Join us as we learn about Danny Trejo’s transformation from juvenile delinquent to Hollywood star. Danny is an impressive example of improvement that gives hope to anyone.
Perhaps Danny Trejo’s physical appearance, as well as most of his roles on the big screen, make him identify as a typical bad man. And although he was at some point, he was able to become a good person who positively impacts the lives of many.
Danny Trejo is undoubtedly recognized for his unique character “Machete.” However, he has participated in more than 350 film and television productions, has appeared in music videos, commercials and even video games.
Did you know that his first participation in a movie was when he was 40 years old? A few decades have passed since then and Danny continues to be successful, but it’s not about awards but about having fun acting and fulfilling his purpose of giving hope to everyone he can. And we have to say it: the real “Machete” is a tender man who loves puppies.
What’s Danny Trejo’s story?
Danny Trejo was born in California in 1944 from Mexican parents. He grew up in a macho household where love expressions were not a matter of men. When he was just a child, he was involved in street fights of his neighborhood and in his teens, he committed some crimes and became addicted to heroin.
Inevitably, his behavior led him to spend several seasons in different prisons during the 1960s. Among his experiences as an inmate, he lived closely with the death of close friends and feared for his own life on several occasions. One of those episodes made him reflect and he decided to be part of a program to overcome drugs, just as he set out to be a better person.
Another important fact that marked his time as a convict is that he became a boxing champion in the famous San Quentin prison. This event would later be a key element in his foray into acting.
A new Danny had been born transforming his negative experiences into teachings. Giving talks and being a drug counselor became part of his contribution to society.
Beginning of his acting career
In fact, being an actor was not among Danny Trejo’s plans. The situation arose unexpectedly and ended up looking like a movie story.
It all started thanks to a meeting of former addicts where he participated as a speaker. One of the attendees invited him to the set of the movie Runaway Train (1985). The screenwriter was Edward Bunker, who recognized Danny for having also been a prisoner in the San Quentin jail.
Remembering Trejo’s boxing skills, the writer asked him to prepare the protagonist for the fight scenes. Finally, the director liked Danny’s performance and gave him a role as a boxer.
From there, his face became popular in Hollywood by bringing various Latino villains to life. He is even considered “the number one recluse” of the movies, although he has also played nice and funny characters. Some of his appearances include: Blood in Blood Out, Desperado, Anaconda, Con Air, Spy Kids, The 3-Headed Shark, Breaking Bad, The Ridiculous 6, and American Gods.
Other facets of Danny Trejo
Danny’s story is different from most famous people. Before being an actor, he already helped others with motivational talks to get them to stop using drugs. Of course, it must be recognized that the scope of his message has been multiplied by his visibility in show business.
In this sense, the most beloved villain in Hollywood does not miss an opportunity to hit the use of drugs and promote education as a tool to get ahead. In addition to mentoring people with addictions, Trejo volunteers in Los Angeles Mexican communities and supports animal shelters.
Danny Trejo is definitely a real-life character. His long hair, his trademark mustache and the striking tattoo on his chest have become an icon of rudeness in the entertainment industry. But his actions have made him an important voice and an example to follow.
To conclude, we leave one of his favorite phrases to give hope: “if I could do it, anyone can do it.”
If you want to know more about the extraordinary life of Danny Trejo, you cannot miss the documentary Inmate # 1: The Rise of Danny Trejo. Or maybe you prefer to read or listen to his autobiography titled Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood, which incidentally ranks third on the list of best-selling books in July 2021, according to The New York Times.
Sometimes the real stories outnumber the fictional ones, don’t you think? We await your comments on our social networks.