Interview With Machete Star Danny Trejo

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The Danny Trejo Interview

(*Pre-Interview Note- Before beginning the interview I inform Danny that I attempt to ask some completely different questions than he could also be used to, to which he replies «that is cool, but when I do not just like the questions…» and he picks up a knife on the desk we have been sitting at and makes stabbing gestures in the direction of me. It was positively accomplished in a humorous means, however let’s be severe, that is Danny Trejo!!!! Even when he is being humorous he is scary!)

TIS: After 25 years within the enterprise, you are still a very humble man. What do you attribute this too?

DT: I believe it is the place I got here from and the folks I maintain round me now. If you take a look at the folks in Hollywood who’re having bother, they nearly all the time have particular curiosity folks round them who’re solely creating wealth from them, and do not give a shit what they’re doing so long as they’re nonetheless working. People like Paris, Lindsay & Tom Seizmore… however my buddies, they do not give a fuck. They’ll inform me «Fuck you, do not be an asshole». They’re simply straight up. I’ve obtained, hmm, I do not need to say actual gangsters round me, however I’ve obtained individuals who’ve had lives, you understand? My buddies Craig, Mario & Max, they’re all ex-convicts, so if I get bitchy (laughing), they will say «Fuck you, have been you that means within the joint?» So it was like having this life earlier than I obtained into the flicks which helped me perceive that not everybody is meant to get me a cappuccino, like they do on a film set. People on this enterprise truthfully imagine persons are presupposed to get them a cappuccino, and so they usually haven’t any respect or manors. On a film set issues are geared to make you assume you are actually the shit and all the pieces is dependent upon you… it is all about you. The actuality although, is that the film enterprise is a «we» enterprise, not an «I» enterprise. So I do not give a fuck what sort of star you might be, it’s essential understand that that further, or that increase mic operator helps your film.

That’s what I discover humorous about Robert Rodriguez’s film. He calls me the lead in Machete and I’m like, what the fuck? We’ve obtained Robert DeNiro, the lead-iest man on the planet, Jessica Alba, the lead-iest girl, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay. Lindsay was a sweetheart on the set, the issue is that she grew up on this enterprise, so she actually believes everybody is meant to do the identical factor when she is within the streets, as when she’s on a film sey and that is not how it’s. Shit, the paparazzi love her as a result of they know their going to get a finger and promote that image for a thousand {dollars}. Michelle Rodriguez, identical factor. So main man my motherfuckin ass. I’ll nonetheless run and get a cup of espresso for DeNiro if he asks me.

TIS: That wasn’t you are first time working with DeNiro proper?

DT: Right, I did Heat with him and he was completely cool then too. We handled one another with nothing however respect. You get what you set out.

TIS: You would be the most candid actor in Hollywood. The documentary Champion, which chronicles your life, goes in-depth about your moderately colourful previous (Danny interjects- «haha, San Quentin is colourful), protecting your felony historical past, drug dependancy, and gang affiliation and many others. It then goes on nonetheless to speak about your conviction to serving to others via talking engagements at penitentiaries and juvenile halls. Can you inform me in regards to the significance of that in your life?

DT: Absolutely, it’s important to do this. Acting is only a job. I’m precisely the identical as that girl bringing us espresso, and I’ve to do not forget that. My actual job helps others and you do not get paid for that. Again, if you happen to take a look at the folks in Hollywood who’re heavy partiers, they’re egocentric, self-centered and egotistical. This enterprise is made to destroy you. I’ve had bother with stars earlier than when doing karate motion pictures and shit as a result of all the sudden they assume they’re dangerous asses and are like «hey motherfucker, I grew up on the streets» and I’m like yeah, however two Broadway exhibits per week would not depend, bitch(laughter). That was fairly good huh?

TIS: You have me scared (laughter, type of). There is a really highly effective scene in that documentary the place you go to your outdated jail cell in San Quentin. You’re clearly very emotionally affected, however have bother placing your expertise into phrases. Now that you have had time to course of it, are you able to inform me what your expertise was like being again in that cell?

