If they could ever find an actor grizzled enough to do his hangdog features justice, then surely somebody’s going to make a Danny Trejo biopic one of these days. The veteran badass has a life story that’s nothing short of incredible, one that’s culminated in him being firmly established as a genuine cinematic cult hero, as well as one of the industry’s most prolific talents.
The 77 year-old spent the 1960s in and out of jail, with various tales claiming he’s spent time in at least six different California institutions between 1959 and 1969, including a five-year stretch. While incarcerated at San Quentin , he became a two-weight championship boxer at the prison, and overcame drug addiction to work as a youth counselor, which led to him scoring his first-ever feature film role in 1985’s Runaway Train.
These days you can barely turn around without seeing Trejo in either a movie or TV show, while he’s also branched out to open a string of restaurants and cantinas, which sell his own personal brand of beer, coffee and donuts, culminating in the release of his very own cookbook last year. In what will be a fascinating read, the veteran star has recently unveiled his memoirs, which he co-authored with Sons of Anarchy and Gotham star Donal Logue. In the book, Trejo recalls the haunting experience of being hypnotized by none other than Charles Manson, which you can read below.
“He was so poor, he didn’t have a belt, and instead used a piece of string to keep his pants up. It was like a guided meditation. By the time he described it hitting my bloodstream, I felt the warmth flowing through my body. If that white boy wasn’t a career criminal, he could have been a professional hypnotist.”
This happened in 1961 when he found himself in a Los Angeles lock-up with the notorious cult leader, although it unfolded long before Manson gained worldwide notoriety, but that doesn’t make the thought of Charles Manson sharing a jail cell with Danny Trejo over 60 years ago any less bizarre.