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Michael Pena attributes his growth as an actor to Scientology

War On Everyone star Michael Pena credits the controversial religious movement Scientology with making him a better actor.

Michael, 40, adopted the religion as a young actor in Los Angeles, and entered its Purification Rundown detoxification program to help solve a minor drink problem


"I wasn't an alcoholic, but I was doing it too much," he tells The Guardian. "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."


And as well as helping him deal with his personal issues, the star says its Study Tech teaching method, "Made me a better actor because I felt like it helped my understanding of scripts."


The religious organization counts many members of Hollywood's glitterati among its followers, including John Travolta, Anne Archer, John Travolta and most famously Tom Cruise.


However in recent years Scientology has been hit by waves of bad publicity due to a number of high profile defections from its ranks, including the actor Jason Lee last month (Sep16), and investigations into alleged abuse by some of the organization's officials.


British documentary filmmakers Alex Gibney and and Louis Theroux have both made Scientology the subject of their films, interviewing those who have departed the movement and attempting to uncover the truth about the famously secretive organization.


Michael is unaffected by the negative stories surrounding the controversial religious movement as he believes all the allegations are baseless.


"Imagine we're friends, you and me," he explains. "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."


His new film, War On Everyone, is released in the U.K. on Friday (07Oct16).