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'Ocean's Twelve' cast deflect media frenzy with comedy act

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Chris Betros

Brad Pitt works the crowd at Roppongi Hills Arena.

TOKYO — Watching George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon fool around during their promotion for "Ocean's Twelve" was like watching a comedy act. The three clowned around the whole time during their 24-hour visit to Japan on Thursday. It was probably the best way they could think of to deflate the media hype over the announcement prior to their trip that Pitt had separated from his wife Jennifer Aniston.

Not that they took any chances. The Pitt camp had sent word from the U.S. that foreign-based media were not to be admitted to the press conference or Japan premiere at Roppongi Hills. When they arrived at Narita aboard a private jet, one reporter tried to ask the question to the 41-year-old Pitt, but Clooney cut in with a "Shame on you."

Immediately sizing things up, Clooney, 43, got the ball rolling at the news conference. "I know that there has been a certain topic on everyone's 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 alright," he said (he was wearing a neck brace after an injury last November).

The camaraderie and 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 it is a blessing that there was a movie in there." Damon said he never even bothered to read the script. "I just showed up after finishing 'The Bourne Supremacy,'" said the 34-year-old.

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. "That's how I hurt my neck," quipped Clooney.

Since each of their characters in the heist film has a forte, what about in real life? "I'm good at drinking," said Clooney, yelling "ikki, ikki" (what Japanese say when they down a beer in one go). "Acting is definitely not my forte," shrugged Damon, while Pitt offered that interpretive dancing was his particular skill. "I like to speak with my body," he said, but Clooney countered that "others would call that porn."

Pitt attended only the press conference and the red carpet gala, letting Clooney, Damon and producer Jerry Weintraub promote the movie.

Several magazines and other entertainment media from the U.S. and U.K. had sent representatives over just for the day. After being shut out at the door, they tried desperately to interview those local reporters who did get into the press conference, either by cell phone or by cornering them as they came out. What was Pitt's mood? Affable. Was he still wearing his wedding ring? Yes. How often did he smile? All the time.

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 at Roppongi Hills Arena as the "Ocean's" gang spent around 45 minutes signing autographs and shaking hands, prompting Pitt to promise: "I'm predicting 'Ocean's Thirteen' in Japan."

January 15, 2005

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Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston split

Brad Pitt, George Clooney, wearing a neck brace, and Matt Damon joke at a news conference in Tokyo Thursday to promote "Ocean's Twelve." Foreign-based media were barred from the event.

Japan Today Discussion

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'Ocean's Twelve' cast deflect media frenzy with comedy act
pachisuro Click here to see all messages by pachisuro (Jan 16 2005 - 13:14)

I thought Pitt looked old for 41, but Clooney is only 43?? He looks at least sixty.

'Ocean's Twelve' cast deflect media frenzy with comedy act
Nessie Click here to see all messages by Nessie (Jan 16 2005 - 16:36)

It's always nice to hear about chemistry like this.

"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. "That's how I hurt my neck," quipped Clooney"

According to my girlfriend, Michael Douglas asked Zeta-Jones, his wife, what what she was doing that day. She said, "I'm having breakfast with George Clooney, lunch with Matt Damon, and kissing Brad Pitt in the afternoon."

Talk about
Adult Film Legend Click here to see all messages by Adult Film Legend (Jan 19 2005 - 11:47)

...a circle jerk. I'm surprised he didn't break his neck in the homoerotic asphyxiation technique. What I can't figure out: which of the three is the caboose when the run the Chattanooga?

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