Danny Trejo has made a career out of being a really scary guy, the kind who can punch you in the stomach with his eyes and beat you half to death with your own shadow. The thing that makes these quotes awesome though, is that they aren’t quotes from Trejo’s characters; they’re just straight quotes from the man himself.
10. “They Would Always Say, ‘Get That Mexican Guy With The Big Tattoo. I’d Show Up And Have One Line, Like, ‘Kill ‘em All!’ Or Somethin'”
This quote is from when Trejo revealed that he’s so prolific as an actor, he genuinely gets surprised when he sees himself in old B-movies. But it’s the parts where he says “or somethin” that makes this awesome, because it means Trejo has killed so many people, in so many different films, that they’re nothing but a blur to him now. Which makes the next quote even more unbelievable.
9. “For $350 A Day, Give Him A Bat. I Used To Get Beat Up For Free.”
Trejo got his break teaching Eric Roberts how to box. While doing so, he was warned that said actor may hit him back; the above was Trejo’s response. The thing is though, look at Trejo. He’s got a chest that could double as a brick wall, and a face you could store a deck of cards in. Trejo was so used to being beaten half to death, he felt like someone paying him for the privilege should get their money’s worth. Either that, or he knew any bat swung at him would automatically explode out of pure fear.
8. “I Look At The Script. If I See A Part That Says Shirt-Off, Then I Go To The Gym.”
The above was was Trejo’s response to a question about how he prepares for a role physically. At the time of answering that question, he was well into his 60’s. How many people in their 60’s do you know, who can even carry a week’s worth of groceries, let alone 50 pounds of muscle, 5 pounds of tattoos and a mustache many suspect is made of steel?
7. “The Director Was Impressed And Asked Me, ‘Where Did You Study Acting?’ And I said, ‘Vons, Safeway, Thrifty Mart…'”
This quote was Trejo’s answer to a director being impressed at how well he acted out robbing a store. The stores he lists are ones he robbed in his youth, but note how he doesn’t say “and Thrifty Mart,” meaning he was actually about to list more before realizing three previous robberies was probably enough to prove how awesome he was.
6. “In Prison, There’s Only Two Kinds Of People, Predators And Prey. After Being A Predator For So Long, I Realized The Only Way I Could Stay Out Was Dedicating My Life To Helping People.”
Just read that again for a second. A man who describes himself as a lethal, ass-kicking predator and, by all rights, freaking earned that title, decided to suddenly turn around his life and help people. That’s not a life story, that’s the start of a superhero movie! It also makes it better that the very first thing Trejo did after deciding to be a nice guy, was help an old lady take out her trash. When Danny Trejo lives out a cliché, he lives out all of the clichés.
5. “I Could Still Be In Prison. Hell, For All I Did, I Could Be Headed To The Gas Chamber. This Is All Icing.”
I personally don’t know what would get a person sent to a gas chamber but Trejo sure does. The answer is: assaulting a prison guard. Damn, past Trejo was terrifying. Trejo avoided the death sentence by a whisker and, as a result, found God and turned his life around. By which I mean, he went right ahead and starred in over a hundred movies. When you can refer to becoming a multi-millionaire, and being loved by children and across the world, as “icing,” you’re officially sitting ice cool. Either that or you’re Santa.
4. “Sure, Just Tell Me How Bad You Want Him Beaten”
As mentioned before, Trejo got his big break by teaching Eric Roberts to box on the set of Runaway Train. The above quote was how Trejo responded to being asked if he’d do that. That’s the confidence only a stone pimp badass would have. A stone pimp badass who was also an undefeated prison boxing champion. When you can boast that you punched the Hell out of people convicted of murder for 10 years straight, you earn the right to tell celebrities and film directors to shove it.
3. “I Think It’s Cute That They’ll Act Tough And Put On Their Little Fake Tattoos To Look Mean. But When They’re Out On The Street, They’re Afraid To Be Seen.”
That’s not lyrics from an unreleased Eminem song. That’s a straight quote from Trejo about what he thinks of celebrities who don’t sign autographs. Yep, he’s actually so cool, he inadvertently spits out fly rhymes without even knowing it. Also, he hates self-entitled celebrities who don’t do things for their fans. It’s like he’s saying what we’re all thinking, only turning it into a sweet rap and then grumbling it out in a Mexican accent.
2. “I’d Been in Soledad, San Quentin, Folsom, Vacaville, Susanville, Sierra – And Here’s A Guy Asking “Can You Act Like A Convict?” I Remember I Said, “I’ll Give It A Shot.”
After 8 quotes, it’s no surprise that Trejo answered so coolly to a question like the one above. But it’s the fact that he’s so self depreciating, like he secretly hates being referred to as a convict because it infers failure to commit a crime on his part. Then again, as we’ve discovered, Trejo’s time as a convict was spent beating other inmates to a bloody pulp with his bear hands. That’s not a typo, by the way: Trejo’s hands are scientifically closer to that of the humble bear than that of a human, in terms of the damage they can do to a human torso. We think.
1. “The Only Things That Were Available To Me Were Either Be A Laborer Or Be A Drug Dealer. So I Became An Armed Robber. It Was A Lot Simpler.”
Of all the quotes listed, this one sums up Trejo perfectly. He was offered two choices by life, and punched life in its face and took a third option, because he’s Danny Trejo. Then he went to prison and, instead of being scared or biding his time quietly, he spent his time punching his way to the top of the food chain. Then he got out of prison and, instead of turning to drink or drugs or slipping back into his old ways, he once again told life to go do one, and became a millionaire actor. That’s Trejo’s life all over; it was a lot simpler to simply take what he wanted, instead of listening to the choices life gave him. Because screw the choices life gives you; just punch life until you’re famous. Trejo did it, what’s your excuse?