AUSTIN (KXAN) — Legendary comedian and actor Cheech Marin came to Austin this week to “chill,” but his idea of relaxing involved a whole lot of work. Not only did he sit for an extended conversation about art at the South by Southwest Festival, but he also premiered one of the four movies he has coming out this year.

Marin is best known for the comedy films he started making in the 1970s as part of the duo “Cheech and Chong.” His resume now features more than 70 films and dozens of TV shows. That’s not all, though. He also worked on music and lends his talents to video games, theme parks, books and art.

People might not know, though, that Marin is an extensive art collector and is recognized as one of the preeminent advocates for Chicano art. Most of the works he collected are paintings, but there are also drawings, prints, mixed-media artworks, sculptures and photography. It’s now the core of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, which opened in June 2022 in Riverside, California.

“Hyperallergic, an art newspaper, named us one of the 50 shows in the world — not bad for a six-month-old museum,” Marin told KXAN during an interview Wednesday. “At a very early age, I started learning about art and going to museums and seeing shows…and I was drawn to it.”

Marin said his collection previously went on display in more than 50 museums from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., to Waco, Texas. He said the offer to open the museum came from the city of Riverside and compares it to a scene in “Wizard of Oz.”

“Where the house is falling, if I stand on the ‘X’, the house is going to fall on me, and it did,” Marin joked Wednesday. He said it felt like it was meant to be, in addition to being thankful for the opportunity. The collection will rotate its work and open up the opportunity to have some of the exhibits on tour across the country.

Marin talked about Chicano art at a featured session Tuesday during SXSW and also got to premiere a new film. Marin stars in “The Long Game” with Dennis Quaid. It’s based on a true story about a high school golf team from Del Rio, Texas. It’s set in the 1950s at a time when Mexican-American players were not allowed to play on a local country club course. They worked as caddies until they created their own course and went on to win big.

Marin is now known as a chameleon on screen, playing roles that range from an agent in “Spy Kids” by Robert Rodriguez to a talking animated car in Disney’s “Cars.”

He said he recently talked about retiring from the entertainment business, but then he said the job offers and projects “started pouring out of the sky.”

“I made four movies last year as well as opening a museum, so I’m trying to hide right now,” he said, laughing.

When asked about his decades in the entertainment business, Marin explained what he thinks is the source of that longevity.

“That’s to be a Chicano. To be a Chicano, you have to have three jobs at all times. I teach my kids that,” Marin said. “I think it’s that work ethic that if you stop, you’ll die, or somebody will die. We don’t want people to die. We want people to live.”