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The actor: Danny Trejo has played a lot of colorful roles over the course of his prolific career, but few are as dramatic and larger-than-life as the actor playing them. Trejo was a teenage drug addict, a bank robber, and a convict before going straight, turning his life around, and becoming a drug counselor, a position he holds today. Working as an extra on 1985’s Runaway Train led to a bigger gig as Eric Roberts’ boxing coach, and a larger role in the film. Trejo hasn’t stopped working in film and television since. Along with Cheech Marin, he’s a core member of Robert Rodriguez’s repertory troupe, appearing in Desperado, Planet Terror, the Spy Kids movies, and just about everything Rodriguez has been involved in. In 2006, Trejo got rave reviews for a rare dramatic role as a recovering drug addict who hooks up with Maggie Gyllenhaal in SherryBaby. After decades of bit and supporting parts, Trejo makes an unexpected but long-overdue transition to much-buzzed-about leading man/action hero in Rodriguez’s Machete, the feature-film version of the trailer of the same name that appeared in Grindhouse. In the feverishly anticipated film, Trejo toplines a cast that includes Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, and Michelle Rodriguez. In addition, Trejo is re-teaming with Rodriguez for Predators, the second Predator sequel—Rodriguez is producing, Nimród Antal is directing—and he recently took small but memorable roles on Breaking Bad and in the 2010 kids’ film Justin Time, which has just been released on DVD.
Danny Trejo: Predators is the movie starring Adrien Brody. He took over the Arnold Schwarzenegger part. Well, there’s a big difference between Arnold and Adrien. Arnold’s like steroid muscles, you know what I mean? Adrien uses his mind. Every time this camera’s on him, you can almost hear him thinking about how we’re going to kill this predator. There’s a line where Alice Braga says, “We have to work like a team.” And we’re all assassins, right? So I look at her and say, “Does this look like a team-oriented group of individuals?” And Adrien says, “We might have to work another way.” But he’s always thinking. I actually like his character better. The first Predator was more about “How big’s my bicep?” The second one was fighting aliens. This is one is about an actual plan and an actual war on how to beat these things.
The A.V. Club: People were surprised when Adrien Brody was cast in the lead, and when Topher Grace was added.
DT: They did great. Adrien was great. Adrien’s a hog, straight out. I’ll put him on my team any time. Topher… he’s cute. [Laughs.] But his role, he was very serious about. And me, I won’t do it unless I can have some fun, and I had a lot of fun with it.
The Expendables (2010)—no actual role
DT: Let me tell you about The Expendables. [Writer-director Sylvester] Stallone said I was in The Expendables so he could raise his money, you know what I mean? [Laughs.] Because I bring in the Latin audience. So I was in The Expendables all the way up until the time they started casting. I’m not in The Expendables. That’s one of Hollywood’s ploys to… how do you say it? They have this huge cast, and then all of a sudden, when it comes time to cast, the people that actually raised the money aren’t in it.
AVC: Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent were also supposedly in it at some point. Do you feel like Sylvester Stallone used you?
DT: Of course. Come on, man. [Laughs.] All them guys—supplements are making them nuts.
Runaway Train (1985)—“Boxer”
DT: I walked on that movie set as a drug counselor. I was helping this kid I was counseling. He called me up and said, “Hey, there’s a lot of blow down here.” It was 1985, and cocaine was running rampant in the movie industry. It was crazy. You’d walk into production and there’d be lines on the table. He just asked me to come down and support him, because that’s what I did. I still do it. I’m going over on an intervention right now to one of our Hollywood actors. I went onto this movie set, and he was a PA, and I thought it was cute. I had never been on a movie set in my life. All these guys were dressed up as inmates, and they were all trying to act tough. They all had these fake tattoos. I kept smearing these tattoos. I had to say, “Oh shit, I’m sorry. That stuff smears.”
