Morelia Film Festival: Danny Trejo and ‘Machete’ draw raves

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Actor Danny Trejo received perhaps the wildest celebrity welcome so far at this year’s Morelia Film Festival in Mexico. Trejo appeared at the festival for the premiere of ‘Machete,’ the Robert Rodriguez-directed pulp-action flick about an ex-cop from Mexico who leads an uprising against immigrant-bashers in Texas.

Throngs of fans crowded along the red carpet at the cineplex in central Morelia and inside the theater where the film screened. Moviegoers were packed along the aisles, sitting and standing, for the film and the question-and-answer session that followed.


‘Machete’ was not in competition nor having its world premiere at Morelia, yet it drew the most buzz on social networking sites and among the many Mexican and foreign journalists who seized on Trejo’s personal history of overcoming odds to become a Hollywood star. The movie’s depiction of the immigration debate in the United States -- including a conspiracy to demonize immigrants for the purposes of drug-smuggling, and an underground network of immigrant advocates led by a figure named She -- also drew cheers and applause.

‘I think being an action hero implies the responsibility to help your compatriots, telling kids to stay away from drugs, to not take steroids,’ Trejo said in an interview with the daily La Jornada (link in Spanish). ‘What I like about Machete is that he’s a common man, he could be the mechanic on the block or whoever. I like that he assumes that responsibility. I love this character.’

Trejo, who showed up along with his son (who also appears in ‘Machete’), announced after the screening that a sequel is on the way (link in Spanish).

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City