Danny Trejo has made quite the career for himself as one of the most consistently intimidating actors in Hollywood, but his real life is even more thrilling than a lot of his movies. Now, that story is being told in the new documentary Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo, which has just released its first trailer.
It may seem like Trejo has been a movie star forever, but the 75-year-old actor had a completely different life before he found his calling — and it wasn’t a good life. Growing up in a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles, Trejo got into trouble early and often, and he spent much of the 1960s behind bars for various drug crimes and armed robberies. He even did solitary confinement and was facing a potential death penalty charge in 1968 after hitting a guard in the head with a rock during a riot at California’s notorious San Quentin State Prison. But after being paroled in 1969, Trejo turned his life around, first becoming a drug counselor and then unexpectedly finding a career in Hollywood. And the entire journey is covered in the new doc with interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and more.
“From a life of hard drugs and armed robberies to Hollywood red carpets and mentoring addicts, this is the telling of one of the most radical and uplifting transformation stories of human character ever put to film,” reads the film’s synopsis, courtesy of Bloody Disgusting. “Directed by award-winning filmmaker Brett Harvey (Ice Guardians), Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo is the shocking story of one man’s capacity to overcome his demons and discover redemption through the most unlikely of journeys.”
We always enjoy seeing Trejo on screen, so hearing more about the astounding journey that led him there definitely sounds like something worth watching. Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo will be released digitally on July 7, 2020.