cover image Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

Danny Trejo with Donal Logue. Atria, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-982-15082-2

Quintessential Hollywood bad guy Trejo delivers a powerful and expertly crafted memoir that is tougher, more frightening, and more memorable than any of his films. Born in Los Angeles in 1944, Trejo struggled with heroin addiction in his early 20s and was in and out of prison throughout the ’60s. His account of life in San Quentin and Folsom prisons, where “hopelessness is carved in men’s faces,” is unsparing in its depiction of violence. Trejo avoided the pitfalls of inmate life by becoming an excellent boxer and finding AA, and he eventually found work in films thanks to his “hard-looking” style: “I was cast as a convict (surprise).” Tracing his success as an actor, he shares fascinating behind-the-scenes views of working with stars such as Robert DeNiro, whose mobster acting was unmatched but who was “so patient” on the set of Heat. Even in recounting his rise to fame with films such as Machete, Trejo never veers from the story of how his hard work paid off by allowing him to support his family, overcome the “environment of toxic masculinity that I was raised in,” and “spread the message of recovery.” This page-turner will thrill the legend’s huge fan base. Agents: Gloria Hinojosa, Amsel, Eisenstadt, Frazier & Hinojosa; Albert Lee, United Talent Agency. (July)