This guy asked me if I wanted to be in a movie, and I said, “What do I gotta do?” And he said, “Do you want to be an extra?” And I said, “An extra what?” And he said, “Can you act like a convict?” I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever heard. I’d been in every penitentiary in the state. I looked at him and I said, “Well, I’ll give it a shot.” He gave me a blue shirt, and I took off my shirt, and I have that big tattoo on my chest. He said “Leave your shirt off.” Then this other guy comes over and says, “Hey, you’re Danny Trejo. I saw you win the lightweight and welterweight title up in San Quentin.” And I go, “Yeah. You’re Eddie Bunker.” I had been in prison with him. And he was a writer. We started talking, and he asked, “Are you still boxing?” And I go, “Well, I still train.” And he said, “Do you want a job? We need someone to train one of the actors how to box.” And I said, “I got a job. They’re going to give me 15 bucks for acting like a convict. What’s this pay?” He said, “It pays $320 a day.” So I said, “How bad do you want this guy beat up? Shit, for 320 bucks—” And he goes, “No, you have to be really careful, this actor’s really high-strung. He’s already socked a couple of people.” I said, “For $320, man, give him a stick. I’ll fight Godzilla for 320 bucks.” I started training Eric Roberts how to box. Eric wanted to learn how to box, and I think he was scared of me, so he’d do whatever I told him to do. Andrey Konchalovskiy, the director, saw that he would do whatever I told him to do. I guess Andrey had some problems with it. So Andrey comes over and hires me. He says, “You be in the movie. You fight Eric in the movie.” And that’s where it started. From that day until right now, I’ve got 183 movies.
AVC: How are you able to be so prolific?
DT: I love doing it. Let me tell you something. When I was young, I was an armed robber. I did robberies. And there’s no adrenaline rush like that. When you’re using drugs and doing robberies, it’s hard to distinguish whether you’re doing robberies to support your drug habit, or doing drugs to support your robbery habit. Those guys that flip on motorcycles—it’s like the same kind of adrenaline. It’s unreal. The only time I ever felt that was when I heard Andrey Konchalovskiy yell, “Action!” And then I was like, “Wow. Here we are again. This whole adrenaline—” But this time I didn’t have a gun. I was like, “Wow. This is awesome.” I just totally got hooked. I found my calling. And then when I got my check, I said, “Fuck.” [Laughs.] “Wait a minute. For the first half of my life, I went to prison for being a bad guy. Now they’re paying me to be a bad guy.”
AVC: Did you take acting classes?
DT: In 1985 it was a little different. I would just go with the extras and the director would see me. I was always Inmate No. 1, and I always had one line like, “Kill ’em all.” [Laughs.] It was like, “I can do this.” I remember a director handed me a shotgun and he said, “Kick in this door and take control.” There was a poker game going inside, and the director said there would be a couple of stunt people inside. He said to improvise. So I kick in the door, somebody jumps up, I bash them with the shotgun, and I ask this guy, “Oh, you wanna die, huh?” This lady starts screaming, and I put this gun right in her face. So the director yells, “Cut! Cut! God, Danny, where did you study?” I said, “Let me see. Von’s. Safeway. Thrifty Mart.” [Laughs.] So all this stuff I was doing, I just knew. You’ve got to remember, I was Inmate No. 1 for the first five years of my career. So shit, I know how to be an inmate.
AVC: You were a Method actor.
DT: [Laughs.] So I was really having a blast, and then I was getting paid. I’m still a drug counselor. I still go to high schools. We just left Sylmar Juvenile Hall. We did last night, speaking to about 60 kids. I still do that.
The Hidden (1987)—“Prisoner”
DT: Shit! That was actually a little sleeper movie. That was a little movie that they did about some monster that got inside people’s bodies. I couldn’t believe the money that was made on that movie. It was this little movie that was “Blah blah blah blah blah,” then all the sudden it was like, “The Hidden, The Hidden, The Hidden!” Wow. That was fun. What did I say? “Whoa, hippie! What kind of dude are you?” [Laughs.]
Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989)—“Prison Inmate”
DT: You know what? I did a movie with Charles Bronson before that, Death Wish 4. I met him, and one of the guys on the movie, one of the young guys, got shitty with an old character actor named Perry Lopez, who was like 80 years old and had emphysema. He couldn’t even blow out a candle on a cake. He’s been in the movies since like the ’30s. He was trying to set up our little scene, and then all of the sudden, out of the clear blue sky, this guy who thought he was cute says, “Who the fuck nominated you director?” And I laughed; I thought he was joking. This guy’s 80 years old. Perry says, “No, no, I’m trying to set up this little scene so we all won’t be standing here.”
So this punk comes up, he says, “I went to blah blah,” just some, I don’t know what the hell it is, Lee Strasberg or some bullshit training, “and I don’t need no has-been actor to give me direction.” Then I realized this guy wasn’t kidding. I’m thinking, “This guy’s 80. Anybody over 40 is an older person. You better give them some respect.” So I just jacked this punk up and told him, “You know what, bitch? I’ll beat your ass. I nominated him director. Now fuck you. Do whatever he says.” This guy looks at me, almost starts crying, and says, “Hey, I’m trying to stay in character.” I was, “Well, your character’s about to get his ass beat.”
