Danny Trejo, 75, has made a career of his tough-guy image cast as both hero and villain and even in comic roles going back to the early 1980s. But in an interview with Fox News, celebrating 55 years of sobriety, the ‘Machete’ star said he became sober in 1968 after finding his faith in God.
As reported by Fox News Digital, Trejo, still working as he approaches 80, told the outlet about how he hit ‘rock bottom’ in the late sixties and struggled with his addiction to alcohol. He said that before getting help, the LA man had been smoking marijuana since age 8 and drinking since 12. It was at age 15 he said he “accidentally walked into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.”
Trejo recounted that story for Fox,”It was a lot of people outside. We thought it was a party, so we busted inside, and it was an AA meeting,” Trejo explained. “I was carrying a case of beer, three bottles of wine, a half pint of whiskey. I was already loaded on pills.”
After that chance encounter in LA, Trejo said Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous played a praiseworthy role in helping him overcome his addictions.
He shared some advice for fellow addicts:
“You got to have people around you that have your best interest because everybody knows who has an alcoholic problem.”
“I got clean in ’68 in prison. I then got out of prison in 1969… It seemed like I did better, but there was still something missing. … I didn’t think turning me on to marijuana was abuse when I was 8. I thought it was sharing. It was a form of abuse. I didn’t know. So when you finally start realizing, “Wait a minute man, this is not right,” that’s when the healing really begins.”
While so many in Hollywood might tell of the moment they ‘made a deal with the devil,’ Trejo tells it differently. He describes a deal he made with God. “First of all, I made a deal with God in 1968. I said, ‘If you let me die with dignity, I’ll say your name every day. And I’ll do whatever I can for my fellow inmate.’ I never thought I was getting out of prison. And God let me out of prison. I got out on Aug. 23, 1969. I have to say that with God, nothing can hurt you. Anything is possible. Without God, you’re dead. And I know I would be without the faith I have.”
He added that in the here and now: “I wake up every morning and say, ‘Dear heavenly Father, please let me help whoever I can for my fellow man. And I’ll say your name every day and I’ll do whatever I can.’ And it’s been working. He lived up to his deal. I’m living up to mine. I even asked God a couple of days ago, ‘How am I doing?’ He said, ‘Trejo, you’re doing great. Keep it up. You’re almost out of hell.’ *Laughs*.”