By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
On Friday and Saturday, Danny Trejo was a MexiCAN.
The 67-year-old veteran actor, who starred in “Machete” alongside Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, has developed quite the cult following in his 20-plus year career in Hollywood.
But Trejo – who has worked with Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer in the classic 1990s crime drama “Heat” and with George Clooney, Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis in the Robert Rodriguez-directed horror film “From Dusk Till Dawn” – faced perhaps his most profound challenge while at the Rotting Flesh Factory in Harlingen this past weekend: an interview with the South Padre Parade’s very own Stacey Gonzalez.
So what did Stacey get out of the actor famous for being a tough guy?
Well, for starters… Stacey and Mr. Trejo found themselves in a one-hour relationship. Unfortunately, the two had to separate. They were simply going in different directions.
But do not fear! Stacey managed to squeeze an interview out of Trejo, who at the time was signing autographs as the special guest headliner during the Rotten Flesh Factory’s month-long Halloween festivities.
The following is the result of that interview, a question and answer (Q&A) session that Trejo was all too happy to indulge in.
Parade: How many times have you visited the Rio Grande Valley, and what is it about the area that you enjoy?
Trejo: Well, first of all I love Texas. It’s the first time I’ve been to the Valley, but I still love it. All my experiences here in Texas have been just beautiful. I usually go to Austin or San Antonio. All of my family is from San Antonio. Rudy Cantu and Sonny Cantu, and let’s see Margerie Cantu… they’re all from Tejas. I was born in Los Angeles but all my family is from San Antonio.
Parade: Being as successful as you’ve become, and considering that you’re so identifiable in the Hispanic community as quintessentially Mexican-American, what advice would you give local aspiring actors, musicians or entertainers?
Trejo: Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it, and it’s better to shoot for the moon and miss than aim for the gutter and make it.
Parade: Who inspired you to become an actor?
Trejo: It was an accident. I was a drug counselor. I was helping out a kid stay clean and we were just hanging out together. He was a PA on a movie called Runaway Train, and I happened to run into a friend of mine, a guy named Eddie Bunker, and he offered me a job as training an actor named Eric Roberts how to box, because I used to box. So the director saw me and he saw I could handle Eric, so he gave me a job.
Parade: Has there been any particular movie role you’ve enjoyed the most, and why?
Trejo: Machete, because it was my starring role and I loved it. It was a great movie. I would have loved it even if I wasn’t in it.
Parade: What’s been the best meal you’ve eaten here?
Trejo: Papa Joe’s has some great hamburgers, and then I had some great Mexican food, Huevos a la Mexicano. I can’t remember where though (chuckles).
Parade: In the spirit of Halloween, who do you think would win in a fight between Jason Voorhees and Machete?
Trejo: Oh, Machete (leaning back while laughing).
Parade: I’m sure our readers, by the way, would like to know some fun facts about you. So we’ve compiled a short list of questions:
1. Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans?
2. Tequila or cerveza?
Trejo: Well, I don’t drink all too much, but I’d have to go with cerveza.
3. Conjunto or Tejano?
4. Texas Tornados or Los Lonely Boys?
Trejo: I don’t know, but I do like me some (singing and laughing) Wasted Days and Wasted Nights!
5. Menudo or fideo?
Trejo: I’m going to go with some fideo on this one.