Danny Trejo: "A Mean Chicano Dude With Tattoos"
Hollywood's favorite badass on typecasting, training and exploding turtles.
You know Danny Trejo even if you don’t know him. “Machete” has been the bad guy—or anti-hero—in more movies and TV shows than even he can remember. But even though his deep voice and harsh, craggy face might ideally suit him to the role of a villain, they belie his good nature in real life. After a troubled youth spent in and out of prison, Trejo cleaned his life up while training hard and boxing. When he tried his hand at acting, a new world opened up to him and he went on to become one of Hollywood’s most memorable badasses. Now 67, Trejo shows no signs of slowing down. His recurring role on Sons of Anarchy is continuing for the fifth season and his new movie, Recoil, which co-stars our very own Men's Fitness columnist Steve Austin, is available now on Blu Ray and DVD.
Your character in Recoil is described as a “ruthless crime lord.” Could you estimate how many times you played a ruthless crime lord throughout your career? [Laughs] Most of ’em are ruthless crime lords! I never started playing good guys. Do you ever get frustrated with being typecast? It’s so funny, because I remember being interviewed one time and this lady asked me, “Aren’t you afraid of being typecast?” I said, “As what?” And she said, “Well, as a mean Chicano dude with tattoos.” And I said, “I am a mean Chicano dude with tattoos!” So they’re really hitting the nail on the head. They aren’t actually typecasting. I don’t look like the kid next door that’s going to come over and want to play baseball. I kind of look like the bad guy. Sounds like it doesn’t bother you, then. No. God, no. My kids are going to college because I play the bad guy. NEXT: Staying fit at 67 >>