19 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Robert Rodriguez

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Vote up the most surprising fact about this master of gore

If you've ever sat through an entire Robert Rodriguez film, you've probably got just as much of an insatiable craving for blood and gore as he does. With a cult following similar to his friend and partner-in-crime, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez has been able to cultivate a catalogue of unique and boundary-pushing films.

With his directorial break out El Mariachi, Rodriguez quickly carved out a place in Hollywood where he could remain autonomous over his creations. He went on to collaborate with Tarantino on the El Mariachi trilogy sequels, as well as vampire gore classic From Dusk Till Dawn. But it wasn't until Rodriguez joined his name to Frank Miller's Sin City that his career really exploded. His insistence on sticking with the aesthetics and tone of the graphic novel captured Rodriguez's commitment to his source material, and made him a comic book hero in his own right.

But Rodriguez isn't only known for his racy, violent material. He also founded the Spy Kids family film franchise, which showcased his true colors as a family man. Rodriguez has five kids with his former wife, Elizabeth Avellán. His children are what inspired him to make a family film like Spy Kids, and it only further solidified his reputation for cinematic versatility.

Considered a very offbeat and eccentric director (but what director isn't?), Rodriguez has garnered a special kind of respect within the industry. Throughout this list are some of the most interesting facts and trivia that provide insight into who Robert Rodriguez really is. Stories, quotes, and anecdotes about the director can make him sound almost mythical. So here are 19 interesting facts you may not know about Robert Rodriguez.
Photo: Ronald Woan / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

  • He Avoided an NC-17 Rating with a Weird Trick
    Photo: Miramax
    37 VOTES

    He Avoided an NC-17 Rating with a Weird Trick

    From Dusk Till Dawn is insanely gory and violent, pretty much like any Rodriguez film. Worried that the MPAA would assign his Aztec vampire film an NC-17 rating, Rodriguez replaced all the blood used in the film with green blood. The simple switch helped Rodriguez get an R rating due to the fact that the blood didn't look realistic any longer.
    37 votes
  • 2
    26 VOTES

    He Found Out He Was Related to Danny Trejo During Filming

    #TBT Red carpet with @OfficialDannyTrejo for #Machete.

    A photo posted by Robert Rodriguez (@rodriguez) on

    Rodriguez and Trejo had already worked together on a few films. But it wasn't until they started filming Trejo in Desperado that the two realized they were related, when a family member pointed out to Trejo that he and his director were second cousins. He told an interviewer: "When I was doing in Mexico, and my relatives came down from San Antonio to visit me, my uncle said, 'Hey, that's your cousin!' So we're lifelong friends now."

    26 votes
  • He Always Names Danny Trejo's Character After Knives
    Photo: 20th Century Fox
    23 VOTES

    He Always Names Danny Trejo's Character After Knives

    Aside from his role as Machete, which he reprised in various sequels and films, all of Danny Trejo's other Rodriguez characters are also named after knives. In From Dusk Till Dawn, he's Razor Charlie. In Desperado, he's Navajas, which is Spanish for "blades." And in Predators, he's Cuchillo, or "knife" in Spanish.

    23 votes
  • 4
    21 VOTES

    He Composed the Music for Kill Bill Vol. 2 for $1

    #TBT #PlanetTerror But I ain't never seen me a one-legged stripper #QuentinTarantino

    A photo posted by Robert Rodriguez (@rodriguez) on

    Tarantino paid Rodriguez $1 to compose the music for Kill Bill Vol. 2 (which included some of his band's songs). In order to repay the favor, Tarantino directed a scene for Sin City for the same price in return. Quite the odd exchange, but the directors and friends never forget a good favor.
    21 votes
  • 5
    21 VOTES

    He Put Critics in His Movie

    Happy Birthday to my brother Quentin Tarantino. #Friends #Movies #Life

    A photo posted by Robert Rodriguez (@rodriguez) on

    While filming El Mariachi, Rodriguez faced some harsh criticism from local newscasters. Two, specifically, had been reporting on the film's production in a negative tone for weeks. In order to end the trash talk, Rodriguez offered the two reporters a role in the film. They played a hotel owner and a bartender. I guess all they really wanted was to be included?
    21 votes
  • He Cast Benicio del Toro For His Hair
    Photo: Miramax
    20 VOTES

    He Cast Benicio del Toro For His Hair

    Originally Rodriguez wanted to bring Johnny Depp onboard for the role of Jackie Boy in Sin City. After Depp was forced to back out due to a prior film engagement, Rodriguez went on the hunt for a new actor. When he ran into Benicio del Toro, Rodriguez couldn't get over his luscious mane of hair. He told del Toro not to cut his hair, mailed him a copy of the script the next day, and offered him the role. 
    20 votes