (1987) and Blue Steel (1990), and her role as the mysterious girlfriend of a haunted Vietnam veteran in Jacob's Ladder proved that Peña could skillfully alternate between tender and menacing within a single scene. Peña dabbled in television work with roles in I Married Dora and Shannon's Deal, and would continue to alternate between the large and small screens in the years that followed. As the 1990s rolled on, Peña landed an Independent Spirit Award for her role in John Sayles' Lone Star, cracked skulls opposite action superstar Jackie Chan in Rush Hour, and earned positive critical nods for her supporting performance in the Latino-themed television series Resurrection Blvd. In 2001, Peña charmed audiences as never before with her role as a well-fed daughter hungering for fulfillment in the romantic comedy drama Tortilla Soup. If roles in such big-budget movies as Imposter (2002) offered Peña the sort of exposure that independent films such as ZigZag (also 2002) and Sueño (2004) could not, those smaller, more dramatic efforts offered her a chance to truly shine as an actress. Source: starpulse.com
I believe the director is the one that sets the mood and if you have this hysterical director it's a domino effect. I would work for him forever, for nothing. Don't tell my agent that.More Elizabeth Pena quotes [01/14/2007 12:01:00]
It's a clique and I think a clique exists in every business. There's a circle of people that are guaranteed to open a movie and we all know their names and whether they're right or wrong for the role.More Elizabeth Pena quotes [01/14/2007 12:01:00]
When I got Jacob's Latter, I was nervous because I felt I wasn't allowed to fail. I felt that they were waiting for one little failure and that would prove them right and I'd be,"out of there."More Elizabeth Pena quotes [01/14/2007 12:01:00]
I figured, if I failed, I'd tried something that I hadn't tried before and if one movie was going to destroy my career than I didn't have much of a career to start with. I just went for it. God willing I wasn't over the top and didn't embarrass myself.More Elizabeth Pena quotes [01/14/2007 12:01:00]
When I'm not working, my family and I have a house in the San Juan Islands. We've been here since '94.More Elizabeth Pena quotes [01/14/2007 12:01:00]

Quotes of the month

Eugeny Antonuk Obviously, prosthesis is needed for a limb, but at first the body tries to use prostheses as living legs. "It will suit almost everyone", while the new idea always turns out to be in the minority. [09/01/2018 11:09:53] More


Anatoly Yurkin If there are no other reasons, then digital capital motivates to move away from losses, inaction and error-free. [09/13/2018 12:09:40] More


Anatoly Yurkin Better money solipsism as the culmination of digital selfishness than any form of procrastination brought into virtual reality. [09/15/2018 12:09:17] More


Eugeny Antonuk And there is no choice but the price of bread. [09/01/2018 10:09:31] More


Dylan Moran At least I’m not American fat, I’m interesting European delicatessen fat! [09/07/2018 02:09:31] More