Danny Trejo on doing time, tacos and teaching De Niro to rob banks

Growing up, Trejo didn’t spend much time eating at restaurants. Born in Echo Park, East LA, in 1944, he grew up in Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley. His father, another Dan, was a labourer who never set foot in the kitchen. It was up to his stepmother, Alice, to make sure there was food on the table. ‘On the first of the month we’d have these great meals, and then towards the end of the month, that’s when mom would start throwing stuff together out of the cupboard,’ recalls Trejo. ‘That was genius. She was a great cook.’ He wound his dad up by telling her she should open her own place. ‘Women didn’t work in the Fifties. That was the culture, especially in Mexican families,’ he explains. ‘If I wanted to piss my dad off, we’d be eating dinner and I’d say: “Mom, we should open a restaurant!” My dad would go: “We have a kitchen right there!”’