Machete takes another swipe at the big screen: Q&A with Danny Trejo

You won't find too many Hollywood action heroes continuing to kick ass when they're almost in their 70s. You'll find even fewer who would survive being fed into a meat grinder by murderous intergalactic scumdogs - actually, there's only one actor we can think of who fits that bill, and that's Danny Trejo. A few weeks back, we caught up with this career badass (and frequent Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino collaborator) at the Rock & Shock horror convention in Worcester. There, he rapped with us about Machete Kills, Sons of Anarchy, and Mexican warlocks - only to have GWAR toss him into the sausage machine at the Palladium a few hours later.

I know that the sequel to Machete comes out next year.
Probably in March.

How is it playing a leading role as opposed to more of a supporting roles or smaller characters?
I think that a supporting role, you've just got to get into it. You're in, then you're out. A leading role, you're on every day, so it's basically your employment for six to eight weeks. Depending on how you look at it -- like me, I bring my A-game no matter where I go. Whether I got one day, I don't care if I've got one line -- "Fuck you" -- it's gonna be an a "Fuck You." ... So the difference is that you have your A-game every day.

Just out of curiosity, are the rumors of Machete Kills Again ... In Space! actually true?
They set up Machete Kills to where he's going into space to go fight the bad guys. It's unreal. ... I mean literally, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Sofía Vergara, Amber Heard. It goes on and on. And they're all just unbelievable. ... Mel was, I mean, he's a brilliant actor. He's tops. And to watch him, you learn so much -- he's that quick. And Charlie -- Charlie Sheen is really an underrated actor because he does all his trips, you know. But he plays the president. And in the movie, he's asking Machete to do something for him, and Machete says "Find someone else." And Charlie, you know, [he says] "I'm not asking, I'm the president of the United fucking States." And he is so believable that you can almost see the big battleships in the background. And so the first take, I went, "Daaamn!" and Robert goes, "Cut! What are you ... ?" I said, "I really thought he was the president!" He was unbelievable, he is just that good.

Is it any different working with Robert Rodriguez now, as opposed to back in the day with Desperado? Is it all the same?
You know what, me and Robert have developed a relationship. I know what he wants, he knows what I want. And he's the same guy. We did Desperado what, 15 - 19 years ago! And that's when he started talking to me about Machete, 19 years ago: "I got this character, you're perfect for him." "Yeah, lets do it!" Even then, he was innovative. Desperado was so over the top. Every time he comes out with a movie, he pushes the envelope a little more, you know? I think he's done more for independent filmmaking than anyone has in the past 15 years. He just let any one of us be able to make a movie. It used to be this unbelievable, scary, big project. Shit, my kid's producing a movie right now, he's 24 years old.

Do you have any future plans to work with Rob Zombie on anything? Are you doing anything with Lords of Salem?
No. ... There weren't too many Mexicans running around killing witches. How about a Mexican warlock or something? But if he's got anything, he'll call me.

You play the quintessential badass character quite often. Are you just accustomed to that, or do you like playing anything outside of that?
You know, I'll play a tree if the money's right. Put fruit on it, and pay me more. But me, I like action movies. I love Charles Bronson's Death Wish and Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry. I prefer those to like the superhero. That's why I love Machete, because he didn't fly, he didn't wear cute tights, he was just a badass. So I like that character better than the guy flying around in tights.

Do you have any future plans for television?
Next season, I'll be on Sons of Anarchy, and that's cool. All the guys are really cool. Ron [Perlman] and Charlie [Hunnam] and Theo [Rossi], all the guys are really down-to-earth guys. I always tease them because if you've ever seen them, they're all, like, in fucking great shape. Little cocksuckers. ... I just finished talking to Charlie yesterday because I was wearing a shirt from Sons of Anarchy with his picture on it riding a motorcycle, and about 20 people offered to buy it - like, "Hey, how much for that shirt?" I called him up: "Hey, homes, I'm getting a hundred bucks a crack for your shirt!" "Oh, hey, gimme a piece." I said, "Fuck you!"

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