Danny Trejo’s Forgotten Breaking Bad Villain Explained

Here’s Danny Trejo’s short-lived Breaking Bad character explained. Danny Trejo is a very familiar face with moviegoers, with the actor being credited with over 400 roles since his career began. Trejo accidentally found his way into acting when he became an extra in the 1985 thriller Runaway Train, and within a few years he was often cast in villainous roles in the likes of Death Wish 4: The Crackdown and Steven Seagal’s Marked For Death. The actor is also a cousin of director Robert Rodriquez, who cast him in a mute assassin role in the 1995 action movie Desperado.

From there, Danny Trejo – who is famed for his distinct face and chest tattoo – regularly stole movies like Con Air, Spy Kids and The Devil’s Rejects. He even earned his own mainstream action franchise with 2010’s Machete, where he played the titular Mexican Federal. Trejo never stops working, having stated that he has more fun on sets than he does taking holidays. In 2022, the actor loaned his gravelly voice to Minions: The Rise of Gru and had a supporting role in The Book Of Boba Feet.

Related: Danny Trejo Interview: Minions The Rise Of Gru

The latter series is far from Trejo’s first television role, having appeared in everything from Baywatch to From Dusk till Dawn: The Series. Trejo also had a literally short-lived appearance on Breaking Bad, first appearing during season 2.

Danny Trejo’s Breaking Bad character is Tortuga, a drug runner working for cartel boss Juan Bolsa. The character first appeared in Breaking Bad season 2 episode “Negro y Azul,” where he acts as an informant for the DEA, where Walter’s DEA agent brother-in-law Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) encounters him. Tortuga was having a great time ordering items the DEA had to pay for, and while Hank was annoyed working with him, Tortuga claimed he always came out on top. His name also meant turtle, which wasn’t lost on the cartel when they learned he turned informant.

In one of the more disturbing images on Breaking Bad, his severed head is later discovered on top of a large tortoise by the DEA. Danny Trejo’s Breaking Bad character briefly returned for a flashback during season 3, where cartel boss Juan Bolsa meets him in a bar to give him a “birthday present.” This turns out to be the turtle, and Bolsa’s henchmen then brutally hack Tortuga’s head off with – what else? – a machete. Even with only a handful of scenes, Trejo still infused Tortuga with a lot of charisma and personality, and it’s a shame the character didn’t stick around for a few more episodes.

Next: Danny Trejo’s Boba Fett Cameo Builds On His Career With Robert Rodriguez

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Author: Padraig Cotter