Who is that actor: Danny Trejo
I’ll be watching TV and all of a sudden I’ll think, “Hey, I’m in this!” A lot of times I don’t even know the names of [the movies]. I just show up. From 1985, when I first started, to 1990, I did a shitload of B-movies about prisons. They would always say, “Get that Mexican guy with the big tattoo”. I’d show up and I’d have one line, like, “Kill em all!” or something.
– The ultimate that guy, Mr. Danny Trejo.
Danny Trejo‘s chest tattoo of a woman wearing a sombrero is as iconic as his frequent appearance as a vengeful, snarky thug. Second cousin of frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez – they’re together again in the upcoming Machete – Trejo blipped for me in From Dusk to Dawn and Michael Mann’s Heat where oddly enough he played a character named Trejo! But my favorite Trejo characters are the recurring ones he plays on King of the Hill – the lovable Strickland Propane employee Enrique and the shadowy associate of Dale Gribble named Octavio. Much has been made of Trejo’s hard scrabble early life in Pacoima, CA, but I’d rather focus on the glorious way he’s transcended his narrative and past and embraced his that guy status with charm and humility. Definitely the highlight of the documentary about character actors called The Face is Familiar:
Other actors are not unhappy with being typecast; it’s preferable to unemployment. For Danny Trejo, undoubtedly the most entertaining actor featured in this film, playing the heavy-handed villain in more than 100 films has been a blast. But then, he never thought he’d be an actor at all. An ex-con, he fell into acting almost by accident and has virtually never been unemployed. He joyfully admits most of his fan base is made up of those who work in kitchens.