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Champions Interview: Cheech Marin on Julio and Returning to Cheech & Chong

ComingSoon spoke with Champions star Cheech Marin about the upcoming sports comedy movie. Marin discussed his character, Julio, and whether he’d return for more Cheech & Chong. Champions is set to release in theaters nationwide on March 10.

“Woody Harrelson stars in the hilarious and heartwarming story of a former minor-league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, is ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities,” reads the film’s synopsis. “He soon realizes that despite his doubts, together, this team can go further than they ever imagined.”

Jonathan Sim: Tell me about your character in Champions. What made you want to play him and be a part of this movie?

Cheech Marin: The character’s named Julio and he runs this community center in the frozen reaches of Iowa, I think … I think it’s in Iowa, but it was just cold. That’s all I know. You get the sense that Julio really likes his job and likes the community that he’s with and tries to make everybody feel warm and welcome and at home in his center. And that’s what drew me to this story. Woody [Harrelson] and I had worked together before on a play — we did a Sam Shepard play in San Francisco — so we knew each other. I go, “Well, this will be a great chance to play with him.”

You also have this incredible filmography behind you, working both in live-action and animated films. When people see you in the street or when they hear your voice, which movie or show do you think they referenced most often?

I don’t think they even know . They don’t even know what film, you know? because it depends on what age they are. Because even with just Cheech & Chong, we’ve had a long career. So they could have come in and noticed us at any point in that long record career and concert career and then movies. So they’re referencing just general, generic Cheech and Chong. So I just smile.

You are iconic for being part of Cheech and Chong and I feel like that has resonated with so many people. Would you ever be open to reuniting with Chong for another movie?

Yeah, we’re actually working on one right now. We’re actually working on two right now and a documentary that’s about to come out. So you’re not going to be able to turn anywhere without seeing Cheech & Chong in the next couple years. I liked working with Tommy, so we’re going to see if we can do it again. We’re going to do a remake of Up in Smoke [Laugh].

If you could pick any character from your career besides Cheech to play to play one more time, which character do you think you would choose?

Oh, probably Red from Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, cousin Red. He was the most fun and everybody likes him, so I’d come back. It has the biggest bag of weed too, so that’s always a plus.


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