So then I turn around. Charles Bronson is standing right behind me, and he’s watching this. And the last thing you want anybody to see is that you could be violent on a movie set. I look at Charlie, and he saw what I was doing. But he says, “You know, Danny. I like the way you deal with people.” [Laughs.] And then he walked away. Then, about two months later, he called me and said, “Danny, I’ve got this little movie, Forbidden Subjects. You want a little role in it?” I go, “Yeah, sure.” I’ll never forget that. We had a long talk. Charlie was cool. He was awesome.
AVC: He was fairly old at that point, too, wasn’t he? In his 60s?
DT: Oh, yeah. He was in great shape. He wasn’t buffed up, but he was slim and cut up pretty good. That’s the way I try to stay.
AVC: The joke was that he’d keep on making Death Wish sequels until he was 80 and in a wheelchair.
DT: It’s really funny, because he changed. I saw him about a month before Jill [Ireland] passed away, and he looked healthy, then she passed away, and man, he just got old. You talk about soulmates. I just saw him get really old right away once she passed away.
Marked For Death (1990)—“Hector”
DT: Steven Seagal. [Laughs.] He was cool. He’s all macho, “I got bigger nuts than you.” But he was cool. He was all right. He kept trying to get me to do my own stunts. I went, “Ah, hell no. They got this guy who looks just like me.” At times he would get overzealous, you know what I mean? You do your own stunts as an actor, and you end up getting hurt. It’s not your job. You’ve got stunt guys. Stunt guys make a lot of money.
Baywatch (1991-1992)—“Carlos Urueta”
DT: Wow. [Laughs.] Red bathing suits. [Laughs.] I couldn’t believe that show. I’d be sitting in Venice, looking at all these girls running around and thinking, “They’re paying me for this. Thank you, Jesus.” [Laughs.] You know what I mean? “I wish the guys in prison could see me right now.” But what was amazing was about five years later, I went to Paris, and there’s this big crowd at the airport. They’re all waiting to see me. I’m thinking one of my movies, right? They know me from Baywatch. “You were on Baywatch!” I believe that thing was all over the world.
AVC: They say it’s one of the most popular TV shows internationally of all time.
DT: It’s amazing. I did a favor for David Hasselhoff, before he got Baywatch. I was in this little movie called W.B., Blue And The Bean. He asked me “Would you do this?” and I said “Sure.” And then bang, bang, when he got Baywatch, he got me two episodes.
DT: Desperado. That was the one. Boy, that thing was amazing, because that character was so strong, and never said a word. I kept asking Robert, “Come on, give me a line, man,” and he wouldn’t. “No, no. This is heavy. I’m telling you, Danny, you’re so strong.” “Give me a line!” I’m screaming at him. “No.” So, after the movie came out, we were in front of Sony, we were talking in this big group over at Sony, and somebody raises their hand and says, “You know, Danny, in that movie, your character was so strong and never said a line. Was that an actor’s choice?” I looked right in Robert’s eye and said, “Yes it was.” He gave me the finger. [Laughs.]
He was awesome. Robert is just—you know what? The directors I’ve been working with, let me tell you, I’ve been working with Nimród [Antal], with Rob Zombie. And they all kind of come under the umbrella of Robert Rodriguez. They’ve all read [Rodriguez’s memoir about the making of El Mariachi] Rebel Without A Crew, and they all shoot like Robert. I love the way they shoot. They know what they want. They don’t have to see what they want. A director that has to see what he wants has got you doing seven, eight, nine takes. Then, “That’s it! That’s what I want!” But a director that knows what he wants, bang. Two takes, three takes, “Let’s go, move it on.” He knows where he’s going to cut. I love that. I love that about Robert, I love that about Nimród. I love that about Rob Zombie. Rob is so laid-back. He’s like, “Eh, we got it.”
DT: Yeah, that was the shit. That was unreal. Me and Eddie Bunker walked on that set as armed-robbery consultants. What a job. [Laughs.] I ran into Michael Mann, and he knew me from a movie called Drug Wars: The Camarena Story that me and him did years ago. Then he also knew my uncle who’s in Folsom, because he did a movie called The Jericho Mile. So Michael Mann says, “Come on, Danny, I want you to meet a couple of guys you’re going to be working with.” I walk into a room with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight. I just said, “Wow.” [Laughs.] I could not believe it. And then he says, “Here,” and that’s where I got that role.
