6 Degrees of Robert Rodriguez

If Robert Rodriguez’s Facebook profile were public, the social networking site would probably crash daily. The Texas-based director’s real-life friends list includes a who’s who of Latino Hollywood—actors whom Rodriguez tapped to be in his movies and whose careers he’s helped catapult. Check out our list below and look for Machete Kills on Oct. 11 and Rodriguez’s action-packed cable network, El Rey, in early 2014.

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Salma Hayek

Rodriguez gave Hayek visibility as an actress with 1995’s Desperado and then made her a sex symbol with 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn.

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Antonio Banderas

Banderas credits Rodriguez with turning him into an action movie star with Desperado. The Spanish actor has appeared in eight more Rodriguez films.

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Alexa Vega

Vega has literally grown up under Rodriguez’s watch: The colombiana starred in his Spy Kids franchise starting as a 13-year-old—and he even gave her away at her 2010 wedding. Watch her blossom into a bombshell playing sexy assassin Killjoy in Machete Kills.

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Danny Trejo

The pockmarked Mexican American actor and Rodriguez are cousins, yet the pair didn’t know it until they filmed Desperado. After making a career of portraying villains, Trejo landed his first lead role in Machete.

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Jessica Alba

Another Rodriguez fave, Alba has played a mom (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D), a stripper in Sin City and Trejo’s unlikely love interest in Machete.

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Cheech Marin

Marin’s legendary Chicano sense of humor meshes perfectly with Rodriguez’s over-the-top themes, so it’s no surprise the pair have collaborated on more than half a dozen films, including Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

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Michelle Rodriguez

We’re shocked the badass actress, who seems tailor-made for Rodriguez, has only starred in two of his flicks, exploding off the screen as Shé, an eye patch–wearing taco truck driver/revolutionary in the Machete films.

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Rosario Dawson

The Puerto Rican and Cuban actress is a lead character in both Sin City movies, portraying assassin/prostitute Gale. She also had a key role as an axe-wielding makeup artist in Planet Terror, half of 2007’s Grindhouse double feature, which Rodriguez directed alongside BFF Quentin Tarantino.

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Sofia Vergara

As Desdemona in Machete Kills, her first foray into Rodriguezlandia, the Colombian actress is—stretch!—a sexy killing machine.

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Charlie Sheen

Sheen is officially a born-again Latino! Rodriguez made Sheen want to use his government name, Carlos Estevez, in the credits of Machete Kills.

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Demián Bichir

From Oscar nod to campy role: the esteemed Mexican actor, who played a struggling immigrant father in A Better Life, gets his hands dirty as Mendez the Madman in Machete Kills.