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Daily Archives: November 1, 2011
In conversation with Danny Trejo, you feel the gap between public persona and private man. It turns out the person behind the dour and grizzled face you see on screen, worthy of some parallel-universe version of Mt. Rushmore carved with lightning by fury itself, is a bright and warm presence, voice beaming with goodwill and charm when you reach him on the phone. An ex-convict — discovered during the prison boxing sequences in 1984′s “Runaway Train” while an inmate at San Quentin– Trejo jumped to acting and never looked back. Recent years have seen Trejo do more and more comedy — and, less specifically, do more and more. He had his first lead role in last year’s “Machete,” and he’s also in the upcoming “The Muppets” (indeed, hearing Trejo spontaneously break into the “Manah Manah” song in his gravel-rough voice is as hilarious as it is startling). Soon, you’ll be able to see him as the stern and stony father-in-law to Harold (John Cho) in “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas in 3D,” playing a man whose love of Christmas — and his daughter — must not be taken lightly. We spoke with Trejo about Cosby Christmas sweaters, equal-opportunity racism and his process of recovery versus the Harold and Kumar series’s weed-fueled grins.
Mr. Trejo, how you doing sir? Everything well?
Trejo: I’m blessed.
The first and most important question about a ‘A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas in 3D’ is … did they give you an option of which ugly Christmas sweater you got to wear?
Trejo: I got about four of them. I wear about four of them. And they were so ridiculous; they were funny.
I mean did you get to pick which one, or did they say these are the four options, and we’re going to figure out which one is best?
Trejo: There were ten of them, and I had to pick four.
You do recognize that it looks like you raided Bill Cosby’s closet? On that note, let me ask you this, you are normally an actor we don’t see in the dad sweater playing the dad part and, quite frankly, with this many completely normal-guy lines. Was that a nice change?
Trejo: It was a lot of fun. I love the part where I just don’t like him; I’m (Harold’s) father-in-law and I don’t like him. You know my daughter could of done a lot better. I got the universal way that fathers think, so it was just a lot of fun. And the lines were like — you know when I hand him the camera — there’s that …