AVC: What does an armed-robbery consultant do?
DT: You just make it look real. You show somebody how to hold a gun. You show somebody how to walk into a bank. You show somebody how to take control. Everybody has an idea of what an armed robbery is supposed to be, and the reality is, you have to scare people up until a point. If you scare them too much, you will lose control, because they will freak out. That’s the last thing you want. So some people will come in, “All right, you motherfuckers! Everybody get up against the fucking…” and it’s like, “Dude, they’re going to blow. You understand what I’m saying?” But if you walk up to somebody and say, “Look, I’ve got a gun, and if you make one move, I’ll kill you.” All of a sudden, they take that in, okay, they’ve taken that into their senses, and they’re saying, “I better not move.” It’s like a horse. If you run up to a horse, you’re going to scare it. It’s going to jump. So you just walk up to him real slow and then put a saddle on him or whatever you want.
AVC: If you’re too aggressive, people will feel like they have nothing to lose. They’re probably thinking, “If I’m going to die anyway, I might as well be a hero.”
DT: Exactly. You’ve got it. Wow, you’d make a good armed robber. [Laughs.]
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)—“Razor Charlie”
DT: Yeah, that was great. I got to work with George Clooney, who is the man. George Clooney was cool. He was a lot of fun. But you’ve got to watch him, because he is a prankster. If he ain’t having fun, he won’t do it. It’s got to be fun, or he’ll be, “Hell no, let’s not do it. That’s not fun.” Me and him had a blast, man. I just saw him at the première of Up In The Air. You know what? Actually a good movie. It’s a chick flick, but it’s a good movie. Don’t tell anybody I watched it.
DT: We got to go to Brazil on that. We’re in Brazil on the Amazon River. The funny thing is, I used to have a fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Henley, who was anal about the Amazon River. She would always be crazy about it. She would say, “The Amazon this” and “The Amazon that,” and I’m like, “Who gives a shit? I didn’t care about the Amazon River. Forty years later, I’m doing Anaconda on the damn Amazon River. [Laughs.] I’m sitting there, and Jon Voight, J. Lo, Ice Cube are all asking questions, and I knew all the answers. They thought I was the smart guy. I know all about this! Thank you, Mrs. Henley.
Con Air (1997)—“Johnny ‘Johnny-23’ Baca”
DT: Con Air. You don’t know how many people scream that to me at Target. “Hey! Johnny-23!” So a lot of people watched that movie. That was a lot of fun. The only problem: the biggest case of testosterone I’ve ever been in. It was 30 guys all trying to be bad-asses. It was so weird. If you would spit, somebody would spit a little farther. Pretty soon, you’ve got 40 people trying to see how far they can spit. If you did a push-up, somebody would do two, then three, then four. It was like a competition of who was the baddest ass. It was funny.
AVC: Who do you think won the competition to see who could be the baddest ass on Con Air?
DT: I’m going to tell you something: Nicolas Cage? He’s in shape. That guy, when we did Con Air, he was in great, great shape.
AVC: He had all those scenes where he was exercising in prison.
DT: John Malkovich wasn’t too much for push-ups. [Laughs.]
AVC: That was one of Dave Chappelle’s first really big roles.
DT: Yeah, Dave Chappelle. He was funny, man. Dave Chappelle is a riot. He’s a riot to be around. Nice guy.
Six Days Seven Nights (1998)—“Pierce”
DT: Yeah, that was funny. We were on Kauai for about three months. I was a pirate. I was working with two Australian guys. No, from that island around Australia. New Zealand. They were pretty cool. I got to meet Harrison Ford, and that’s a big dog. That was real fun; we hung out a little bit. I met Anne Heche. Ellen [DeGeneres] came to visit her, so I got to meet Ellen.
Walker, Texas Ranger (1998-1999)—“Joe Lopez”
DT: Walker, Texas Ranger. Big Chuck Norris. That’s it, man. “Chuck Norris doesn’t do push-ups, he pushes the world down.” I remember those jokes. Now they’re saying “Chuck Norris dresses up like Danny Trejo on Halloween.”
xXx (2002)—“El Jefe”
DT: Yeah, xXx. That was with Vin Diesel. I actually met Vin Diesel when we were doing Reindeer Games with Charlize Theron and Ben Affleck. We did that up in Canada, and Vin Diesel actually had a role, but he was going to miss another role. He was going to go do The Fast And The Furious. And Reindeer Games wasn’t right for him anyway. Donal Logue ended up taking the role. Vin Diesel was torn between staying there and going to do The Fast And The Furious. I was, “What the fuck’s wrong? That’s a no-brainer. Get the fuck out of here!” He said, “Man, I don’t want to leave.” I said, “You haven’t been on film yet! They haven’t got you on film. They’ll get another sucker up here right now.” So he called up and said, “Hey, you know what? I’m leaving.” He went back to do The Fast And The Furious, and Donal Logue, who’s one of my best, best friends, came up and played Pug in Reindeer Games.
