Danny Trejo – the original badass bad guy in Hollywood

Danny Trejo got his start playing "Mexican bad guy No. 1" or "Tattooed inmate No. 2." But after decades of bringing authentic menace to Hollywood films, Trejo has transcended the tough to become a movie star — for some, an icon even. And, OK, he's still pretty tough, too.

Trejo is best known as the title character inRobert Rodriguez's 2010 neo-exploitation classicMachete (a name that gets chanted at him pretty much wherever he goes these days). During our interview at Musso and Frank — one of his favorite L.A. haunts for breakfast — even the dapper old waiter and the parking-lot guy outside couldn't resist.

But decades before he was turned into a Claymation character for Lipton Brisk Iced Teaads or battled Kobe Bryant in The Black Mamba, Rodriguez's short film for Nike, Trejo was a dodgy dude who spent years in L.A.'s prison system for robbery and drug-related offenses.

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