Robert Rodriguez on Machete
By Fred Topel | Image property of Magnet Releasing
For most of us, Machete is the movie we’ve been waiting three years for since Grindhouse debuted its trailer. For Robert Rodriguez, it’s a movie he’s wanted to make since he met Danny Trejo on Desperado. By now, Trejo already knows how to play Machete.
Robert Rodriguez Talks Machete
“When he walks onto the set, he is Machete, and it was without us really ever rehearsing it,” Rodriguez said. “By osmosis, I guess we had rehearsed it over the past 14 years because he just knows how to play that character and plays it really well.”
In typical violent Robert Rodriguez style, Machete takes out bad guys with his weapon of choice. He’s a former federale turned day laborer framed by some conspirators. A Machete’s got to do what a Machete’s got to do.
“Sometimes people get killed, and sometimes they just get injured,” Rodriguez said. “It wasn’t about killing everybody, so I had to pick and choose. Sometimes he’ll let a whole group of people live. If they’re seriously coming to kill him, he’ll have to take them out. But, if he’s going to them, he just gets the information he needs and moves on. He’s a cop, so he knows when he’s got to pull a gun and kill the person trying to kill him, and he also knows when he’s got to let people go.”
The conspiracy plot actually involves the immigration debate going on in real life politics. “The timing of it is pretty amazing. When you make an exploitation film, you always want to have a real issue. That’s how they were always done. This just happened to be in reverse. Exploitation films were famous for taking an issue an exploiting it because they could move much faster than a studio could. If there was any hot topic, they would run out and make a quick movie and make a buck on it, by changing it around and using it, in some way, to give some relevance. That’s why they were able to just be right there on the pulse of what was going on. There are a lot of real issues and things that go on that, if you’re doing a character like this, you have to have him live in that, in order to have his backdrop. James Bond is in the spy world, so you have to have things that he would really encounter. My point of view was really just to have a fabric and background to be able to put this character in, that will change from movie to movie. It will be some other thing, in the next film, to give it weight ‘cause it just needs that balance. When you have something this outrageous, with a guy running out of a hospital on an intestinal tract, you’ve got to balance it with something that brings it into some kind of reality, otherwise you’re just watching made-up stuff. You need to have the balance.”
The trailer only starred Trejo, Jeff Fahey and Cheech Marin. The final film’s A-list cast includes Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal and Robert DeNiro!
“It was an amazing dream cast of people. It needed to be eclectic. I enjoy doing stuff like that, like with Sin City and those kind of ensemble movies. Once you get some key people involved, you can attract others that will fit the role. At first, when you hear the names, you think, ‘How do these parts fit together?’ And then, you see the movie and you see everyone plays their part really well and is really right for their part. For the past year, people were wondering what Seagal, DeNiro, Don Johnson and Lindsay Lohan were all doing in the same movie. Then, it makes sense when you see it. Everyone plays their part. It was fantastic. We started with Danny, and that attracts a lot, in itself, because everyone has worked with Danny. Danny has done over 200 movies. Seagal has killed him a few times. DeNiro has put a bullet in his head. Everyone felt like, ‘Oh, Danny is getting a shot. We should be there for Danny.’ The script sounded like fun. People have heard about the studio I have in Austin, and you get to come play a role that you don’t usually get to play, and people like that, so we were able to attract a lot of people. With this, because the trailer had been around for two years, I would just go show the trailer and they could picture themselves being in that movie because it was so entertaining and different with this Mexican superhero. It was something they had never seen before. Very much like The Expendables, it was almost a throwback to the old school action movies that are just visceral, straight-up cathartic experiences for an audience. It’s the kind of movie that they first fell in love with when they went to see movies as kids. That’s what people tapped into and made them want to come be a part of it.”
Machete opens to theaters on September 3rd.
For more movie info, go to the Machete Movie Page.
Sources: Image property of Magnet Releasing
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