AVC: So Vin Diesel made the right choice.
DT: Absolutely. Dear God, are you kidding? Come on. I think his agency was doing a favor for somebody sending him. I said, “Man, fuck ’em. Are you kidding?” It’s like, if I’m going to star in a movie, or I’m going to do this shit—and Reindeer Games is a great movie, don’t get me wrong—but I’m saying, you’ve got this little role where you’re playing a goofy little guy—he didn’t fit it anyway! Vin Diesel isn’t a goofy, silly little guy. He’s an action hero. Good guy, too. Really nice guy. And he’s very, very loyal. When he did xXx, he called me direct and said, “Danny, come on. I want us to do this. I owe you.” I said, “Okay,” and I went and did xXx.
AVC: He’s supposedly coming back for xXx 3.
DT: I don’t know what they’re going to do. I don’t keep up with Hollywood. My philosophy is, “Call me if you need me.”
Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy and Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie (2004)—“Bartender”
DT: Anchorman. That was Will Ferrell. Funny, funny guy. When he walks in the room, everybody starts laughing. He’s just got a funny aura. He’s a funny dude. I bet he got beat up a lot in school.
The Devil’s Rejects (2005)—“Rondo”
DT: Yeah. Diamond Dallas Page. DDP! That was a lot of fun. That’s where I met Rob Zombie. Rob was just a sweetheart. His wife Sheri, another sweetheart. Two great people. Like I said, they like to work like Robert Rodriguez. It’s laid back. I brought my kids on the set. It’s not like everybody’s real serious about getting this… It’s about “Hey, let’s have fun doing it.”
SherryBaby (2006)—“Dean Walker”
DT: I didn’t want that role. I didn’t really want to do that. It was my agent, Gloria, just, “Come on, do it. You’ve got to do this. Do this, do that.” So I went and did it and got to go all over the world with that movie. Everywhere they premièred it, they wanted us there. I got to go to Prague, to Paris, to Germany.
AVC: Why were you reluctant to take the role?
DT: Well, it was a drama. [Laughs.] But once I got into it, it was awesome. It was heavy. Unbelievable actress; it was a joy to work with her anyway. I kept asking Laurie [Collyer], the director, “Come on, let me at least slap her.” All she did was come and cry on my shoulder. Let me pull hair or something, right? Everyone else is abused.” But no, I am the nice guy. It worked out really well.
Smiley Face (2007)—“Albert”
AVC: A year later—you have a very eclectic filmography here—you played Albert in Smiley Face.
DT: Yeah, Smiley Face, that was funny. That was just a cute movie. Oh, God. What did I play in Smiley Face? [Long pause.] I don’t remember.
AVC: [Laughs.] You have 183 credits.
DT: [Laughs.] I can forget a couple.
Delta Farce (2007)—“Carlos Santana”
AVC: In 2007, you portrayed Carlos Santana in Delta Farce.
DT: Oh, man. Larry The Cable Guy. What a farce. That was so funny. Me and Larry, we just kept cracking up every day. We would just tell each other jokes all day long, because I love to laugh. Making him laugh was just like my joy, like, “Wow! I made Larry The Cable Guy laugh!” [Laughs.]
DT: I play the Uncle Machete in Spy Kids. He’s the mysterious uncle with all the gadgets. He’s a scientist. But Machete, the movie Machete, Robert talked about when we were doing Desperado. He said, “I want to use you for this character…” He had that idea then. Then when we did the trailer to Machete, I said, “So this is going to happen?” He goes, “I think so.” So they put the trailer for Machete in Grindhouse. Then the trades said that Machete was the best thing in Grindhouse, that trailer. It was a really exciting trailer. The movie just got a mind of its own. It was unreal. You got Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, and a couple of other people. The twins, the two twins that are in Grindhouse [Electra and Elise Avellan as The Crazy Babysitter Twins], are also in Machete. My son and daughter are in Machete. My two best friends are in Machete. It just kept on and on, and it’s an action-packed movie from start to finish. I think it’s a culmination of everything Robert Rodriguez has done.
