George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon bring their comedy
act to Japan
By Chris Betros
Watching George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt
Damon fool around during their promotion for Oceans
Twelve was like watching a comedy act. The three clowned around
the whole time during their recent 24-hour visit to Japan.
It was probably the best way they could think of to deflate
media hype over the news that Pitt had separated from his
wife Jennifer Aniston. Not that they took any chances. The
Pitt camp had sent word from the US that foreign-based media
were not to be admitted to the press conferences. When they
arrived at Narita aboard a private jet, one reporter tried
to question Pitt, 41, about it, but Clooney cut in with a
Shame on you.
Later on, Clooney, 43, got the ball rolling. I know
that there has been a certain topic on everyones lips
for the past few days, and you all want to know about it,
so I am happy to tell you that my neck is all right,
he said (he was wearing a neck brace after an injury last
The bantering among the trio was very much how it was on the
set, said Pitt, popularly known in Japan as Burapi.
It was great fun and its a blessing there was
a movie out of it all. Damon, 34, said he never even
bothered to read the script. I just showed up after
finishing The Bourne Supremacy, he said. All three lavished
praise on their co-stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and especially
Julia Roberts, who was pregnant with twins at the time. She
was pregnant before any of us had sex with her, joked
Pitt. Thats how I hurt my neck, quipped
Since each of their characters in the heist film has a forte,
what about in real life? Im good at drinking,
said Clooney, yelling ikki, ikki. Acting is definitely
not my forte, shrugged Damon, while Pitt offered that
interpretive dancing was his skill. I like to speak
with my body, he said, but Clooney countered that others
would call that porn.
Several magazines and other entertainment media from the US
and UK had sent representatives over just for the day. After
being shut out at the door, they tried desperately to interview
local reporters who did get into the press conference, either
by cell phone or by cornering them as they came out. What
was Pitts mood? Was he still wearing his wedding ring?
How often did he smile?
At the Japan premiere, the controversy certainly seemed a
world away as the trio did what they do best: play to their
adoring public. Despite the cold, thousands of screaming fans
showed up as the stars spent 45 minutes signing autographs
and shaking hands, prompting Pitt to promise: Im
predicting Oceans Thirteen in Japan. M
Hump Zero 5
Dance label KSR enlist Derrick Carter and other top DJs
at Ageha for the biggest bash of the year so far
Photos courtesy of ksr
|DJs clockwise from top
left: Chicago house legend Derrick Carter; Italian breakbeat
maestro Santos; Mark Farina, Derrick Carters longtime
friend and collaborator; Dave Johnson from UK duo Grandadbob;
Greenskeepers, another Chicago dance mainstay; Tokyos
own mixaholic Duck Rock
Creator of buildings and sandwiches
When Benjamin Warner is not busy designing buildings as managing
director of CDI Aoyama, hes likely to be found in one
of the four outlets of his sandwich deli chain benugo. Not
bad for an Oxford lad who showed up in Japan 25 years ago
as a budding architect with just 300 quid in his pocket.
What did you design last year?
We completed a Medical Association building in Fujinomiya
and have a landmark project under construction on Meiji Dori.
This is an iceberg type buildinga real blade
Name some architectural monstrosities in Tokyo you would
The Fuji TV building in Odaiba for trying to be something
which it clearly isnt; the DoCoMo building in Shinjuku
for being a ripoff of the Chrysler Building. I would also
demolish the whole of the Shiodome redevelopment for being
a totally awful piece of urban planning.
How is benugo doing?
Good. We learned from the mistakes of our competitors and
did not open too many too soon. Our in-house concession at
a large US company is doing well, and we opened our first
franchised store in Osaka in October.
What is it with some of the weird combinations of sandwiches
Strange, isnt it. Kiwi fruit and sweet cream sandwiches
seem to be popularas does the custom of putting potato
salad between two pieces of white bread.
Do you have a sandwich philosophy?
Yes, definitely. Whole wheat bread with no artificial preservatives
or additives is a must. The sandwich should be succulent but
How do you divide your time between CDI and benugo?
I am essentially an architect and that is definitely what
I am best at. I visit the benugo shops oftenI am probably
one of the best customers.
Do you serve behind the counter?
Yes, I can make a sandwich to kill for, but I can never make
a good cup of coffee.
How do you relax?
Being with the kids, cooking, windsurfing and looking at the
way this amazing city operates.
What is the weirdest thing you have seen in Japan?
A game show involving knocking a golf ball as far as possible
off the top of someones head with a baseball bat. CB
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