Interview: VIOLET AND DAISY’s Danny Trejo

In part one of our two part interview with Danny Trejo (the second part will run as a part of a special episode of The BastardCast later today), we discuss his new film Violet and Daisy, why he stays so busy, and how he perceives his role as an actor.

What drew you to Violet and Daisy?

Danny Trejo: First of all, the chance to work with James (Gandolfini). Secondly, I kinda liked the twists and turns. And, you know, two women hitmen sounds like a lot of fun, so I went with that.

Now, you didn’t get a chance to have any scenes with James, did you get a chance work with him at all or be around him on set?

Trejo: No, no I didn’t. But I met him a couple of times and he was… he was, I don’t want to say a lot like me, but, you know he didn’t really stay in the Hollywood set. He was kind of… I don’t go to clubs. 70% of my friends are outside of Hollywood.

I see the similarity, because you both kinda took the long way to get established. It didn’t come overnight for either of you. Can you tell me a little bit about that? I saw on IMDB that you have something like 25 projects that are on the way. I don’t know how accurate that is, but you’re a hard working guy. Tell me about, if this had happened 30 years ago, would it have been as sweet?

Trejo: You gotta remember, I’ve worked quite a bit. I’ve had a blast. I’ve had a lot fun doing this shit.

Is it about the fun of it, is that what keeps you going? Is it just fun, is it about trying to secure a future for your family still, is it about adding roles to keep growing?

Trejo: It’s a little bit of both. How lucky can you be? You get to love what you do. I love going to work. I really love going to work. Wake up in the morning, go to work. Lets see, day before yesterday I was in Illinois, tomorrow I’m goona be in Chicago, today I’m in the San Fernando Valley. It’s like, I get to travel, there’s a whole lot of stuff I get to do, and I get to meet great people.

Do you ever want to take a break and settle down for awhile?

Trejo: Eh. What I’ll do, see what I’ll do… here’s the secret: I’ll wait till I get a movie in, lets say, Hawaii, and I’ll ask for, like, an extra week (laughs).

Danny Trejo

Is there an appeal to try and do a TV show to stay in one place for awhile?

Trejo: I just finished a TV sitcom with George Lopez called Saint George. That was a lot of fun.

So, I rest. But when you love what you’re doing, it’s like, it’s hard to take a break.

Now, Saint George has one of those interesting deals where I think it’s, you guys do the first 10 and then if they pick it up, they pick up like 90 more. Are you in for the rest of that, the back-end if it gets picked up?

Trejo: Oh yeah. I play George’s uncle and George has got me golfing! That’s a first.

What is it that you have to have in a prospective project to make you want to do it?

Trejo: I mean, people think that actors have to have this huge ego. You know what I mean? And I honestly believe, that you just have to have a great work ethic and you have to know the math. The math is, producers hire a director to direct actors in a movie. So when I show up, I have to understand, I am an actor, this producer hired this director to direct me, you know? Some actors seem to think that their voice counts. I don’t give a shit (laughs). I show up, and I’m under contract. “What are we doing boss?!” So, I mean…

I still remember mixing cement, and throwing shovels full of sand and cement and rock into a mixer, and if the director said, “I want 13, 9, and 5”, it’s not up to me to say, “Well, I think, 7, 2, and 8 would be better.”


Violet and Daisy is available on Blu Ray and DVD today. To hear Danny Trejo on Machete 3, working with Robert Rodriguez training Eric Roberts to fight, and the Dusk Till Dawn TV series, check out the second half of this interview in an all new episode of The BastardCast, which will be live later today. 

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Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Lover of movies and The Big Lebowski.