EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Actor and motivational speaker Danny Trejo visited El Paso over the weekend, serving as the keynote speaker at Saturday night’s El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gala.
Trejo, known for films like “Blood In, Blood Out,” “Machete,” and “Spy Kids,” has also made a successful leap from Hollywood into the business world.
In 2016, Trejo took a leap into the restaurant business when he opened his first Trejo’s Tacos in Los Angeles, followed by Trejo’s Cantina and Trejo’s Coffe & Donuts.
Saturday, he gave his best advice to El Paso business owners.
“Everything good that’s happened to me has been the result of helping others. I did a small, low-budget movie, the producer saw that I like to eat good food, no fast food. He said ‘Danny, why don’t you open a restaurant?” Trejo’s tacos — with a big cross, rouble T. We opened up one shop in West LA and now have seven restaurants and a coffee and donut shop,” Trejo said.
According to Trejo, he led a troubled youth and credits God with being able to overcome a life that would have left him behind bars for years.
When asked what it’s like being a Latino in Hollywood, Trejo is straightforward in his response.
“It’s been great. We need to stop thinking that things are going to be harder for us because we are Latinos. I tell kids at schools I speak at to be proud. As for Hollywood, I’ve had a great time. I don’t do drugs or drink. Lots of actors, you see them and I’m like ‘Hey! What are they gonna do? I can beat them up.'”
As for his favorite role, he says working with fellow Latino director Robert Rodriguez has been his greatest joy and “Machete” has a special place in his heart because it was his first starring role. He’s gone on to work with Rodriguez for nearly a dozen films since “Machete.”
Next up for Trejo is a small role the new “Sponge Bob Square Pants: It’s a Wonderful Sponge” scheduled for a May 2020 release date. He also voiced Boots the Monkey in the recently released “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” film based on the Dora the Explorer cartoon franchise.