Creator / Danny Trejo
Oh yeah, him!

"You might know him from Desperado, Grindhouse, The Devil's Rejects, xXx, Con Air, Heat, your worst nightmares."

Danny Trejo (born May 16, 1944) is an American actor who everyone can recognize, but not as many can name. He's been working in Hollywood since 1985 and has played dozens of supporting roles, usually as some kind of Mexican tough guy, henchman or thug. Trejo has also been in a number of Robert Rodriguez films, usually with slightly larger roles than he normally plays, including Desperado and the Spy Kids trilogy, finally culminating in his first leading role: the badass Knife Nut known as Machete. As an Ink-Suit Actor, he was Dale's "Man Friday", Octavio on King of the Hill and, in a bit of Playing Against Type, he voiced Enrique (the sad-sack bobtail driver from Strickland propane who wants to be Hank's friend).

He had criminal problems during his youth and spent time in jail, but the accounts of everybody he works with in the movies (Everyone) is that he is one of the best people in the industry. The cameo heavy and varied cast of Machete stems from all the people he worked with in the past wanting to contribute something to his first starring role.

Danny Trejo has appeared in:

Danny Trejo embodies the following tropes:

  • Adam Westing:
  • The Atoner: Has spent the last few decades helping people avoid going into the criminal lifestyle like he did.
  • Badass Grandpa: Maintains a good physical shape and can still pull off action roles despite being in his seventies.
  • Badass Mustache: His handlebar is just one part of what makes him so instantly recognizable.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Trejo confessed that he often chooses to play bad guys to teach younger audiences that bad guys often die or go to prison, and that one should try to live a decent life.
  • Cast the Expert: He originally got into Hollywood as a fight coordinator and stuntman, after winning a few boxing tournaments in the California State Prison system.
  • Chronically Killed Actor: By virtue of playing expendable thugs.
    • Entirely intentional, as the above entry will indicate.
    • Bizarrely averted in Fallout: New Vegas, where he plays a 230+ year old ghoul.
    • Also subverted in Sons of Anarchy. See below.
    • And beaten to the curb and shot in Machete.
  • Cool Old Guy: One of the coolest around.
  • Face of a Thug: He used to be a thug.
  • Heel–Face Turn: A rare example of a real-life reformed criminal.
    • In Sons of Anarchy his character was portrayed as the most vicious drug lord in history. Turns out he's CIA and orchestrates a drug deal through the Sons to shut down other dealers.
  • Hitler Cam/Scully Box: Between these two techniques, you'd never guess that he's only 167cm (5'6"). He has a very imposing presence, and unless the camera were to pull away (it never does), you'd have no way of knowing that he's nowhere near as tall as even some of his female costars.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: As Octavio in King of the Hill, Umberto Robina in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and himself in Def Jam: Fight For New York.
  • Knife Nut: Many of Trejo's characters in Robert Rodriguez movies have been named after knives or sharp instruments: Machete in Spy Kids and, well, Machete, Razor Charlie in From Dusk Till Dawn, Navajas (Spanish for blades) in Desperado, and Cuchillo (Spanish for knife) in Predators.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: At least, relative to other actors whom are typically close to 180 centimeters (about six feet), Danny is only 167cm (5'6").
  • Rated M for Manly: He's called "the Mexican Charles Bronson" for a reason.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Plays rough and cruel characters, but is widely reputed as one of the friendliest actors in Hollywood and a blast to work with. The Animal Planet documentary Pitbulls And Parolees also reveals that he helps out at the Villalobos Pitbull Shelter, since he lives down the street, and they even named a dog after him. He also visits colleges throughout the USA using his credibility as a former drug addict and convict to impress on teens that drugs and crime are not fun in real life and getting an education and staying out of trouble is the way to go.
    • The first role he ever got was a random thug, the reason he got the part is because he was sponsoring a crew member with Alcohol problems. He was only on set to eat lunch with the guy and help him deal with temptation to drink with the rest of the crew, the director saw him and liked his look so much that he offered him a part.
  • Real-Life Relative: He's actually Robert Rodriguez's second cousin. No nepotism is involved, however; they didn't even know that they were related until Desperado had wrapped.
  • Tattooed Crook: Considering he plays a lot of crooks, the tattoos are just gravy.
  • Type Casting: As a Knife Nut Mexican thug. Nobody does it better. He's also had several roles where he is either comically serious or the Jerk with a Heart of Gold.