The Story of Machete

Human nature has been equipped with a coping mechanism. It is like the eagle which grows old and cannot hunt anymore, so it flies to the mountains to ‘renew its youth’. Every story of success has some struggle behind the scenes of larva struggling to free itself from its cocoon and fly free as a beautiful butterfly.

Let’s take the case of Danny Trejo, popularly known as Machete by movie lovers. He is a heavily inked man, whose unsmiling countenance makes everybody fidget a little. It is a face you don’t forget easily, albeit not because of its beauty. However, his life story is one many of us can identify with. It’s a life of beating stereotype, and rising against all odds.

Trejo had a troubled childhood. He was introduced to weed by the age of 8. A child criminal and drug addict by the age of 11, Trejo had been to juvenile court more times than anyone you know, and was serving time. In a previous interview with CNBC, he said that being Mexican, he thought he was supposed to serve time like most Mexicans did.

It’s while in prison; San Quentin serving a 5-year jail term, that he had a change of heart, turned his life around. He tried his hand at the prison boxing championships’, and won two boxing titles (lightweight and welterweight titles). He would later complete a 12-step rehabilitation program, which marked the beginning of a different life for him.

He started his acting career as a convict extra in a movie named Runaway Train (1985). He has since appeared in many films, usually as a villain. He now has a movie (Champion) produced on his life story, which premiered on January 5th, this year. At 72 years of age, he is in demand more than any other actor his age.

Trejo’s story is that of hope. It’s one that reinforces the famous phrase by Lupita Nyong’o: no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

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