Capone talks for 5 minutes to Robert Rodriguez about his bloody show MACHETE!!!
Published at: Aug. 31, 2010, 10:37 a.m. CST by Capone
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
Since I just interviewed Robert Rodriguez earlier this year for PREDATORS, it seems silly to reintroduce him to you, since you already know his exceptional body of work. All I would have to add to this fairly short discussion was that it took place at the tail end of a monster party at San Diego Comic-Con, during which uncensored, grotesque footage from MACHETE was unveiled. The reaction was great, and Rodriguez was clearly delighted with the response. The reason our talk was so short was that he was on the verge of hopping in a car to catch a plane, so we didn't have a lot of time. But it was great to see him twice in one year after never having met the man in my 12 years at Ain't It Cool News.
Please enjoy Robert Rodriguez, talking about his good friend Danny Trejo and the little movie they made together called MACHETE…
Capone: So, the last time I talked to you, we didn’t even touch on MACHETE, and I don’t know why we didn’t.
Robert Rodriguez: I probably wasn’t prepared to. I was so busy working on PREDATORS. Can I just say that J.J. Abrams was here watching the footage.
Capone: Really? That's great. We just got here in time to see it.
RR: I had shot MACHETE, but I hadn’t finished editing it. All of my crew was working on PREDATORS, so it was just me and my sister [Rebecca Rodriguez] literally editing this together and only now finishing it. It’s really coming out awesome though.
Capone: Yeah, the footage was so much more over the top that I thought it was going to be, but I don’t know why I’m surprised.
RR: [laughs] It’s not always like that. The tone shifts a lot, and that’s early on and there are some really fantastical stuff. Out of context, you are going to think that it’s like that the whole time. There are some really great moments in the movie.
RR: To show his resourcefulness and then every time he does something from then on, you’ve got that prehistory, so it’s really cool.
Capone: Danny [Trejo] said that you have actually been talking about this with him for a long time. Tell me about your relationship. You are that director-actor combo now that a lot of filmmakers dream about, and you have got to have that shorthand.
RR: Yeah, we’ve got such a shorthand. I was just doing ADR with him the other day, and I said something and he goes… He told the other guys in the room, “When Robert says we’re done, we’re done.” [laughs] I said, “That’s right.” I forgot I had worked with him on like eight or nine movies. We are so hooked up together by that, but it was always like that. We always had a connection. He really is a great way for me to voice things through him and in this movie especially, he’s his most Clint Eastwood in this movie. He really gets to stand front and center and be this very iconic, doesn’t say much. He's mostly an action-and-not-words-type guy.
Capone: What made you think now was the right time to put him in his own film? Was it the trailer and the reaction to the trailer, or was it even before that?
RR: Well, we had always talked about it, even after DESPERADO. I always thought he had that presence, because I saw people respond to him so much. Whenever we made a movie, anywhere we would go together, people would flock to him, even if they didn’t know he was in a movie before, they would flock to him. There was something about this aura he has. You wish you could find that in people, because if you expand that on a big screen, it only just screams out at you. So, I had always wanted to do that. I never thought that we would get around to it. I thought once we did the trailer, and it got such a big response that that was it, that that was the catharsis of the project, and we probably would never make a movie to top that, but people wanted it so much.
More than SIN CITY 2, people would ask me “Are you ever going to make MACHETE?” to the point that I realized that if that ever happens to you as a filmmaker, it’s a complete blessing, especially in this world of remakes and reboots and stuff. So to have an original character that suddenly gets snapped from you in a way, because it belongs to them now. They have taken it and they want it, it’s no longer yours, you have to make it for them. [laughs]
Capone: Well maybe they thought, because you had already shot a little bit of it, that it was more a fill-in-the-blanks job for you.
RR: We started it; they enjoyed it; they want the rest of it, so I wanted to make it. I realized I wanted to see that movie too, and the time was right. I saw that the response to Danny in the lead was so great that it was proof of concept in a way that he could pull it off.
Capone: Yeah, and you have that iconic shot in the trailer of him opening his jacket and it’s like an angel of death with those knives. You have to put that in a movie.
RR: That’s what was so fun about the movie, I had to reverse engineer the whole picture, because I had the trailer, and I wanted to include all of the shots of the trailer, so fans of the trailer would see all the shots.
Capone: So you do have all of those shots? That’s great.
RR: Yeah, so I had to work backwards as a writer and go “Okay, how did he get to the waterfall with the two naked girls?”
RR: And how can I put a twist on it, so that it surprises them how he got there, and he’s doing it for a clever reason, not just for being in the waterfall with two girls. So it was a great creative exercise, too. It was really fun.
Capone: Cool. Looks like they're wrapping me up here. Thanks a lot, man.
RR: Thanks so much for your help. Good to see you again.
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