Danny Trejo

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Danny Trejo
Danny Trejo by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Trejo at the May 2017 Phoenix Comicon
Born (1944-05-16) May 16, 1944 (age 75)
Residence San Fernando Valley, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, voice actor
Years active1977–present
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Spouse(s)
Debbie Shreve
(m. 1997;div. 2009)
Children5
Relatives Robert Rodriguez (second cousin)
Patricia Vonne (second cousin)

Danny Trejo ( /ˈtrɛh/ ; [1] Spanish:  [ˈtɾexo] ; born May 16, 1944) is an American actor who has appeared in numerous Hollywood films, often as villains and antiheroes. His films include Heat (1995), Con Air (1997), and Desperado (1995), the last with frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez. Trejo is perhaps most recognized as the character Machete, originally developed by Rodriguez for the Spy Kids series of movies and later expanded into Trejo's own series of films aimed at a more adult audience. He has appeared in TV shows such as Breaking Bad , Brooklyn Nine Nine , The X-Files , King of the Hill , The Flash , Sons of Anarchy , and Babysitters Beware .

Cinema of the United States Filmmaking in the USA

The cinema of the United States, often metonymously referred to as Hollywood, has had a large effect on the film industry in general since the early 20th century. The dominant style of American cinema is classical Hollywood cinema, which developed from 1917 to 1960 and characterizes most films made there to this day. While Frenchmen Auguste and Louis Lumière are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, American cinema soon came to be a dominant force in the industry as it emerged. It produces the total largest number of films of any single-language national cinema, with more than 700 English-language films released on average every year. While the national cinemas of the United Kingdom (299), Canada (206), Australia, and New Zealand also produce films in the same language, they are not considered part of the Hollywood system. Hollywood has also been considered a transnational cinema. Classical Hollywood produced multiple language versions of some titles, often in Spanish or French. Contemporary Hollywood offshores production to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Antihero leading character in a film, book or play, which is devoid of heroic qualities

An antihero or antiheroine is a main character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities and attributes such as idealism, courage and morality. Although antiheroes may sometimes perform actions that are morally correct, it is not always for the right reasons, often acting primarily out of self-interest or in ways that defy conventional ethical codes.

<i>Heat</i> (1995 film) 1995 film by Michael Mann

Heat is a 1995 American crime film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer. De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a seasoned professional at robberies, while Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, an LAPD robbery-homicide detective tracking down Neil's crew after a botched heist. The story is based on the former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson's pursuit during the 1960s of a criminal named McCauley, after whom De Niro's character is named. Heat is a remake by Mann of an unproduced television series he had worked on, the pilot of which was released as the TV movie L.A. Takedown in 1989.

Contents

Early life

Trejo was born in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, to Mexican parents. [2] [3] [4] He is the son of Alice Rivera and Dionsio "Dan" Trejo (1922–1981), a construction worker, [5] [6] and a second cousin of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, though the two were unaware that they were related until the filming of Desperado . [7] [8] Prior to his film career Trejo worked as a labor foreman in construction.

Echo Park, Los Angeles Neighborhood of Los Angeles

Echo Park is a densely populated neighborhood of over 43,000 residents in Central Los Angeles. It contains one high school and eight other schools, and has been home to many notable people. The neighborhood is centered on the lake of the same name.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Throughout the 1960s, Trejo was in and out of jail and prison in California; Trejo has suggested that his physical appearance contributed to his constantly getting into trouble. There are conflicting accounts of his prison chronology. By one account, his final term in custody ended in 1972; [4] by another account, he did time in a juvenile offenders' camp and six California prisons between 1959 and 1969. [9] [10] He recalled that his last prison term was five years. While serving in San Quentin Prison, he became a champion boxer in that prison's lightweight and welterweight divisions. [4] During this time, Trejo became a member of a twelve-step program, which he credits with his success in overcoming drug addiction. In 2011, he recalled that he had been sober for 42 years. [9]

A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems. Originally proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovery from alcoholism, the Twelve Steps were first published in the 1939 book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism. The method was adapted and became the foundation of other twelve-step programs.

