A/V Room









Ocean's 12 - Jerry Weintraub interview

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q: What do you think about filming in Italy and what is your idea of this country?
We loved Italy. They were great to us and they helped us. We thought it was going to be difficult to shoot in Rome but we were very lucky because the Chief of Police of Italy was very, very good to us and the Roman people respected the fact that we were shooting.
The storekeepers helped us and we couldn't have found a better place to shoot. It was really terrific. We had a great time in Rome. I wish you all could have come.

Q: Is there going to be an Ocean's 13?
Well, we're only on 12. I am very, very superstitious. I don't like to talk about anything in the future or past. Right now, I can't give you an answer to that question because I don't know. And also to be serious for a moment, we got lucky with this one. It's very hard to do a sequel that's better than the first movie.
We were lucky enough to get Catherine Zeta-Jones who is great in the movie. She deserves a hand. She's so beautiful...she's a great star and to have the two most beautiful women in the world in one movie, I think, is…you know, I'm a lucky producer. The guys are just okay, you know. (laughter) And Andy is a great bad guy and he did a fantastic job. So the story came together.
But in order to do sequels, you must find a story that’s better than the last story and continues on with the characters so that these guys can develop these characters. And so Soderbergh, who's such a brilliant director, has something to direct. It's all about the pages in the story.
We'll see what happens, we all love being together and we all make a lot of money doing this, we're real lucky. If it happens, that’d be great, but who knows right now?

Q: What do you think are some possibilities for the DVD?
I'm working on it right now. There's going to be a lot of stuff on the DVD. All the behind-the-scenes stuff and we have a bunch of scenes that we shot for the movie that are not in it. Steven and I are just in the middle of that right now as we speak. We talk every night about it. I think you'll like it.

Q: For Ocean's Eleven, you had the ghost of the Rat Pack hovering over you. Did you feel the Rat Pack presence as much this time?
Well, I was around for that film. In my house, there's a room that has a big poster of the original Ocean's group, Sinatra and Lawford and Dean Martin and so on. Then there's a bust of Frank that Frank gave me in 1976 and there's a picture of Frank and me. It's my homage to Frank.
So, he's always around in my head but I don't think Ocean's Eleven has any connection really to that first one except for the fact that the camaraderie between those guys and the camaraderie between this group is pretty much the same. We all socialize when we're not working, we see each other, we talk to each other. It's not just a one-time deal.
It's not just that we get together and make this movie and don't talk to each other for three years. We all do other things together. It's a group that really is like an ensemble company that's like a small theatre company except everybody gets paid a lot more than in small theatre.
We have a lot of fun doing it. I don't think it’s really got anything to do with the original Ocean’s except that you feel that camaraderie.

Q: Can you talk about shooting in Las Vegas vs. in Europe?
I think that the difference between shooting in Vegas and shooting in the five different countries that we shot in was that Vegas was confined, we were in a small space most of the time in a casino. It was very, very difficult for our production staff mainly because we had to close off the casino. And if you’ve been to Vegas, you know that the owners of the hotels do not look kindly upon closing down a crap table or the roulette wheel or the things that make them a lot of money. So, that was a difficult situation for us from a production standpoint.
But the European situation and shooting in Amsterdam and Rome and Sicily and Monte Carlo and Lake Como and Paris, we had a lot of fun doing that.
From a production standpoint, logistically, it was difficult because we had five different production companies. We had a lot of different crews, different people in different countries.
When it all came together, it all worked because we had a great bunch of people, great ADs and great production people and great executive producers and people that really do a great job. I give them all credit for it, they do a great job. But it was a logistic nightmare. We made it work and we had fun while we were doing it.

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