EXCLUSIVE: ‘Machete’s’ Danny Trejo Knocks Texas Film Commission Funding Decision
The Texas Film Commission's decision to deny the slash-fest Machete state incentives has raised the ire of the film's star Danny Trejo.
The commission announced last week that it will not pay $1.75 million to Machete's producers due to a state law that allows canceling pay incentives for “content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion.”
Trejo, who played the double-crossed assassin in the movie, took time out from promoting Death Race 2 to say the news "threw me for a loop."
"It's going back on your word. And that's not Texan,” Trejo tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm kind of hurt."
Rather than the film being negative to Texans, Trejo feels strongly the funding reversal goes against the Texan way-of-life.
"I think the way (the Texas Film Commission) did this puts Texas in a bad light," says Trejo. "All the folks at the Alamo would be pretty mad right now.”
As for the apparent negative portrayal, he adds: “I just don't see it. I'd like to know how (the TFC) felt the Texas Chainsaw Massacre portrayed Texas.”
Trejo laughs that the decision could affect further film production in the state. “I think Machete 2 might have to be done in Arkansas,” he says, adding that the move might help script development.
“It might be Machete Kills the Texas Film Commission,” Trejo jokes.
The Texas Film Commission falls under the office of Governor Rick Perry who many felt was lampooned by Robert De Niro as Senator John McLaughlin in the film.
When asked if this could have been a factor in the funding decision, Trejo responds, “Could someone be that petty and ruin the reputation of a state, go back on their word, over a similarity or a statement? Texans don't go back on their word.”
Machete was released in September and is due out on DVD on January 4. For more of the interview with Trejo, go to the next page or click here.
THR: What was your reaction when you heard the news?
Trejo: It threw me for a loop. It's going back on your word. And that's not Texan. I'm kind of hurt. All the folks at the Alamo would be pretty mad right now.
THR: Does the movie portray Texas in a bad way?
Trejo: I just don't see it. I'd like to know how they felt the Texas Chainsaw Massacre portrayed Texas. I think the way they did this puts Texas in a bad light. Texans love a good movie. Just ask them about Machete and they loved it.
THR: What did your Texan family think?
Trejo: Everybody in my family was born in San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth. They cannot believe it and neither can anybody else. Everyone of my relatives in Texas absolutely loved the movie. All of sudden, they are like, we're so sorry. This is crazy.
THR: Could it be Robert De Niro's character bearing a resemblance to Governor Rick Perry as some have suggested?
Trejo: Could someone be that petty and ruin the reputation of a state, go back on their word, over a similarity or a statement? Texans don't go back on their word.
THR: You worried about this happening on Death Race 2?
Trejo: No, that was shot in South Africa and they loved it.
THR: Will this affect future projects?
Trejo: I think Machete 2 might have to be done in Arkansas.
THR: What's the latest on Machete 2?
Trejo: (Director) Robert Rodriguez has already gotten it written. I'm just waiting for the okay for Robert. It might be Machete Kills the Texas Film Commission.
THR: Are you ready for that?
Trejo: Hell ya.
THR: On the positive side, this is good publicity for the DVD.
Trejo: It comes out in January and it's going to blow your mind.
THR: Can you text me when you speak with Robert?
Trejo: Machete don't text.