Career

Film and television

While Trejo was working as a youth drug counselor, a teenage patient asked for his assistance dealing with cocaine problems on the set of Runaway Train (1985). [4] [11] While there, Trejo was offered a job as an extra in the film's prison scenes. Edward Bunker, himself a former convict, and a well-respected crime author who was writing the screenplay for the film, recognized Trejo, with whom he had done time at San Quentin. [4] [11] Bunker, remembering Trejo's boxing skills, offered him $320 per day to train Eric Roberts, one of the movie's stars, for a boxing scene. Director Andrei Konchalovsky liked Trejo's work and decided to offer him a small role in the film as a boxer. It has been widely misreported that Trejo was actually serving time in the prison during filming, when in fact he had been released more than a decade earlier.[ citation needed ]

<i>Runaway Train</i> (film) 1985 film by Andrei Konchalovsky

Runaway Train is a 1985 American independent thriller film directed by Andrei Konchalovsky and starring Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay and John P. Ryan. The screenplay by Djordje Milicevic, Paul Zindel and Edward Bunker was based on an original screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, with uncredited contributions by frequent Kurosawa collaborators Hideo Oguni and Ryūzō Kikushima. The film was also the feature debuts of Danny Trejo and Tommy "Tiny" Lister, who both proceeded to successful careers as "tough guy" character actors.

Edward Bunker Novelist, screenwriter, actor

Edward Heward Bunker was an American author of crime fiction, a screenwriter, convicted felon and an actor. He wrote numerous books, some of which have been adapted into films. He was a screenwriter on Straight Time (1978), Runaway Train (1985) and Animal Factory (2000).

Eric Roberts American actor

Eric Anthony Roberts is an American actor. His career began with a leading role in King of the Gypsies (1978), for which he received his first Golden Globe Award nomination. He was again recognized by the Golden Globes for his interpretation of Paul Snider in Bob Fosse's Star 80 (1983). Roberts' performance in Runaway Train (1985), as prison escapee Buck McGeehy, earned him a nomination for a third Golden Globe and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Trejo at Muscle Beach Danny Trejo 2.jpg
Trejo at Muscle Beach

Since then, Trejo has become a prolific actor in both films and television, appearing in five or more movies per year, in various genres. He has appeared in such major releases as Marked for Death (1990), Blood In Blood Out (1993), Desperado (1995), Heat (1995), From Dusk till Dawn (1996), Anaconda (1997), Con Air (1997), The Replacement Killers (1998), Point Blank (1998), Animal Factory (2000), Bubble Boy (2001), Spy Kids (2001), XXX (2002), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), The Devil's Rejects (2005), Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror (2006), Delta Farce (2007), Grindhouse (2007), Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007), Urban Justice (2007, alongside Steven Seagal), Valley of Angels (2008), The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009, in which he voices the character of Rico), Modus Operandi (2010), Machete (2010), Predators (2010), Bad Ass (2012), Reaper (2014), Preggoland (2014), and Range 15 (2016).

<i>Marked for Death</i> 1990 action film directed by Dwight H. Little

Marked for Death is a 1990 American action film directed by Dwight H. Little. The film stars Steven Seagal as John Hatcher, a former DEA troubleshooter who returns to his Illinois hometown only to find it taken over by a gang of vicious Jamaican drug dealers led by Screwface using a combination of fear and Obeah, a Jamaican syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin similar to Haitian vodou and Santería as practiced in Jamaica.

<i>Blood In Blood Out</i> 1993 film directed by Taylor Hackford

Blood In Blood Out is a 1993 American crime-drama film directed by Taylor Hackford. It follows the intertwining lives of three Chicano relatives from 1972 to 1984. They start out as members of a street gang in East Los Angeles, and as dramatic incidents occur, their lives and friendships are forever changed. Blood In Blood Out was filmed in 1991 throughout the Spanish-speaking areas of Los Angeles and inside California's San Quentin State Prison.

