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He was tired of not being believed: Michael Pena on playing Kiki Camarena in 'Narcos: Mexico'

He was tired of not being believed: Michael Pena on playing Kiki Camarena in 'Narcos: Mexico'

By Bedika Mumbai, Nov 21 (PTI) "Narcos" is not the first show to explore the world of drugs and it certainly won't be the last but Michael Pena, one of the stars of its new season, believes the show stands apart with the way it presents the story.Pena, who joined the fourth season of the Netflix show, titled "Narcos: Mexico", as DEA agent Kiki Camarena, did not become a binge watcher until he was approached for the role.The new show revolves around the rise and eventual fall of Guadalajara Cartel in Mexico while the first three seasons focused on Colombian drug players such as Medellin and Cali Cartels."I was excited when Eric (Newman, showrunner) approached me but I had not watched any of it and did not know much about it. After meeting him, I thought 'this sounded really cool' so I watched two episodes and I was blown away."They did a really good job with the show. I binge watched the two seasons and the third one before going to Mexico for the shooting. I like the way they tell the story. There are other shows about Narcos but the way they put it together, it goes by very fast," he told PTI in an interview.The "Ant-Man" star, one of the most prominent Latin American actors in Hollywood, had a better understanding about what motivated Kiki to put his life in danger after he spoke to the slain agent's wife, Mika. He realised that Kiki was someone who could not stand injustice and had a strong sense of right and wrong.Kiki, who was tortured and killed on the orders of drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, is considered a hero in America as someone who sacrificed his life for a drug free world."What happened with Kiki was that there was a lot of injustice that was happening around him. It is like somebody is getting run over and you are like 'Dude, what is happening here' and people say, 'Ah, don't worry about it. Don't pay attention to it'. Why not pay attention? "Finally, he says enough is enough. I am going to do something and make a difference. It can make anybody mad when you are not believed and you see people getting killed and bodies piling up," he said.On his part, Pena does not believe in judging a character because "there is a reason for everything"."This guy (Gallardo) grew up in a very poor area and you stay poor despite the best you can do. So some of them choose different paths like drugs. They do horrible stuff to make money."The fast-paced story, the often gory murder sequences and the unusual narrative has earned the show a dedicated audience, who do not mind that the series has more Spanish than English.The show is often presented as a template to its Hollywood counterparts for more inclusivity, diversity and authenticity at a time when there is a lot of debate around the issue of whitewashing but Pena has a slightly different outlook."I understand that it needs to be specific. If I am playing an important Latin guy like (Hugo) Chavez, it should be a Latin actor. But if it is something that does not have anything to say and the character just happens to be a Latin guy, like a fireman and there is no real weight or context to it, choose the best guy, I think."If it is great story, it does not matter whether the character is white, African-American or Latino... Who cares? Unless it is specific, it is fair play," he said. PTI BK RB BKBK