Danny Trejo Gives The Scoop On Tostitos And Cinco De Mayo - Exclusive Interview

Danny Trejo is the type of guy you'll find on the set of a movie ("Desperado" or "Heat") or TV show ("Breaking Bad" or "Sons of Anarchy") playing cards with the extras. The actor has over 420 credits to date on IMDb, and despite the hours he's racked up filming, he hardly gets pranked. You'd be forgiven for thinking that that's because Trejo nearly always plays Hannibal Lecter-types. On set, you're likely to find him prepping for a fistfight, a shoot-out, or to perish — blown up, stabbed, or decapitated, severed head stuck onto a turtle and sent to roam aimlessly through the desert. It's likely, however, that people don't prank Trejo because he's genuinely too nice. "I love helping everybody. I love meeting everybody," Trejo told Mashed, "and I love playing poker with the extras." While he plays, he'll most likely down a Sprite and cranberry juice. This, he dished, is his favorite on-set drink.

He also proclaims his preferred on-set snack to be Tostitos (the scoops!), which may or may not be thanks to his two-year partnership with the brand, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Trejo has reserved a special place in his heart for a good guac, and Tostitos pair perfectly with the dip. We'll leave Trejo to make his own case for Tostitos — and give you the down-low on Salma Hayek and his favorite fight scenes — in this exclusive interview.

Danny Trejo eats Tostitos all the time

You are in your second year of this Tostitos partnership. You must really love the chip!

Are you kidding? I love [them]. My favorite's the scoops because they're really easy — you get a whole lot of guacamole, and you don't have to worry about breaking your chip.

Now you have a special recipe for guacamole, I understand.

It's delicious, and if I tell you, I'd have to kill everybody! We use the serrano peppers instead of the jalapeño. [That] makes it a little spicy, but not biting.

For this campaign, you were working with Sofia Reyes. She is a beautiful personality. What was it like working with her?

Well, if she was about 20 years older ... No, she's absolutely beautiful, both inside and out. She's really fun to work with, and we laughed a lot.

And were you eating a lot of Tostitos on set?

Oh, absolutely. I eat Tostitos all the time. Some of the [other brands of] chips, they either have too much salt or not enough salt. Tostitos has just the right amount, because if you have guacamole, [or another dip], it has the right amount of salt to go with it. Now [at my age], I got to watch [my] salt [intake].

What are your favorite onset snacks?

Really, Tostitos, and they go with anything. Chips and dips, and guacamole. A lot of times, I see what the caterer has as far as dips and desserts and stuff. Those are most of the snacks. My favorite drink is Sprite and cranberry juice.

Let's talk about Cinco de Mayo, which is the raison d'être of this partnership [with Tostitos]. Do you have a favorite Cinco de Mayo memory, growing up?

It was family, that was Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo was a massive celebration of — everybody thinks it's Mexican Independence Day, but it's not. It's a battle. It was a [Battle of Puebla] where the Mexicans actually drove the French out. We won a big battle over the French, but it wasn't our independence day. Independence day is September 16. It was a great celebration.

Other than Tostitos, what is traditionally on your Cinco de Mayo spread?

Definitely guacamole, [and all] kinds of dishes that are traditionally Mexican, the moles and the enchiladas. At Trejo's Tacos, we definitely do a lot of enchiladas and tacos.

The time Danny Trejo had dinner with Salma Hayek

Your mother's passion for food, I think, inspired Trejo's Tacos that, famously, Anthony Bourdain came and approved of. His favorite dish -– and one of yours — was the cauliflower taco.

Yeah, they surprised me with that, but it's absolutely delicious. One of my favorites, too. Sometimes, you don't feel like eating any meat — not that meat's bad, but you feel like you're eating something like cauliflower that's really ... it's an unbelievable thing. In fact, The L.A. Times said it was one of the best tacos of the year.

What was it like feeding Anthony Bourdain at your restaurant?

I don't know how to say it. He said I should run for mayor! But no, no thanks.

Recently, also in your restaurant, I saw you posted a picture of you and your friend Lindsay Lohan. When you take your friends to your restaurant, what is the first thing that you recommend them?

My favorite thing [to recommend to people] is to say, "Okay, I recommend anything on the menu," because I've tasted everything on the menu, and everybody keeps asking me what's my secret of restaurants. The reality is, the secret is good food. Nobody says, "Hey, let's go out on date. I know a place that's got lousy food." That's why we've managed to stay open, because I have food testers that I know like to eat, and I'll send them to my restaurants. Make sure everything tastes good. So far, five years [running], I've never gotten a bad report from service or food. The food's good. It's right. It's fast, but it's not fast food.

Speaking of good food, Salma Hayek once invited you to Thanksgiving dinner.

It's so funny.

What did she serve?