<i>Desperado</i> (film) 1995 film by Robert Rodriguez

Desperado is a 1995 American neo-Western action film written, produced, and directed by Robert Rodriguez. A sequel to the 1992 film El Mariachi, it is the second installment in Robert Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy. It stars Antonio Banderas as the mariachi who seeks revenge on the drug lord who killed his lover. The film was screened out of competition at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the final part of the trilogy, was released in 2003. Desperado grossed $25.4 million in the United States.

Trejo is known for his distinctive appearance. In addition to his heavily lined face, scarred from cystic acne and a brawl, and the long hair and mustache he usually sports, he has displayed the large tattoo on his chest for many roles (the tattoo depicts a woman wearing a sombrero). [11] [12] He often plays thugs or lowlife characters, although he has also played sympathetic characters in films such as Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids trilogy, Bubble Boy , and the USA Network series Monk , where art imitated life in his portrayal of a convict roommate of Tony Shalhoub's undercover detective.[ citation needed ] He also appeared in a season 2 episode of Desperate Housewives , where, as another good-guy character, he was sent by Carlos to help Gabrielle deal with the grief over losing her unborn baby.[ citation needed ] He voiced the character Enrique on King of the Hill ,[ citation needed ] and Octavio's character on that show is based on his appearance.[ citation needed ] His role on King of the Hill was referred to in the HBO series Unscripted , where he had a cameo appearance.[ citation needed ] He also is featured in the episode "Comedy" (season 5, episode 1, aired February 28, 2010) of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and an episode of Do IT LIVE with actors Anna Bennett and Claudia Pickering, shot in Downtown Los Angeles, titled "Sebring feat. Danny Trejo".[ citation needed ][ citation needed ] He also made guest appearances, as Tortuga (a.k.a. "The Tortoise"), in the noted series Breaking Bad in 2009 and 2010, most notably in the episode "Negro y Azul" which originally aired on April 19, 2009. In 2011, he appeared in the action movie Recoil, with WWE wrestler Steve Austin.

Sombrero type of wide-brimmed hat in, and associated with, Mexico

Sombrero in English refers to a type of wide-brimmed hat from Mexico, used to shield from the sun. It usually has a high pointed crown, an extra-wide brim, and a chin string to hold it in place. In Spanish, sombrero refers to any wide-brimmed hat; in Mexico the hat is called Sombrero de charro.

Robert Rodriguez American film director and producer

Robert Anthony Rodriguez is an American filmmaker. He shoots, edits, produces, and scores many of his films in Mexico and his home state, Texas. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action film El Mariachi, which was a commercial success after grossing $2 million against a budget of $7,000. The film spawned two sequels known collectively as the Mexico Trilogy: Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He directed From Dusk Till Dawn in 1996 and developed its television adaptation series (2014–2016). Rodriguez co-directed the 2005 neo-noir crime thriller anthology Sin City and the 2014 sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Rodriguez also directed the Spy Kids films, The Faculty, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Planet Terror, Machete, and Alita: Battle Angel. He is a friend and frequent collaborator of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who founded the production company A Band Apart, of which Rodriguez was a member. In December 2013, Rodriguez launched his own cable television channel, El Rey.

<i>Spy Kids</i> 2001 film by Robert Rodriguez

Spy Kids is a 2001 American adventure comedy film written, edited, directed and produced by Robert Rodriguez, co-produced by Elizabeth Avellán, and starring Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Robert Patrick, Tony Shalhoub, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, and Mike Judge. The first installment in the Spy Kids film series, the film was theatrically released in the United States on March 30, 2001, by Dimension Films. It grossed over $147 million worldwide. Three sequels were released: The Island of Lost Dreams in 2002, Game Over in 2003, and All the Time in the World in 2011. An animated reboot series, Spy Kids: Mission Critical, premiered in 2018.

Trejo in October 2009 Danny Trejo 2009.jpg
Trejo in October 2009

Trejo's life is documented in the 2005 independent biographical film Champion, which features Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Steve Buscemi, and Robert Rodriguez.[ citation needed ] In 2013, Trejo shared his tumultuous journey from convict to movie star with KTTV in Los Angeles in a segment filmed in his own home. [13]

In 2008, Trejo portrayed a Mexican bartender in the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless .

