American actor Richard Gere is appearing in a new advertising campaign for European soft drink brand Orangina in Japan. In the commercials and posters, Gere, 64, appears as Tora-san, the lovable loser in Shochiku’s popular 48-film series of Japanese comedy movies.
He first played the character in a series of Orangina ads in 2012. Gere told Japanese media this is the first time he has ever played the same character in a series of advertisements, an experience he termed "very interesting," Sports Nippon reported Thursday.
In one version, 25-year old actress Yuri Ishizaka looks out the window of a train as she takes in the scenery while tears roll down her cheeks. Gere's character "Tora-san" takes notice of the crying woman and as the train comes to a stop at a station, he runs out and buys her an Orangina from a kiosk. Together with his young friend, Gere cheers up the woman as the commercial comes to a close.
Suntory, which bought the brand in 2009, will launch the ad campaign nationwide on April 15.© Japan Today