Inmate #1 Star Danny Trejo Talks His Favorite On-Screen Death, Toughest Co-Star, and More

Even if you don't know him by name, actor Danny Trejo has become one of the most recognizable faces in film over the last few decades, having starred in films like Heat, The Devil's Rejects, or his many collaborations with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, such as Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, or the Spy Kids franchise. Trejo's on-screen presence is so powerful that, inspired only by a two-minute fake trailer in Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse, his Machete character earned two films of his own. As evidenced in the new documentary Inmate: #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo, the actor's real-life story is even more compelling than any number of characters he's played. Inmate #1 is available on Digital HD on July 7th.

Understandably, Trejo's intimidating presence has earned him a number of performances as nefarious characters, often resulting in him not surviving until the end of a film. Of all the wild ways Trejo characters have met their maker, the actor shared that it was his more emotional goodbye in Heat that is his favorite.

"The one in Heat was the most emotional. The one in the, From Dusk Till Dawn was like, where my eyes rolled in the pool pockets, that was kinda cool," Trejo revealed to "But Heat was the most emotional one."

In the film, Trejo played Gilbert Trejo, who was named after his own uncle. The role meant so much to the actor, that of all the roles he played, that's the one we would most like to be able to play again in another project.

"In Heat I played Gilbert Trejo, that was my uncle's name," the actor revealed. "Michael Mann knew him in Folsom prison, so he gave me that name Gilbert Trejo and that movie that I loved that character, you know, he was just cool."

Trejo understandably brings with him an intense reputation to any movie he is part of, likely intimidating some of his co-stars, but of all of his collaborators, the one Trejo would least like to take on is Con Air's John Cusack.

"You're not gonna believe this, but, trying to think of his name now. Who was the guy in Con Air ... John Cusack was trained by Benny 'The Jet' [Urquidez]," Trejo confessed. "I watched John Cusack kick a bag, he'll break your ribs, but he's the nicest guy in the world. You would never suspect him, that he could break your jaw, but he is the nicest guy in the world."

He added, "Benny Urquidez, I grew up with Benny's older brother, Mondo. And, that's why Benny would never let me stay around all the guys in Con Air because it was all a big contest, you know? And I don't play well with others, so he'd always pull me it off, but Cusack is tough."


Check out Inmate: #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo on Digital on July 7th.

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