Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo Talk Machete and the Upcoming Ultra-Violent Director's Cut
Some fans argue that a lot of the more entertaining parts of the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino Grindhouse double feature released in 2007 came out of the faux trailers created by several of the genre’s most beloved directors (keep in mind, this was about four months before Rob Zombie’s Halloween came out so yes, even Zombie was still beloved).
And while I loved Eli Roth’s crazy Thanksgiving carnage and Edgar Wright’s hilariously repetitive Don’t, for this writer the fake movie I badly wanted to see become an actuality was Rodriguez’s Machete (I proudly display my fake Machete poster from 2007 in my bathroom to this day), starring one of Hollywood’s hardest working actors out there, Danny Trejo.
Now that Machete on the big screen is about to become a reality for fans, Dread Central recently caught up with both Rodriguez and Trejo during the Machete press conference, where the duo spoke about their collaborations together since Trejo first appeared in Desperado back in 1995 and why the timing is right for a hero like Machete to take on the political corruption on both sides of the Border.
Most fans would assume that Machete came about due to the 2007 trailer. And while that was a large part of the equation of getting the project made, the idea for Machete is something Rodriguez has been kicking around in his endlessly imaginative head ever since Antonio Banderas was busy saving Salma Hayek’s Carolina and hunting down his murderous brother Bucho in the sexy thriller Desperado.
“Robert has been training me for this movie since we did Desperado,” explained Trejo. “He’s been telling me about the character of Machete since way back then, and everything we’ve done together has been leading up to this movie. I call it 'Training by Rodriguez'. Through osmosis it’s like he’s been making me into this character, and now I finally get to be Machete. In fact, each movie of Robert’s I am in, I am named after some type of sharp object.”
Trejo has built a long-running career of being a solid ensemble performer, but Machete marks the first time the actor has had an entire production resting squarely on his shoulders. For him, though, all that pressure comes with some perks.
“I am used to showing up on set, doing what I need to do and then I leave,” explained Trejo. “For Machete I was on set almost every single day, and since I’ve never been the lead, I just did anything I could to help keep the movie production moving forward. It was tough, but now being the lead meant that I got to kiss Jessica Alba and a lot of other ladies so that was fine with me.”
Casting Trejo as the lead is only part of what makes Machete pure exploitative heaven. Rodriguez, who's been known to pull together some eclectic casts including Planet Terror and Sin City, trumped himself with his latest project. Machete features performances from Hollywood heavyweights (Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, and Michelle Rodriguez) and folks who haven’t been seen on a big screen for some time (Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, and Don Johnson).
Rodriguez said, “For Machete the cast needed to be eclectic to do the story justice. When you first see all the names, you have to wonder how on earth all these people can actually work together in one movie. But then you actually see the film and you see just how everyone was perfectly cast and it wasn’t just names for the sake of names.”