Regarding his continued growth as a professional actor, Trejo has remarked, "I'm so blessed. I'm still scared that somebody's going to wake me up and say, 'Hey, we're still in prison. Let's go to chow". [14] Many of Trejo's characters in Robert Rodriguez movies have been named after knives or sharp instruments: Machete in Spy Kids , Razor Charlie in the From Dusk till Dawn series, Navajas (Spanish for blades) in Desperado , and Cuchillo (Spanish for knife) in Predators . [15] He also played Machete in a trailer made for Rodriguez's film collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, Grindhouse . In 2010, he starred in a full theatrical version of Machete , based on the character, and later in a sequel, Machete Kills , in 2013.

In 2012, Trejo starred alongside Ron Perlman and Charles S. Dutton in Craig Moss’s action film Bad Ass (2012). He played the main character of Vietnam veteran Frank Vega, based on 67-year-old "Epic Beard Man" Thomas Bruso. That same year Trejo again appeared with Perlman in a supporting role in season 4 of the FX network drama Sons of Anarchy .

In 2014, Trejo produced his first film, Ambition, and then produced his second film, the action film Bad Ass, in 2015. [16] [ clarification needed ] In 2015, Trejo appeared in a television commercial for Snickers that aired during Super Bowl XLIX, in which he portrayed Marcia Brady prior to eating the candy bar. [17] [18] In 2016 and 2017, he appeared as himself in transparent disguises in TV ads for Sling TV.

In 2017, Trejo appeared on Hell's Kitchen as guest in season 16's final dinner service. He also made a guest appearance on the Rick and Morty episode “Pickle Rick”, voicing the part of Jaguar. [19] and together with Sasha Grey he was a lead actor in China Test Girls directed by Frankie Latina. [20]

In the TV show The Flash Trejo appears as a breacher (A interdimensional bounty hunter) a person who can manipulate the space time fabric and can travel to other parallel worlds. In "The Flash", he is the father of Cisco's love interest Gypsy. Originally hating Cisco and going on duck hunt to kill him, Cisco has proven himself worthy of having a relationship with Gypsy and so 'Breacher' has left them alone.[ episode needed ]

Games

Trejo appears as a playable character in Def Jam: Fight for NY (2004), a fighting game for which the actor lent his voice and likeness. He also lent his voice to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006) for the character Umberto Robina, who also resembles Trejo.[ citation needed ] Additionally, he voiced Raul Tejada, a Ghoul, in Fallout: New Vegas (2010). Trejo appeared in the PlayStation Move game The Fight: Lights Out (2010) as an instructor for the player's character, and as himself in the second map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010); Escalation map pack, on the zombie map Call of the Dead and his voice and character appears in the 2018 game Guns of Boom.[ citation needed ] He can be seen in the intro of Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball Max'd ("Play for Real", B-Real & DJ Lethal).

As of 2019, he is participating in promotions of Magic: The Gathering Arena, along with Sean Plott. [21]

Restaurants

Over the years Trejo has opened a series of successful Los Angeles restaurants. His first was Trejo's Tacos (2016), followed by Trejo's Cantina (2017), and Trejo's Coffee & Donuts (2017) a mobile food truck. The rainbow cauliflower tacos made the Los Angeles Times' list of 10 favorite recipes of 2017. The restaurants are overseen by executive chef Mason Royal. Their most recent venture will be an expansion of a donut food truck in Las Vegas, Nevada. [22]

Music videos

Trejo has made cameo appearances in music videos, such as "Got It Twisted" by Mobb Deep (2004); Sepultura's video "Attitude" (1996); Jay Chou's short movie-music video "Double Blade" from his 2003 album Yeh Hui-meir release IV (2011); and Yelawolf's video "Whistle Dixie" (2012). He also appeared in famous adult entertainer Lupe Fuentes' music video "We Are the Party" (2012) with her band The Ex-Girlfriends. [23] In 2013, he appeared in the music video for the Enrique Iglesias song Loco. [24] On July 15, 2014, Trejo featured as his Robert Rodriguez character Machete in the music video of Train's "Angel In Blue Jeans", which additionally featured Canadian television hostess and actor Hannah Simone. On September 11, 2015, Trejo appears in the music video "Repentless", [25] from Slayer's "Repentless" album released on the same day. "Pride in Prejudice", another Slayer's video, features Trejo again with an expanded role. [26]

Plastilina Mosh, a Mexican alternative rock band, paid tribute to Trejo with their song "Danny Trejo", featured in their album All U Need Is Mosh (2008).

