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Richard Gere appears as Tora-san again in Orangina ads


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.

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-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Any would be foreign 'Tora-sans' should be prepared to find themselves in the back of a police patrol car! This ad should carry a warning.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I like R. Gere, and these ads are charming.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I haven't seen Gere in anything in the States for a while, guess I know what he's been up to now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is Gere aiming for the next Tommy Lee Jones? LoL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He is a fan of Japan. If you haven't seen the movie Hachi, you should. It melted my cynical, cold little heart.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

no youtube link JT?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It doesn't air until April 15.

Blasphamy, I say!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I thought he was dead...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I'm not sure how you reply to posts, so @Peter Payne, I assume by Hachi you mean the dog film? He was also in Akira Kurosawa's Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku (Rhapsody in August -English name)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Don't think its about his love of Japan, more like his love of how much he gets for the ads.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Hey, tmarie, it could be both! Works for a whole lot of folks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Gere is a devout Buddhist and has a strong connection and love for Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When asked about why he was doing commercials in Japan, Gere apparently had a flashback to a scene in "An Officer and a Gentlemen" when he blurted out, "I GOT NO WHERE ELSE TO GO!"


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gere is a devout Buddhist

He is? But.. why?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, how I miss Tora-san.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gere is a devout Buddhist and has a strong connection and love for Japan.

Could you support your claims on this? I was under the impression he was more central asian Buddhist, not Japanese. Doing a few well paying CMs and a movie or two with Japanese themes doesn't equal a strong connection. It means making wise business decisions. I like Richard but like any other "actor" I see doing ads here, I can'T but think it is all about the money. Which is fine but when people make it seem like they're doing this because of their love of Japan, its rather amusing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

when people make it seem like they're doing this because of their love of Japan, its rather amusing.

Why can't it be both? One doesn't necessarily preclude the other.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It could be both but I can't say I've heard him go on about the love of this place without a paycheck attached to it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And even if he's getting a fat pay for those commercials, what's wrong with an actor acting for money?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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