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Danny Trejo Had To Negotiate With Mexican Prison Gangs As Film Where 10 People Died Was Being Made

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Danny Trejo Had To Negotiate With Mexican Prison Gangs As Film Where 10 People Died Was Being Made

Danny Trejo once had to have conversations with a prominent Mexican gangster about a proposed role he was offered, before being given a chilling warning: ‘there’s going to be a lot of problems with that movie’. 

In his memoir Trejo: My Life of Crime, Hollywood, and Redemption, which was released last year, the actor writes about how he was asked to be involved with two movies that centred on Mexican prison gangs - American Me (1992), which is about the formation of the La Eme gang and Blood In, Blood Out (1993), about the fictional La Onda gang. 

However, after reading the script for American Me, Trejo noticed there were several factual errors within the film that would need to be changed - and that wasn’t his only concern. 

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Danny Trejo noticed several factual errors and some major concerns when he read the script for American Me. Credit: Alamy
Danny Trejo noticed several factual errors and some major concerns when he read the script for American Me. Credit: Alamy

Trejo wrote: “Another big concern I had was that any movie about the Mexican Mafia would have to be okayed by the OGs in prison.”

At this point, Trejo said the head of the Mexican Mafia Joe Morgan reached out to his through his cousin after getting wind of the movie - and he wasn’t happy. 

Trejo explained: “He [Morgan] said, ‘I hear you're up for that movie, American Me.’ ‘I’m up for both of them, Blood In, Blood Out, too.’

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"He got straight to the point. ‘Which one are you going to do?’ I said, ‘C’mon, Joe. I’m going to do Blood In, Blood Out, holmes.’

"He was happy. He said, ‘Good, that’s the cute one!’ We both laughed."

Chillingly, Morgan then told Trejo ‘there's going to be a lot of problems with that other movie’. 

Trejo decided to turn down American Me, and that probably turned out to a very good idea, because he went on to say that word on the street claimed as many as ten people who were involved with the movie were killed. 

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Trejo ended up turning down the role in American Me after his conversation with the Mexican Mafia leader. Credit: Alamy
Trejo ended up turning down the role in American Me after his conversation with the Mexican Mafia leader. Credit: Alamy

Trejo said: “It’s a horrible chapter made worse because it was all so avoidable. The average viewer or film critic wouldn’t even know the difference between American Me and Blood In, Blood Out. I do not condone the violence. But even if it’s wrong, it’s irresponsible to pretend there might not be repercussions.”

He went on: “Those of us who had done serious time on the streets and in prisons knew threats from prominent gangs could and should never be dismissed, but not everyone has that background. 

“Producers and Hollywood don’t always necessarily understand the nature of the people they are representing.”

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV

Claire Reid
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