Literature

In Charlie Higson's third The Enemy series novel, The Fear (2011), Orlando Epstein, nicknamed Einstein, makes fun of DogNut's ignorance by introducing himself as Isaac Newton. In retaliation, DogNut says, "my real name's Danny Trejo, but you may call me DogNut. Everyone else does." When Einstein responds, "Okay, Danny", DogNut reflects: "He may not know much about scientists, but Epstein clearly didn't know much about hard-faced, ex-con Mexican action-movie stars." [27]

Trejo is a contributor to the book Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories From Behind Bars (2015).

In the comics series DMZ , a convicted felon named Danny who resembles Trejo appears.[ citation needed ]

In the thirtieth volume of Hiroya Oku's Gantz manga series, Kei Kurono fights a humanoid alien giant who has Danny Trejo's appearance and likeness. This bout is on chapter 326 of the Gantz manga series.

Personal life

Trejo owns a home in the San Fernando Valley. [28] He has two children with his former wife Debbie; he filed for divorce in 2009. [29] Trejo owns several ventures in the food and restaurant business; as of January 2016 these included a taco restaurant on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, his own brands of beer, coffee, and various merchandise, with ice cream sandwiches under development. [30] Trejo's Donuts is located on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Highland Avenue. [31] [32] Trejo is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Filmography

See also

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Danny Trejo filmography

Danny Trejo is an American actor. The following is a filmography of his work—consisting of about 250 film and television roles. His prominence in the B movie scene has resulted in disparate media sources referring to Trejo as an "iconic actor" and a "film legend", among other titles.

References

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  3. Beale, Lewis (May 9, 2007). "He ain't that bad". Daily News. New York.
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  6. "Danny Trejo Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on July 7, 2007.
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  8. Barlow, Helen (November 11, 2010). "Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo cutting a short story long". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  9. 1 2 Wright, Paul (August 2011). "Prison Legal News Interviews Former Prisoner and Famous Actor Danny Trejo". Prison Legal News .
  10. "article listing for Danny Trejo". Prison Legal News .
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  12. Westhoff, Ben. "Danny Trejo - Hollywood Badass". Urban Ink. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014.
  13. "Casa de Machete". KTTV. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  14. "Danny Trejo: The illustrated man". Archived from the original on August 10, 2011.
  15. Miska, Brad (April 27, 2010). "Meet Danny Trejo as the Badass Cuchillo in New 'Predators' Character Profile".
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  17. Nathalie Tadena. "AdWatch: Snickers Super Bowl Ad Brings Out Different Side of Marcia Brady". WSJ. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
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  19. Jack Shepherd (August 7, 2017). https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/rick-and-morty-season-3-episode-3-review-recap-s3e3-pickle-rick-a7880196.html Independent UK,
  20. Harris, Chris (May 23, 2017). "Sasha Grey and Danny Trejo Star in Arthouse Thriller 'China Test Girls'". Hypebeast. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
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  23. "About The Ex-Girlfriends". The Ex-Girlfriends. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  24. "Enrique Iglesias". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  25. "Watch Slayer and Danny Trejo Film Gory Video at L.A. Prison" . Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  26. "Slayer – "Pride In Prejudice" Video (NSFW) (Feat. Danny Trejo)". September 6, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  27. Higson, Charlie (2011). The Fear. p. Chapter 43, page 7.
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  29. "Oh Yeah, THAT Guy Files for Divorce". TMZ . Retrieved October 3, 2015.
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