Miami: Playing the film role of union leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez was "difficult", said actor Michael Pena.
"Chavez", directed by Mexican actor Diego Luna, also stars Rosario Dawson, who plays the activist Dolores Huerta, and America Ferrera, who plays Cesar Chavez`s wife.
Peña, the son of a Mexican immigrant, said he was very happy to play such an important role as that of Chavez (1927-93).
"He was a very humble man. He was like any normal and ordinary person," said Peña, who acknowledged that it was "difficult" to put himself into Chavez`s shoes "because he spoke in a very different way like they did in the 60s" and because his role didn`t have anything to do with the type of roles he had had before.
"It`s not like the other films, where I`m always fighting," said Peña, who has starred in films like "Million Dollar Baby", "Crash" and "The Lincoln Lawyer".
The film tells about the period when Chavez was organizing the largest non-violent protest in US history, the objective of which was to fight to obtain specific rights for some 50,000 agricultural workers in California.
Chavez, along with other activists, in 1962 founded the National Field Workers Association, which in 1966 merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to create the current United Farm Workers union.