AVC: Do you think it’s a culmination of everything you’ve done as well?
DT: Well… yeah. I think so. If you’re looking for literary value, don’t go. If you’re looking for action-packed, it is from start to finish. And I get to kiss Jessica Alba. That’s my love interest. And Michelle Rodriguez.
AVC: Is it surreal being the leading man after playing so many supporting roles? After playing so many prisoners, was it surreal to be the star of such a big movie?
DT: You know what? You’ve got to do the same job. It doesn’t matter. When Robert De Niro came up, because I worked with him in Heat, he looked at me and said, “Danny! It’s your starring role, man. I’m really proud of you. I knew you were going to make it when we were doing Heat. You had it.” I looked him right in the eyes and said, “Can I get you some coffee, Mr. De Niro?” [Laughs.] He says, “No, we’ve got people to get us coffee.” [Laughs.]
The Young And The Restless (2008)—“Bartender”
DT: Let me tell you something: my mother did not believe I had a job until I did those episodes of The Young And The Restless. When I walked into her house after she saw them, she said, “Oh, you finally made it!” She was so proud of me. She was calling all her friends. “Danny’s going to be on The Young And The Restless!” That was hilarious.
AVC: Did you get to beat anybody up as the bartender?
DT: No. I was helping… I forget the star of that, the one guy, I got my mom his picture. He’s been on there for 30 years or whatever.
AVC: It was your first soap opera, wasn’t it? Was filming a soap opera different from your usual roles?
DT: Soap operas, they’re going a mile a minute. It’s bang, bang. When you’re shooting this scene, they’re setting up the next scene on another stage. It’s go, go, go, go, go. It’s not like a film where you’re shooting a scene, then you shoot another scene, then you rest. It is a mile a minute.
King Of The Hill (2003-2008)—“Enrique”
DT: That’s a lot of fun, because you’re working in front of a microphone, so you can show up in your pajamas if you want. So I got to be pretty good friends with the little girl that passed away, Brittany Murphy. I got to meet her. You sit in the green room for a while, you’re just talking to see what’s happening. It’s real sad, but Hollywood’s full of tragedies.
Breaking Bad (2009-2010)—“Tortuga”
DT: Tortuga. “The Turtle.” That was funny. My head ends up on top of a turtle, so people try to tease me. They say, “Hey! We saw your head on top of a turtle!” I tell them, “Yeah, well, my body was at the bank.” [Laughs.]
AVC: Did they have to make a mask of your face for that?
DT: Of the whole thing. They put this cast stuff all over you, and you come out with this perfect bust of your head.
AVC: That had to be very strange, to see your head on top of a turtle.
DT: Yeah. [Laughs.] “What did you do today?” “My head was on top of a turtle.”
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2010)—“Criminal”
Death Race: Frankenstein Lives (2011)—“Goldberg”
AVC: This year, you portrayed Criminal in an episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
DT: I don’t remember that. I’ve done quite a bit this year. I just finished doing Death Race 2 for seven weeks in South Africa. That spun my mind. I don’t think my mind’s right yet from the time difference.
AVC: Is it a big role?
DT: Yeah. I play the lead mechanic in Death Race 2. The only person I know who’s in it is a gorgeous girl, Tanit [Phoenix]. She’s an African actor. She’s absolutely beautiful. She’s up for the role of Wonder Woman. If she doesn’t get it, they’re idiots. She’s perfect. She almost looks like Lynda Carter. But naturally Hollywood’s probably got some little bimbo they want. I couldn’t believe she was like as, I even told her, “God, you look like Lynda Carter.” And this guy Fred Koehler, who was in Death Race, the first one, and so anyway, I just finished that one.
DT: Go to vengeancearmy.com and you can get that movie.
AVC: Also known as Danny Trejo’s Vengeance. What can you say about that?
DT: Remember I told you that I love Charles Bronson? Charles Bronson was doing movies called Death Wish, where they kill his family and he becomes a vigilante. That is basically the storyline: They kill my wife and daughter, and I take revenge, vengeance, on criminals. I kill people that are jaywalking.
AVC: Really? Is it a comedy?
DT: No, no, no. It’s a really serious vigilante flick.
AVC: And 50 Cent and Jason Mewes are in it?
DT: 50 Cent, Jason Mewes, Diamond Dallas Page, Donal Logue, Baby Bash, Tech Nine, Houston Alexander, and Rashad Evans. We’ve got some monsters in it.