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Danny Trejo on Machete

Published September 7, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
You’ve seen Danny Trejo in lots of movies. He usually plays a scary bad guy, and he’s done that for Robert Rodriguez a lot. Rodriguez always wanted to make him a hero though. Machete is finally his chance.

Danny Trejo is Machete


“The only difference in being the lead is that I got to kiss Jessica Alba,” Trejo joked. "It’s a little different because usually you show up, you do your stuff and you leave. But, with this, I was on the set every day and I had to realize that this is my movie. It’s not that your attitude is different or that your performance is different. It’s just that you help, any way you can. When we were in Austin, we had 70 days that were over 100 degrees, so everybody was passing out water, whether you were the lead or just a P.A. We had to keep water going because it was 100 degrees, but on the tarmac that we were working on, it was about 120. It was a lot of fun.”

The two met on Rodriguez’s first Hollywood movie. “Robert has been training me for this movie since we did Desperado. He told me about this movie back then and said, “Hey, you’re perfect for this character. I want to do this movie called Machete.” That was 14 years ago. So, it was 14 years and 780,000 phone calls later of, ‘When are we doing Machete?’ It was just stepping into the guy. Every other day I’d call him, but I sent him an e-mail from England. After we did the trailer I was doing an autograph signing in England and this guy said, ‘Will you sign my back?’ I said, ‘What?’ He turned around, he had a tattoo of Machete about that big on his back, so I sent it to Robert, I said, ‘We have to do this movie.’”


Machete Machete


Desperado was 1995. You’d think if they both wanted to make it, it would have happened before now. “Well, we both got real busy but we never forgot it. When we did the trailer, it was like another innovative idea out of Troublemaker because we usually shoot a trailer after you’ve done a movie. So when we were doing the trailer, I thought I was having Alzheimer’s. So I was walking around going, ‘Did we already do this?’ Just the response from that trailer was so great I said, ‘Cool.’”

The trailer from Grindhouse really got the fans interested in seeing a full length Machete movies. By the time he assembled a crew to finish it, it was a family reunion.

“Me and Robert go back. We’re pals. This goes way beyond the director and actor. We’ve watched each other’s kids grow up. I gotta say, when you’re at Troublemaker [Studios], it’s really strange. I’ve been with Robert 14-15 years so he watched our kids grow up. Our sets, I’ve worked with directors that demand this and demand that and quiet. We’ve got kids, so there’s kids running around our sets. My son shadowed Robert, took an eight week course on how to be a director. When he was growing up, same thing, he was there. My daughter, same thing. So the sets aren’t real ego kinda driven. Hollywood’s a little different because you’re here and your ego’s here. When you’re in Austin, it’s a completely different atmosphere. You get to work on time, you do your job and we get more shots at Troublemaker than I have anywhere else in one day. Yet it’s a flow. Then you’ve got to remember, Robert’s crew, they’re like did you ever see MASH? Remember Radar? Robert’ll go, ‘I want that’ and it’s already there. Everybody’s kind of a machine so it runs pretty smooth so there’s not a lot of ego going. But, Robert is the first guy to say, “Hey, wait a minute, you’ve been around long enough. Let’s put you on the first team.”

Machete is out in theaters now.

For the trailers, posters and more movie info, go to the Machete Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox
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