We were doing "Desperado," and she'd ask me, "What are you doing for Thanksgiving, Danny?" My kids' mom would pick them up for Thanksgiving, and they would all go with grandma up in the Bay Area. I would [make] Chicken a la King or something. It wasn't a big deal for me. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and [Salma Hayek] called me [on Thanksgiving morning] and said, "Danny, would you like to come to Thanksgiving?" [I answered,] "Wow. Yeah." It was amazing to see Salma Hayek in the kitchen. [She's] a pretty good cook.

Danny Trejo on the art of dying

You are up to 421, as of yesterday, credits on IMDB. You've spent a healthy amount of time on the set in trailers. Are you a prankster or do you get pranked?

Not too many people want to prank me. I don't know why, but I enjoy being on the set. I really do. I love helping everybody. I love meeting everybody, and I love playing poker with the extras.

Robert De Niro taught you how to die on the set of "Heat."

He was awesome. That's one of the most iconic death scenes in movie history. I remember him asking, "How do you want to play this, Trejo?" I said ... I could call him Bob. I said, "I don't know, Bob. What do you think?" He said, "I think you're already dead. I think you just have enough to ask me to kill you." I remembered that, so when we did it, every breath, I went lower and lower. At the end, he shoots me. Everybody is sitting there. [They said], "That's the best death scene ever." I've died about 200 times. I died more than anybody, really, in film.

When you read a script and you're going to die, how do you know if the death scene's going to be good? What's the most important element to a good onscreen death?

Realism, if it's going to be real or not. How am I going to do it? You're going to hit me and I'm going to die from a punch, or, if you hit me with a board, it better look good. I would rather work on a death scene or a death with a stuntman than an actor, because actors always get overzealous and don't understand what the camera sees, action-wise. Stuntmen do. They have to. I would much rather work with a stuntman for anything slightly dangerous.

Danny Trejo's favorite fight scences

You're also big into fight scenes. Who has been your favorite actor to choreograph a fight scene with?

Diamond Dallas Page. I'd choreographed a fight scene with him. I don't even think it ever made the screen, but it was amazing. When you fight with a professional wrestler ... I fought with Diamond Dallas Page and ... Stone Cold Steve Austin. I fought with him in a movie and he was amazing. Both those two are amazing fighters and they do that for a living. Diamond Dallas put his size 12 boot right here and it looked like he tore my face out. Stone Cold Steve Austin, me and him threw some punches that probably would've killed people, but they look so real, because they know what they're doing. Most actors think they know what they're doing. [They're] like, "No, I did a karate movie. I know karate." Yeah, okay.

Danny Trejo talks Machete

You played Breacher on "The Flash." In that storyline, you died when the multiverse was wiped out, and then it was revived and restored. Do you think that Breacher is back in some multiverse, and if so, what do you think he's doing now?

They better call me. Yeah, that was a really fun set, too. I've got to say something about that set. Usually when you go to a series, everybody, they're like a family, they're real close, and you're an outsider. I honestly believe that the people from "Flash," they embrace you immediately. You feel like one of the family, and it's a great, great feeling. It was simple to be there. You weren't in your trailer by yourself because they wouldn't let you. They bring you into the fold right away.

What do you think Breacher's up to at the moment?

I think Breacher's waiting for the next shot.

We recently also saw you in the Star Wars universe on "The Book of Boba Fett." What's been your favorite cameo appearance so far?

"Boba Fett" was the most unbelievable. When you walk on that set, it is like walking into the future — not just a movie, but of the world. It's unbelievable. It's like they say, "Okay, let's go to the desert." All of a sudden, you can almost taste the sand. It's so real on the set, and the Rancor ... it's like, will it bite me? It's scary. It is an amazing [TV] set, and stepping onto that set could be a Disney feature in Disneyland. Put that movie set in Disneyland and people would love to walk through it.

Last, but not least, will we ever get a "Machete Kills in Space?"

I think Robert Rodriguez got scared to do it. I don't know, because [the first two "Machete" films] were winners. We had finally got a Latino action hero and he took it away. By the way, I had that question in Ukraine when I was there. I had that question in Brussels when I was there. I had that question in Mexico. I've had that question all over the world. Robert, stop being afraid!

Returning for his second year working with Tostitos, Trejo is joined by fellow remix master Sofia Reyes to inspire fans to blend their unique styles for Cinco de Mayo and summer fiesta festivities. In the digital commercial for the campaign, Danny and Sofia share their takes on how to add a fresh spin on any party with things like a queso fountain, mariachi bands and, of course, their favorite Tostitos chips and dips. Rounding out any great party is a signature game, so Tostitos has teamed up with Millennial Loteria to bring the classic "Mexican Bingo" game to TikTok. But instead of a board game, participants can complete nine different challenges. For official rules and how to enter, visit Tostitos.com/LoteriaChallenge

To learn more about Fiesta Remix and find even more ideas for all your summer get-togethers, head to Tostitos.com/FiestaRemix or follow Tostitos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.