DT: I used to be a tragic, indignant, vicious particular person, and proper now, I instantly begin fascinated about my children, as a result of anytime I do not forget that man, I take into consideration my children. I by no means need my children to see me like that. I by no means need my children to see me keen to do no matter it takes to remain on prime, like the choice to kill any individual being as straightforward because the flip of a coin, like simply fucking kill him, you understand? I by no means need to see that particular person. Like with arguments, the underside line was all the time homicide. Nobody will get killed once they’re comfortable. It all the time begins with an argument, or a debt. It begins with a easy factor like a pack of cigarettes, however then the thoughts takes over and also you begin to assume the man is making an attempt to make you look dangerous and all the sudden you are keen to kill this man over a easy argument, and that is why I will not argue anymore. I will not argue with anyone. People attempt to argue with me and my first thought is, am I keen to kill this particular person? Because that is the underside line. So when folks come at me they can not win, they assume they will, however they can not. I’ll simply stroll away.

The outdated me, that particular person, he is gone, and now I’ve obtained these three stunning children who’re relying on me, although they’re truly not children anymore. My daughter Danielle is 20, and she or he’s an actress. My son Gilbert is 22 and he is producing a film known as Skinny Dip, with Franky Latina. He’s 22 and producing this fucking film! I used to be 22 and sitting in San Quentin. So he is producing a film and it is humorous as a result of he mentioned hey dad, I obtained you a job, however you might have to audition, and I used to be like «you little shit». Then there’s my huge boy, Danny Boy, and he is into electronics and used to do the steering programs for missiles, however now works for me. And so life could not be higher. I could not fuck it up with an argument, you understand?

TIS: So I hear you might have a punk rocker in your loved ones, and you are a self professed «punk rock dad»? Can you inform me a bit of about that?

DT: Haha, yeah. My son Gilbert used to have a band known as The Dead Reagan Tour, which he and a few buddies began and have been influenced by bands like Suicidal Tendencies.

TIS: Very cool.

DT: Yeah, so at some point I drove onto the set of a film I used to be engaged on and was bumping one among Gilbert’s songs. Unbeknownst to me, the director and producer have been actually into punk, so that they came to visit to my automobile and requested if I used to be listening to Suicidal Tendencies and I advised them no, that it was my sons band. The identify of the tune he wrote was «No More Meds», which is about all the youngsters at college that the mother and father are placing on treatment as a result of they do not need to take care of them. So we have been doing a film with Tom Seizmore’s daughter, and there was a scene the place she was making an attempt to flee from a hospital as a result of somebody was making an attempt to kill her, and she or he was all medicated up, so that they requested if they might use the tune as a result of it was an ideal match, and it labored out nice! Shit, I can not keep in mind the identify of the film although.

But then a bunch of the blokes within the band have been getting loaded and my son wasn’t into it so that they broke up. It’s humorous as a result of I used to be actually just like the roadie. I used to hire vans for the blokes to get to exhibits and eventually mentioned fuck it, I’ll purchase a bus. So I went and purchased a Greyhound bus, downside was although, once I purchased it, I put myself as the motive force and that is the way it confirmed up on the insurance coverage, so all the sudden I used to be their driver/roadie. My son used to joke that his band had the one roadie that individuals would ask for autographs. We had such a blast although. I beloved watching my son on stage. He’s actually good. He’s truly writing a tune proper now. That fucker’s actually good. My Daughter is identical means. She’s coaching proper now with a lady named Tanya Fairfoot, who’s an important little actress, and Danielle is simply actually doing her factor. She’s superior.

TIS: Very good. So whereas we’re on the subject of music, who’re you listening to today?

DT: I like R&B and oldies. I truly did a factor with Kid Frost who’s a rapper, and I’ve accomplished rather a lot with Baby Bash. I’ve obtained a singer and she or he’s going into the studio to do a tune with Scoop DeVille, who’s Kid Frost’s son. Her identify is Alicia and she or he goes to be superior. I even have {a magazine} popping out known as My Mag, and I’m additionally opening up a restaurant known as Trejo’s in Huntington Beach, which can have superior Mexican meals. I even have a movie popping out quickly known as Vengeance.

