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Danny Trejo: "A Mean Chicano Dude With Tattoos"

Hollywood's favorite badass on typecasting, training and exploding turtles.
How much different do you think your life would be without boxing and weightlifting? I’d be 320 pounds. I’d be on a couch somewhere. I mean, exercise is just so vitally important. I love walking. Anybody over the age of 50 who doesn’t walk is insane because you’ve got to keep that heart pumping. A lot of people are afraid to get started exercising because it’s, “Oh, I gotta get the clothes, I gotta get this, I gotta get that. I gotta get the right shoes.” Shit, I’ll wake up in the morning and walk around the block in my thongs. Not my thong underwear. [Laughs] Flip-flops. I just walk and that’s all you basically have to do to stay healthy. To be really fit, my routine has a lot more to it. I walk to the gym and work out for about an hour and come back.

What is your training like now? I’ve got three movies coming up so I work out twice a day. This is for a purpose. This isn’t just to stay in shape. I gotta be pretty cut up. I do about four hundred sit-ups. I don’t go heavy. You don’t have to. You just have to get your repetitions. How do you fit it in with your filming schedule? What I’ll usually do is have some weights on set so I can work out when there’s downtime. What you don’t want to do is lay off too long, then you get really sore when you come back, and it’s so hard to get started again. The biggest problem is that everybody tries to do too much when they start out. They’ll be doing nothing and then say, “I’m going to walk five miles every day.” No, no, no, no. Walk half a block. Then the next day, walk another half a block. You increase a little at a time. When I ran the L.A. marathon, I started out running a mile, then I ran two miles. When did you do that? Right before I turned 60, seven years ago. I want to do it again before I turn 70. Old-school action flicks like Recoil that don’t see a wide release—it’s almost like that market exists as a backlash to all the CGI you see now. Do you feel like that’s the case? Yeah, I do, but there’s more. I think first of all if you’ve got a family of four and you’re going to take them to the movies, you’re going spend 120 bucks. [Laughs] Now, if you’ve got a wide screen TV, you can go home and watch and spend eight dollars on snacks. So when you’ve got somebody like Stone Cold Steve Austin, who everybody knows, it’s like, “Whoa! It’s going to be a fun night.” And Recoil—movies like this are fun movies because they’re action. If you’re looking for artistic value, well, you know… But if you want to have a great night, it’s a great little movie. And then that Serinda Swan—daaaaaaamn! [Laughs] Hey, it was fun showing up on set. NEXT: Danny loses his head >>

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