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Danny Trejo, you know the man. He has fierce tattoos, and frequently plays a thug in your favorite movies. Behind the ink and the wicked characters he plays on screen lies the story of a troubled childhood which included drug addiction and other horrors.
"Champion" is a fascinating and insightful documentary about Danny Trejo, an ex-convict who turned his life around to become an accidental character actor who was recruited into the craft to give authenticity to movies.(His most recent role was a recurring part on "Sons of Anarchy" this past season.) Even as stunned as he is at his success, this comes naturally to him since he says he was giving a performance in jail to convince everybody else how tough he was. Now, that's method acting.
"Champion" is framed in a series of interviews, sometimes on location like San Quentin where he signs autographs for convicts who look up to him, that allow him to tell his story in his own words. With a garrulous presence, he starts with when he fell under the sway of a criminal relative as a juvenile that leads to a life of drugs and crime(as he says, one feeds off the other) and prison where he hits rock bottom in solitary. He credits his turnaround to God and Alcoholics Anonymous and any good fortune to a life of good deeds in his work as a drug counselor.
An inspiring look into the life of one of the most recognizable character actors today. I'm personally a huge fan of Danny Trejo, most specifically of his work in Robert Rodriguez's films, so listening to the incredible stories this man has to tell straight from his own mouth was really fantastic. Trejo is an incredibly charming man who has managed to take all the bad in his life and channel it into something wonderful. Inspiring watch.