TIS: I noticed one thing about that on-line. Who else is in it with you?

DT: Jason Mewes, Baby Bash, Techn9ne, Diamond Dallas Page, Rashad Evans, Houston Alexander and 50 Cent. Fucking all people is in it.

TIS: Wow, fairly the lineup. Can you inform me the way you chill out in your free time?

DT: I really like outdated, classic vehicles. I’ve obtained a 1936 Dodge Touring Sedan proper now and there is solely 5 of them registered on the planet, and I completely love engaged on it. It’s attractive. Big G’s Automotive over in Inglewood is engaged on it for me proper now. In truth, I forgot I must ask them a query so I’m going to name them actual fast.

TIS: Yeah, do your factor.

DT: (As he is calling he continues on…) I’m constructing a Machete bike which is fucking attractive man. I want I may present you photos of it. (He then join’s with Big G’s Automotive…and we proceed after he is accomplished). Yeah so they have the Dodge up on blocks proper now. It’s going to be like a Limo. Very shiny black, and it may be the Machete automobile. It’s going to have rhinestone Machete’s within the trunk and shit.

TIS: Nice, very dangerous ass.

DT: Yeah.

TIS: You maintain the consideration of getting probably the most recognizable tattoo on the planet, as voted by International Tattoo Magazine. Can you inform me in regards to the origin of your chest piece and what standards ITM used to deem it probably the most recognizable tattoo on the planet?

DT: Ok, so I’ve a buddy Harry «Super Jew» Ross. We’ve been an important buddies since round fourteen years outdated. We used to rob the identical locations down in San Fernando Valley. We each ended up in San Quentin on completely different prices and began it there. He did the define, however shortly after I obtained kicked out. It was like a scene from West Side Story, as a result of there I used to be, leaving on the bus in chains, and Harry is standing exterior yelling «do not let anyone contact it, I’ll be there!» and I’m yelling again «Ok, I will not». I went over to Folsom and about three or 4 months later, he confirmed up and we did a bit of extra. It was his first huge piece. About three months or so after that, there was an enormous riot in Folsom and so they shipped me over to Soledad. Harry was nearly completed with it and we had one other West Side Story second as I used to be leaving, «let me end it Danny», «okay, I’ll». And so he ended up in Soledad and we completed it up there. From there he went again and completed his time in Folsom.

TIS: That’s a tremendous story. And how did ITM determine it was probably the most recognizable tattoo on the planet?

DT: Basically due to all the flicks I’ve been in. That jogs my memory, do you keep in mind the tattoo that George Clooney had in From Dusk Til Dawn?

TIS: Yeah, the one happening his neck?

DT: Yeah, effectively that was clearly faux, so I’d give him shit about it on the set and say, go forward George, time to place it on» (laughter).

TIS: Nice, sticking it to him. Did you actually rob a liquor retailer with a hand grenade?

DT: Hahaha, the place did you get that?

TIS: You mentioned it in your Champion documentary, except I misheard you. *Note- I went again and re-watched the phase. Danny did say he robbed a liquor retailer with a hand grenade however in his protection, he was such a gangster, it needs to be robust to maintain all of the thievin straight.

DT: We had completely different weapons. We positively robbed them with semi-automatics and different numerous weapons, however I’m unsure about hand grenades. I do know I used to be caught with a hand grenade earlier than. But shit, I do not even keep in mind. Who is aware of?

TIS: Any phrase on the Machete sequels, Machete Kills & Machete Kills once more?

DT: Robert (Rodriguez) positively needs to do them. The suggestions, together with how effectively the film has accomplished vs. what it price to make, makes it a given, you understand? So it is only a matter of when we’ll do it, not if we’ll do it.

TIS: Cool, so we will stay up for it sooner or later.

DT: Yes. Robert mentioned if it makes 5 {dollars} he’d do the sequel, and It’s made much more than 5 {dollars}. I maintain texting him «it is made much more than $5». We truly simply completed doing the brand new Spy Kids film.

TIS: Nice, when’s that popping out?

