Michael Peña is a Scientologist — and proud of it. The Martian actor, 40, opened up about his experience with the controversial Church of Scientology in a new interview with The Guardian.
Peña began practicing Scientology in 2000 as a way to address his drinking. “I wasn’t an alcoholic, but I was doing it too much,” he explained. “And then there was the next thing, and the next thing. For me, it isn’t religion like a belief; it’s practical things you do.”
Peña took part in its detox program Purification Rundown. Afterward, he went on to join a program called Study Tech to improve his reading. He credits the courses for helping him with his movie scripts. “[It] made me a better actor,” he told The Guardian.
Peña is happy that he joined the Church of Scientology, but is fully aware of its contentious nature. “But I don’t read that stuff,” the CHiPs star told The Guardian. “OK, imagine we’re friends, you and me. Buddies. And there’s a tabloid story about you. There’s no way I’m going to read some f—king tabloid story about you. Especially when I know it’s misinformed.”
Some of those so-called misinformed stories come from ex-Scientologists. In recent years, actress Leah Remini and director Paul Haggis left the Church of Scientology. The King of Queens alum bashed her experience with the Church in her tell-all, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, and Haggis took part in the 2015 documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
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