DEATH ROW TO TV’S BADDEST BAD GUY
Unlike most movie bad guys, Danny Trejo — star of Desperado, Con Air and Machete — is the real deal. The 71-yearold actor spent 11 years in the Californian prison system on drug and robbery charges in the 1960s and early ’70s. But after narrowly escaping the death penalty he found God, joined AA and turned his life around. Ever since he’s worked hard to help others do the same.
“I realised I had to dedicate my life to helping other people stay out and that’s what I’ve done, I still do it,” he says. “And karma keeps coming my way.”
Trejo became an accidental movie star in 1985, when one of the actors he was sponsoring asked him to help him avoid temptation on the cocainefuelled Jon Voight film Runaway Train, and ended up with a small role in the film.
He’s now starred in more than 270 films, and has an astonishing 29 currently in various stages of production.
“People ask me: ‘Are you going to retire?’ I just don’t want to. Man I’m having so much fun. Retire to what: Fishing?”
His longest and greatest collaboration has been with director Robert Rodriguez who cast him in 1993 in Desperado.
“I walked into his office and he said ‘ boy, you look like the bad guys at my high school’. I said ‘I am the bad guys in your high school’. We just hit it off.”
They’ve since worked on Once Upon a Time In Mexico, the Spy Kids films, the From Dusk Till Dawn and Machete franchises – the latter soon to potentially spawn Machete Kills Again ... In Space.
“I was talking to Robert about it today and he was like: ‘We gotta get it done this year’.”
Trejo has also joined the second season of Rodriguez’s TV version of Dusk Till Dawn (in a different role to the films) as The Regulator.
“You call him when you want people dead — and not just dead, REALLY dead. If I want to know what you see, I’ll eat your eyes. I come back from the dead to terrorise everybody — even the vampires are scared of me.”
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, FX, TUESDAY, 7.30PM