DT: Probably round Christmas time. I even have a film known as Blacktino popping out, and one known as Ranchero. I’ve Harold & Kumar’s Christmas, the third installment in that collection popping out too.

TIS: Wow, you might be positively a busy man. How many motion pictures have you ever accomplished this 12 months?

DT: Oh man, I do not know. Maybe round 17.

TIS: Wow. So there may be a tremendous kill scene in Machete the place you’re taking three heads off without delay? Did you might have any enter on that or different kill scenes?

DT: That explicit scene was all Robert.

TIS: Did you might have any enter on any of the opposite scenes or was all of it Robert?

DT: Basically, Robert and I’ll simply speak. If you provide you with an thought, and Robert likes it, he’ll take it and when he is accomplished, there is not any means you are not going to be impressed. Robert is simply so sensible. He is definitely one of many smartest guys I do know. I’ve accomplished 9 motion pictures with him and I simply love the way in which he shoots. He is aware of what he needs, so he’ll do it and get it. With different administrators, they solely have an thought of what they need, after which they have to see it. So they will do eight, 9, ten takes earlier than they see it. But with Rodriguez, he comes from an enhancing background, so it would not take that lengthy.

He has a ebook known as Rebel Without A Crew and I see each director I’ve work with, who’s learn it, using time. While we’re taking pictures one scene, the opposite scene is already being arrange. So as an actor, I haven’t got a number of fucking time within the trailer doing nothing, you understand? It’s nice since you maintain the vitality and momentum up, whereas with a number of administrators, you shoot and you then return to the trailer and sit round on the cellphone or enjoying solitaire or no matter.

TIS: It’s cool to listen to that after seeing his motion pictures. It positively explains rather a lot. So in closing, I used to be questioning if you happen to may inform me about your understanding of God and the importance of that in your life?

DT: Ok, pay attention… There is not any significance of God in my life, God is my life. I might not be, with out God. I’m presupposed to be lifeless. In 1968 I used to be within the gap going to the fuel chamber, however there was a divine intervention. And in realizing that, for me to get upset, or be mad, or indignant, is like slapping God within the face. So right here I’m. I did not make a take care of God, as a result of you may’t make a take care of God. He put me right here to speak to children and to speak to drunks and assist addicts. He gave me this «job» which makes it rather a lot simpler to get via to folks. Let’s say you and I am going on a talking engagement, to a bunch of rowdy children. When you go on the market, the very first thing it’s essential do is get their consideration, which is principally unattainable, after which it’s essential maintain their consideration which can be unattainable as a result of they’ve the eye span of a gnat. The most necessary factor to them is what is going on on Friday evening or what lady their going to attempt to seize some tittie from, as a result of that is simply their complete world. So then it’s important to present them you are cool, which is unattainable as a result of our cool (sober folks in restoration), just isn’t their cool. The blessing that God has given me is that once I stroll on campus, I’ve already obtained their consideration.

TIS: That could be true.

DT: Yeah, you understand what I imply? Maybe somebody of George Clooney’s stature would too, however they do not do that, they’d moderately be saving motherfuckers in Somalia or Afghanistan or adopting infants from wherever the fuck. But proper right here, within the United States our children are dying. They’re taking pictures one another and killing one another, however hey, let’s go save the youngsters in Somalia or some fucking place? This is the blessing that I’ve obtained It’s the blessing that he is given me. It’s inspiring to listen to academics and principals inform me that I’ve accomplished in 45 minutes, what they have been making an attempt to do a whole semester. When folks clap for me I say, do not clap for me, clap for what God has accomplished.

TIS: That’s so admirable. Being in restoration myself, it means rather a lot to listen to that!

DT: Yeah man. Thank you!

TIS: So something in closing?

DT: Yeah, I’m going to be in Salt Lake City at The Bay doing «The Machete Massacre» at their Haunted House. It’s the most important Haunted House within the nation. I’m actually enthusiastic about it! I’ll be there Friday Oct 29th — Sun Oct 31st. And that is it. I’ve already talked about all the pieces else I’ve happening.

TIS: Right on Danny, thanks a lot.

DT: Thank you man, this was cool!