Question: What do superheroes, the Mayan Apocalypse, and car salesmen have in common? The answer: Danny Trejo’s new movie, Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone. The film, which hit theaters in Texas back in April, is now out on digital for all.
While the movie is funny and full of action, it’s an incredibly heartwarming story about self-confidence, coming together, y familia. I was fortunate enough to catch an early screening of Green Ghost and caught up with Danny Trejo to get the chisme about his time on set as Master Gin.
First, we discussed a short synopsis. Here’s the basics: a pair of Mexican-American superhero siblings learn they are descendants of an ancient Mayan civilization who are coming from outer space to destroy the world. They must keep a sacred emerald safe from their power hungry relatives by forming a trio of light, but their adoptive gringo brother struggles to accept his role as their third member. With some training from expert martial artists y mucho corazón, they can save the world together.
AIPT: Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone is out and I have to say I really enjoyed this movie. It was so much fun to watch, but also extremely heartwarming!
Danny Trejo: Thank you. Green Ghost was actually a lot of fun to do. It was an adventure…exciting. I had a blast doing it…and I got to play a drunk, so it didn’t matter if I messed up the lines. [Laughter] It sounded better!
AIPT: The movie is kind of super hero movie, but it also comes across as a love letter to Charlie Clark’s Nana. Would you say this film is about families, for families, including all ages?
Trejo: It can definitely be watched by the whole family, and that’s like…that’s a movie to me. You know? I like movies like that. You can sit down on a Saturday with your kids, get some popcorn and watch a movie. And it’s great! Like i said, I really enjoyed doing it. You know, the cast- all of them, everybody- it was just so great and graced with good actors.
AIPT: Let’s talk about Charlie Clark because the origin of the film has as much of a unique background story as the film plot itself. Charlie Clark is a Texas car dealership owner and he not only wrote the story, but he stars as the main character and Assistant Director on Green Ghost as well. What was it like working with him?
Trejo: Charlie- me and Charlie- we became friends. He’s kind of an easy to get along with guy, you know? So we became- and I call very few people friends, but we became friends.
AIPT: He’s well known here in Texas for being a gringo that’s very in tune with the Latino community. His efforts to bridge the cultural gap along the Texas/Mexico border from El Paso to Brownsville have made him a well respected fixture. I mean, he really is seriously bringing people together out here. Was that important to you? Did it play a role in why you wanted to do this film?
Trejo: Yeah, that’s what I loved about him, you know. That’s what I loved about him. He’s kind of…reached beyond himself. He said “Wait,” -it’s like me, you know- “we’re all on this planet together, so…we better learn to join hands and do the best we can.” It’s like we’re on the Titanic looking for a good seat and basically, you know, unless we really start putting it together and getting it together we’re in trouble.
AIPT: Wow, Clark seems like such a fun guy, a kind hearted person, and a great new addition to the film world, too. And the rest of the Green Ghost cast…you’ve obviously worked with Producer David Rodriguez’ brother Robert Rodriguez before, and Director Michael D. Olmos is Edward James Olmos’ son who you had some history with. Elpidia Carrillo was in Predator with you as well…you have a lot of history that goes way back with a lot of the people on this film.
Trejo: Yeah, yeah I sure do. It’s great to be with old friends and do something. And with Marco…I did Machete Kills with Marco. He was a…well, I think I’m probably the only guy that can beat him in karate [laughter]. I told him I’ll have to use a machete!”
AIPT: I don’t know about that, you had a boxing background, were undefeated-
Trejo: Ha, no, it doesn’t matter, he’s pretty [makes a quick fighting motion], WOAH he’s good! And so I’d have to use the Machete!” [Laughter]
AIPT: You don’t ever look back and think, “Man, I’d like to do that one last time?” After all, Master Gin is a karate master…
Trejo: “I honestly believe that it’s like a team effort and on the team everyone has their job. If I try to do a stunt just to say that I can on late night TV, I risk everybody’s job. You know what I mean? If I get hurt then production stops. The stunt double I have, a guy named Norm Mora, he immediately would say like, “Dan!” [Gives a look that says “Don’t do it, man!”] It’d cost everybody their jobs so I don’t…I don’t want to try something that would even have the chance of stopping production. You know, so, it doesn’t matter. I will admit that I don’t do anything dangerous that could stop production. And on a fight scene, a good stuntman can choreograph a scene with where the only time you show up in it is when *wooom* [moves quickly to the side] you’re facing camera and it’s like he’ll *BLAM* [slaps hand downward] land on the ground and then the camera will hit your face, ya know? [lots of laughter] And that saves everybody a job.”
AIPT: Our time is about up, so one last question. Can you speak on how Green Ghost portrays family being something we choose and not just from bloodlines?
Trejo: “You know what, that’s what I like about it. It’s about different people coming together. That’s one of the things as a community, as a state, as a country, we have to do. We have to come together. I mean, with all the things that are happening right now in the world [shakes his head with a concerned look]… This movie is kind of a “Hey, look folks, let’s get together ’cause if not we’re in trouble.”
I’d like to thank Danny Trejo for his time, it was such a joy. Don’t forget to grab a copy of his biography and his mouthwatering recipe book, try his comida at Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Donuts, buy his hot sauce and cerveza, and more. Most of all, make sure you check out the film, Green Ghost and the Master of the Stone.
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