Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fan-Boy Icon #22

I thought I'd take a bit of time here to discuss someone who is a) timely, and b) someone I know little about. That someone is Danny Trejo, star of this week's big movie, Macheté.

The first time I remember seeing Trejo was in the Robert Rodriguez "Gunkata" film, Desperado. Here he played the hit-man "Navajas" ("blades" en Español). His part was pretty small, but noticeable. His famous sombrero girl tattoo made him instantly recognizable in later films. He did, however, have over thirty acting credits prior to this, including Runaway Train (Jon Voight, Eric Roberts), Lockup (Sylvester Stallone), and episodes of Baywatch. Previously, Trejo had been a prisoner at California's San Quentin State Prison.

While shooting Desperado, Trejo and Rodriguez discovered they were cousins. Trejo has been a fixture in Rodriguez's films, including Once Upon a Time in Mexico, From Dusk 'til Dawn, Spy Kids, and the then faux trailer for Macheté. Note, his character in Spy Kids was also called Macheté.

Trejo is all presence in films. He is impossible to ignore, even in small roles, and appears to be just as bad-ass as his characters. At age 66, he is still imposing, but has surprisingly strong acting chops for an action star that came to films as a former prison boxing champ. Trejo has a great sense of comedic timing which I dare say rivals Bruce Willis, and adds greatly to his roles. Even when he is not supposed to be funny, but is playing the heel, his comedic sense adds to the contemptible portrayal by making the hero look better.

I hate to say it, but I have not yet seen Macheté. Probably will Thursday or Friday.

Two videos here. First, his part in Desperado, second from Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

And, just in case you are one of the five people on the internet who have not seen it, here is the Macheté trailer released on May 5th of this year. (That's Cinco de Mayo, y'all)


Lisa said...

The most interesting thing about Danny is that he plays this very hard, badass characters, but has this very warm eyes, which make it impossible to hate his characters.
But maybe that's just because I am a woman. Ha!

I haven't seen Machete yet, mostly because it comes out around November here in Germany and I am not even thinking about watching it any 'other' way.
Anticipation is the greatest joy.

Darius Whiteplume said...

He definitely makes a likable bad guy, like Alan Rickman, who also plays a great bad guy that you have to love.

Kal said...

He is the bad guy with a heart of gold like Lisa said. I love the way he acts tough but can turn on a dime. I loved Macette and hopes he gets a who franchise out of it were he further gets to plays the good guys who are the kinds of characters he was born to play. Anyone can look tough and play tough, it takes a special personality to look tough but play good.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I'd love to see him in more. I bet he'd pull of a dramatic/thriller nicely as well.

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