Michael Pena, so memorable opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the gritty, Los Angeles cop drama End of Watch, continues his working relationship with that film’s director (David Ayer) with the WWII drama Fury. The picture, opening Friday, contains the hard earned grit of a Samuel Fuller war film (The Big Red One, The Steel Helmet) while continuing Ayer’s recurring themes of brotherhood.
This time, the male bonding mainly takes place within the confines of a battle scarred tank. With the hard-nosed Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) as their leader and Boyd (Shia LaBeouf) consistently spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, it’s the likable (yet ultimately haunted) Gordo (Pena) who stands in the middle ground. If you add Grady’s (The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal) quick trigger temper and Norman’s (Logan Lerman) wide-eyed naivete to the mix, Gordo may be the only even keeled serviceman of the bunch.
But looks are usually always deceiving, and Pena talked about the research he did for the role (he claims an estimated 500,000 Latinos served in WWII). Pena also added that he infused his character with a “level of depression,” a condition which led to Gordo’s dependence on alcohol.
Click on the media bar below to hear Pena explain how he and David Ayer developed the character of Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia:
Fury opens Friday, October 17. Pena also stars in the Fox series Gracepoint.