Danny Trejo, one of the baddest dudes in Hollywood, shows his rage and ink in a new Super Bowl commercial for Snickers. When we chatted with him a few years ago he gave us the skinny on his chest piece: “The one on my chest gets the most recognition. It was done by Harry ‘Super Jew’ Ross. We did it in three penitentiaries. It’s hand done with a needle and thread, old-school. We started it in 1965, I think. We did it in San Quentin, Folsom, then Soledad. I had the outline done, then got kicked out of Quentin and then moved to Folsom. So he followed me. Harry 'Super Jew’ Ross, man. He passed away. He became a very good tattoo artist. So he hated this one because it was his first one. You know, because he got better. [Laughs.] But it also made him famous.”
While Trejo’s work is fine-line only three of his pieces were done in the clink. His tough guy exterior is a complete juxtaposition with his caring nature. Well, it’s my job to disarm anybody, immediately. I’m the first guy to say hello. I’m the first guy to say, “God bless you, how are you?” And that just disarms them. A lot of times when you play this bad dude in the movies, a lot of guys will look at you like, “Oh, you think you’re bad?” and immediately I’ll say [adopts a sweet voice], “Hello, how are you?”
He’s a golden retriever puppy stuck inside a pit bull’s body. Trejo is perhaps more Marcia Brady than street tough wielding an axe—at least on the inside.