An Interview With Cheech Marin About Champions

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My interview with Cheech Marin about Champions

I have watched many films Cheech Marin has been in over the years. As a kid I saw him in The Lion King voicing one of the hyenas. Recently I saw him in The War With Grandpa where he provided plenty of hilarious moments. When I heard he was in Champions I was hoping I might get a chance to see it. I was able to ask him a few questions about this film and here is what he said about it.

1. What made you want to be a part of this film?

Well, you know, it was a chance to work with Woody again. Who I have worked with before, we did a play together in San Francisco in the past. Had a great time, we were really buddy buddy in that.

Then, the subject matter, it was intriguing. My question was, were they going to be able to pull this off. It is one thing to cast kids in a movie, and it is another thing to turn them into basketball players.

And if they can’t be thought of as real basketball players, then your movie wavers. But they were great. They were just great, every single one of them could really play basketball, and I was astounded. The possibility that that could happen was very intriguing for me.

Plus, winter in Winnipeg, who doesn’t want to be there.

2. What challenges did you face playing your character in this movie?

I was wondering if I could communicate with these kids. Because I had never done a movie with kids with intellectual handicaps. And they were great because they have a real high bullshit factor. They can sus out people real quick. I was wondering if I was gonna be received by these kids. If they had ever seen me before, or who was this guy who shows up halfway through the movie.

They were great, just great. I was astounded by their ability to do other things. I mean, one kid spoke seven languages. And not just a couple words in that language, like they could speak in those languages. And they were all great dancers. That really shocked me because some of the kids had kind of physical disabilities. But when they danced, they could memorize that. They were great dancers’ man, much better than I was (laughs).

3. Did you have a favorite day or favorite moment while filming this movie?

Anything inside where it was warm, that was a good day (laughs). The scenes that we shot outside in Winnipeg in December, you wanted to quickly do those scenes and then get inside where there was a heater. It was freezing there. Not that I have never experienced that, I mean I lived in Canada for 3 years and it was pretty cold.

4. Why do you think people should watch this movie?

Because it is a fun movie, and you will have a good time. It is really heartfelt, and you get into the lives of all these kids. You see what they are up against and what they give.

It created such a wonderful feeling, it was really warming. You got really close with the parents because all the parents were there. I looked forward to going to work every day and see what new things they were going to tell me went on and what things that they could do.

But what really astounded me the most, the biggest thing was that they could really take direction. A lot better than a lot of other actors I have worked with. Okay, do this, go here and they would perform it. It blew my mind.

Champions is available now on Digital. It arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD May 2nd.


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