Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Working with the Man

With the film "Machete" beginning production, I can't help but think about working with Danny Trejo. If you don't remember "Machete," it was a "fake" trailer that aired during the Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez B-movie extravaganza "Grindhouse." In anycase, "Machete" is a reality with Robert Rodriguez directing. Back to my point, I remember how gracious and how accomodating Danny was to work with.

We had met a couple of years back when Danny supported us at a fundraiser for inner city youth. Roger and I had written a play, "That's My Desire," that dealt with the harsh realities of prison life. Knowing that Danny was a tireless crusader for keeping kids on the right side of the law, we contacted him hoping he'd make an appearance at our fundraiser. On his own dime, Danny flew in from out of state to speak after the show. It was truly a memorable evening and a testament to a very generous and giving man.

Working a scene with Danny was exhilirating. He brings so much authenticity to his work that all you have to do is react. It's impossible to get in your head as an actor when you have Danny Trejo waving a gun and barking orders.

I'd also like to say, that in the world of independent films, where putting a "name" in your movie is almost a ploy to secure distribution, noone could play "Capone" better than Danny. His face, his eyes, his sheer presense tells everything I wanted the character to be without uttering a single word. But it was his performance that really brought "Capone" to life.

Danny has worked on more than two dozen projects since shooting "Ranchero." That's what I call prolific! It was a great honor to work with him, and look forward to doing it again.


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