Exclusive: Danny Trejo talks El Rey Network’s Man At Arms, returning as Romeo to Mayans M.C.

Danny Trejo brings the steel and the swagger to El Rey, home of Man At Arms: Art of War. Pic credit: El Rey
Danny Trejo brings the steel and the swagger to El Rey, home of Man At Arms: Art of War. Pic credit: El Rey

Danny Trejo needs no introduction, He’s the hardest working man in showbiz and he never stops.

Trejo is tight with El Rey founder and chieftain Robert Rodriguez, a visionary man who Trejo praised in a past Indiewire interview, saying: “Robert Rodriguez has done more for independent filmmaking and the Latino community than anyone in the last 50 years.”

Trejo is an iconic badass in the movies, on television and in the culinary world. From Machete to Mexi Falafel, Danny’s restaurants are growing in the LA area like crazy and the demand for his food is so strong, usually, there is a standing line waiting to get in at every spot.

Tonight, Danny Trejo takes on the Assasin’s Brotherhood on the latest Man at Arms: Art of War on El Rey Network.

Trejo and the blacksmiths examine a popular video game that has sold over 100 million copies as they recreate two of the most lethal blades around, the Scimitar, a curved-blade sword from the middle east great for beheading, and the Hidden Assassin’s Blade, one of the signature weapons for the Assassin’s Brotherhood that boasts a sneaky retractable blade.

Kung Fu specialist and writer Gene Ching and chief instructor of Guild of the Silent Sword Da’Mon Stith reportedly will test the metal and deliver the weaponry action to see how they perform.

El Rey Network is was created by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez who brings the distinctly LatinX flavor to TV with action-packed wrestling hybrid Lucha Underground, grindhouse movie marathons, kung fu marathons and series like From Dusk Till Dawn and more. Man at Arms is now in its second successful season.

We spoke to Danny Trejo yesterday:

Monsters and Critics: I’m a weapons nerd but I’m hopeless. I will cut myself with a paring knife. How do you not get something worse than a paper cut on set? When I watch that show, I worry about you.

Danny Trejo: You know what? It’s so much fun. I’m telling you, people don’t realize, it’s really dangerous because some of those weapons are so sharp that you can split hairs with them.

Especially the Samurai swords. Those things are amazing, and what I like about them, they’re not just making weapons. We talk about the history, we talk about the game-changing part that they had in war. So there is a whole lot of stuff that goes on.

M&C: What have you learned with this show as far as ancient cultures that you had no idea maybe as a kid growing up or from history lessons in school? 

Danny Trejo: That’s an amazing question by the way, and really it’s like, you know… history in school, I loved it but I never knew. It’s like the Mongols. The Mongol Hoards, the reason that they were so amazing in war is that they had developed a bow that it was reverse curved and it was so much more powerful than your longbows.

Your longbow, you had to stand still and shoot. The short, reversed curved bow had more power, and could pierce armor, they could shoot from a horse. So they had moving weapons really.

M&C: Of all the guys that you worked with like Gene Ching is on the show and I love him and Kerry Stagmer. How do you get along with the Baltimore Knife and Sword people and can you talk a little bit about your castmates there?

Danny: You know what? First of all, they all get along with me. I’m joking but there is a certain vibe. Robert [Rodriguez] has a great, great talent for putting people together that just jive right. And we’re like a family on this show.

The people that come in, I always make it a point, I did The Flash, the movie The Flash and that’s the best way to describe it because usually when you have a sitcom and a new person comes in, they feel a little left out. And so we make it a point to anybody that comes on the show, just take them in as family, and it works out really, really well.

That’s what they do on The Flash. They make you feel like family.

M&C: How does the production keep all of you guys safe on Man of Arms? There is a lot of dangerous stuff laying around.

Danny: Most of the people that work with the weapons, they’re all professional, so they know. Growing up they probably been cut and beat, so they all know. They won’t let me play with the weapons. When somebody new is on the set, everybody kind of like watches out where all the weapons are and make sure if somebody wants to pick one up, we’ll show them how to do it.

M&C: Now does cast and crew have your back? Do they demand that Trejo’s Tacos and Donuts are in craft services and the crew catering?

Danny: [Laughing] Always. Always. And they’re always saying, “Okay, when is donut time?”

M&C: Speaking of… your Trejo’s restaurants are doing so well in California. Now I’m out of California, are you going bring it anywhere else out of the state of California, do you have any plans for that?

Danny: Well, we’re thinking about it, but the only thing we’re concerned about really is quality control. We’re trying to keep a certain quality of food and when you get too far away, you can’t keep the quality control. So I eat at every restaurant. [Laughing] I get to eat it for free, so I go to every restaurant and then I send my friends to go eat to make sure that everything is up and up. All my friends say, “Do you want me to wear a wire?”

I say, “No, don’t wear a wire. Just go and eat and let me know how it is.” [laughing] So I always get good reports from staff and everybody that goes and eats there.

Celebrities now, there are a lot of celebrities going to the restaurant. The ones in Woodland Hills and the one in Hollywood. So that’s good. And we just opened up a new one at terminal one, Southwest at LAX.

M&C: That’s fantastic, so everyone coming through the city, even if they’re just in a layover, they can experience your restaurant.

Danny: Right on. [laughing]

M&C: Hey, I saw a great little short snippet for a film you want to make, Senior Citizens, will that be made?

Danny: Yes, that is gonna be directed by a guy named Craig Moss. He’s the one that directed me in Bad Ass, all three movies and it is funny. The script reads like a joke book.  So you’ll be seeing elderly people knock out people with bedpans and walkers and …[laughing]

I also finished a movie called Granddaddy Daycare starring Reno Williams and that’s a funny movie.

M&C: Hey true or false, ABC, Food and Familia, is that pilot going be made?

Danny: Food and Familia!!  That’s it, we’re going with that one, that one is funny. That’s a dramedy and we’re looking for the co-star right now, the female lead. So it’s going to be funny. The writer is Peter Murrieta? I always call him Joaquin. Joaquin Murrieta.

M&C: I got a Mayan’s MC question, I know that in Trejo’s Tacos you paid homage with a taco named for them. Will we see Romeo Parada, your character from Sons of Anarchy?

Danny: Absolutely, hey. Yeah. Absolutely because they gotta have to get that crooked DA Agent, DEA Agent.  Romeo.

M&C: So he’s coming back to Mayan’s MC?

Danny: Yeah. Yes, absolutely.

Man at Arms: Art of War airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on El Rey Network.

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