Danny Trejo Interview: "Breaking Bad" Star Ramps Up the Comedy in "Grand-Daddy Day Care"
Image attributed to Danny Trejo
Danny Trejo is probably most recognized as the character Machete in the Spy Kids series of movies that later expanded into Trejo’s own series of films aimed at a more adult audience. Other films include Heat, Con Air, Desperado, American Flyer, Bad Ass and Machete Kills. TV appearances include Breaking Bad, The X-Files, King of the Hill, The Flash, The Young and the Restless and Sons of Anarchy.
Trejo stars in Grand-Daddy Day Care, a hilarious comedy for the whole family to enjoy. The film also features Reno Wilson, Roxana Ortega, Garrett Morris, Margaret Avery and George Wendt, and is available on DVD and Digital February 5, 2019.
"I’m gonna have fun no matter what I do or else I’m not gonna do it (laughs)."
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Danny, tell me about Grand-Daddy Day Care.
Danny Trejo: It’s one of the funniest movies you’ll ever see. Reno Wilson plays my son-in-law. He married my daughter, and I go to live with them. Reno’s a writer who has writer's block but figures out a way to make money by starting a day care for seniors. We just laugh all the way through it.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is your character (Eduardo) just an unruly senior citizen or actually a badass grandpa?
Danny Trejo: Both. Unruly and a badass (laughs).
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What a great cast! Had you worked with any of them previously?
Danny Trejo: I worked with a couple of them before, but the movie is amazing, and all of those people were just so funny. All we did was laugh!
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You were attracted to the project because of the comedy?
Danny Trejo: Yeah. Well, I did a couple of movies called Bad Ass, and they were kind of funny action movies. So when I saw the script for Grand-Daddy Day Care, I thought, “Man, this is going to be funny!” So I signed on, and it was just non-stop hilarious from there on.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you have grandchildren, Danny?
Danny Trejo: No. I don’t. My daughter moved to Ohio, and I think they’re buried in snow right now, so I might end up with a grandchild (laughs).
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is it more fun to play a comedy role or a villain?
Danny Trejo: Well, you know what? I’m gonna have fun no matter what I do or else I’m not gonna do it (laughs). I look at life with a glass half full not half empty, so we do whatever we can to make it enjoyable. But when I read this script, I said, “This is a funny movie!”
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): When you receive feedback from fans, what’s the role they mention the most?
Danny Trejo: I did a movie called Spy Kids with Robert Rodriguez, the director and creator, and people all over the world say, “Look! There’s the man from Spy Kids!” There are five-year-olds that say, “Mommy! The man from Spy Kids!" You hear it in 50 different languages. Those films are timeless.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What’s your most memorable role?
Danny Trejo: It’s a movie called Heat with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer. This movie was like amazing! That’s the one.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What’s the update on Machete Kills in Space?
Danny Trejo: We are waiting for Robert Rodriguez. Remind him in the article that we’ve still got to do it, please!
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Absolutely. And that he needs to get Lady Gaga again for the film?
Danny Trejo: Absolutely! God, I love her! Sweetest woman I’ve ever met.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Boxing played a role in starting your movie career?
Danny Trejo: Yeah. I was just going to be an extra, and the director saw me. I ran into a friend of mine named Eddie Bunker who is a writer. If you ever want to read a great criminal novel, read Education of a Felon. That’s by Eddie Bunker. But he said, “Are you still boxing?” I said, “Yeah.” He told me to train one of the actors how to fight. So I trained Eric Roberts how to box. The director saw me and liked my style, liked what I looked like and said, “You know what? You’ll be in the movie.” Audrey Konchalovsky was the director, and it was Runaway Train. That’s how I got my SAG card.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You had no formal acting lessons, so did you learn from being around actors?
Danny Trejo: Yeah. Absolutely. I called it on-the-job-training (laughs).
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You are involved in the documentary Survivors Guide to Prison. What’s your best advice?
Danny Trejo: Don’t go (laughs). It’s a losing battle.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is your new ABC comedy, Food & Familia, still a go?
Danny Trejo: Yes. It’s hilarious! Also I have a record label coming out called Trejo’s Music, and we have an album ready to drop next month called Chicano Soul Shop Vol. 1. It’s kind of R&B, kind of rock and contemporary.
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