Monday, August 3, 2009

Feature - The Cast of G.I. Joe at the Philippine Daily Inquirer

As I child, I grew up learning that the struggle for good versus evil is a constant dilemma in life. I turned to books and graphic novels to understand more. Back then, storytelling was simpler, and moral lines were well delineated. It was easy to spot the bad guys from the heroes. And I adored my heroes. It was an era where black was black, and white was white – and gray areas were rarities. The X-men turned their might into heroism, and Superman flew for truth and justice. Darna kicked giants’ arses and the Batman always outwitted smartass Jokers. On TV, “The Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” stoked my imagination.

They were part of my concept of how heroes should be. They lived off danger, and lead exciting lives. In the end, the good triumphed over the dark forces. And at night, I could retreat in the confines of my bed carrying that comforting thought.
Last Saturday, I read an interesting article about a film that is set to open this coming week. And once again, I can’t wait to see my childhood heroes come to life – on the big screen!

Here is an amusing article from the Philippines' number 1 broadsheet, the Philippine Daily Inquirer in its writer Rito Asilo’s recent Japan visit to check out the movie and the stars of "G.I. Joe – The Rise of the Cobra". The film is obviously very popular as this article was a MOST READ article 5 hours after this was first posted while other "exclusives" featuring Adam Sandler of "Funny People" and Justin Bartha of "The Hangover" were not! Please visit PDI’s site for the complete article:

‘G.I. Joe’s’ Tatum, Miller get candid
By Rito Asilo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:24:00 07/31/2009

MANILA, Philippines—We flew to Japan early this week to attend the Tokyo premiere of the explosive big-screen adaptation of “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” at LaLaport Toyosu’s luxurious United cineplex.

To say the least, action fans will have a field day basking in the heady thrills of the film’s frenetic, high-speed action and the mind-numbing, CG-fueled spectacle that director Stephen Sommers has created (watch out for our review next week). “G.I. Joe:The Rise of Cobra” opens next week, Aug. 7. Eat your hearts out, autobots and decepticons—and we mean it!

The following day, at the Ritz-Carlton in the vibrant Roppongi district, we interviewed Sommers (“The Mummy”) and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (“Transformers”), as well as their gorgeous cast, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Rachel Nichols and South Korean superstar, Byung-Hun Lee (“J.S.A.”), who was, to our surprise, the recipient of the fans’ ear-deafening shrieks during the previous night’s red-carpet event.

To our delight, Sommers, Di Bonaventura and the cast were in a particularly cheerful mood, giggling uncontrollably, ribbing one another and exchanging jokes with us—though it was amusing to see Tatum blush when we mentioned a New York Times review of his Sundance-winning performance in Dito Montiel’s “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” which likened the 6’1” tall athlete-model-dancer to a young Marlon Brando.

Turbulent relationships

Miller, who until recently was tabloid fodder for her turbulent relationships with Jude Law and Rhys Ifans, was likewise surprisingly relaxed, but always begged the international press to write “cautiously and responsibly” after casually imbuing some of her answers with a playful tone. Here are excerpts from our interview with Tatum, Miller and Di Bonaventura:

Mr. Di Bonaventura, you also produced “Transformers,” which was huge. This movie looks like a hybrid of “Star Wars” and “Transformers,” with the characters of “G.I. Joe” thrown into the mix. Do you think it’s going to be bigger than those two?

Di Bonaventura: I don’t want “G.I. Joe” to be compared to those movies, but it’d be great if we can be as successful. We’re lucky to have gathered great people who work well together. As you can see, we’re having a lot of fun. It was a great experience for all of us.

Sienna, the character of the white ninja, Storm Shadow (played by Byung-Hun Lee), doesn’t want your character, The Baroness, to be kissed by any man other than McCullen/ Destro (Christopher Eccleston), but you kissed three guys here. Were those smooches in the script?

Tatum: They weren’t, Sienna wrote them in! She’s like, “I think I need to kiss all these guys…” (Laughs)

Miller: Don’t even say that as a joke. Please, print that as the truth (laughs).

Lorenzo: Well, she’s just a very confused character (laughter).

Sienna: (Gasps) Nice one, Lorenzo. Seriously, it was in the script. The Baroness is devious and manipulative, and using her sexuality is one way to get what she wants. Can we just move on? Next. (Laughter)

Channing, you’re a young rising star in Hollywood now. What kind of career do you see yourself forging in years to come?

Miller: You mean “old” rising star, right? (Laughter)

Channing: I want to emulate Sienna Miller’s career (laughs). There are so many to mention—like Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but it’s almost impossible to compare their movies to anything produced in Hollywood these days. One of my favorites, though, is Jackie Gleason—because he’s a man’s man.

Very personal

Channing, you just got married this July? How did you propose to Jenna Dewan (his costar in “Step Up”)?

Channing: It’s hard to share things that are very personal and special to me. To say the least, it was the best day of my entire life.

Sienna, your costume is very tight-fitting. How did you get into such amazing shape?
Sienna: I did two hours of fight training every day for six weeks. I worked and trained very hard—and I have become accomplished in mixed martial arts, as well as in guns and weapons, so don’t mess with me (looking at Tatum)! (Laughter)

Channing, people admire you for your versatility—you act and dance, excel in sports, do modeling. But, your performance in “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” reminded The New York Times of a young Marlon Brando. If you were to choose between critical acclaim and commercial appeal, which would it be?

Tatum: That’s a very good question. It actually depends on where you are financially in your life. If you have money, then you want the critical acclaim. But, we actors just want our audience to like us and enjoy what we come up with—because we always put our heart and soul in whatever we do.

Byung-Hun had the chance to show off his ripped body in the movie, when do we get to see the two of you (Sienna and Channing) show some skin?

Miller: Have you seen any of my films…? They had to pay me to keep my shirt on! (Then, Sienna, who had repeatedly displayed her assets in a good number of acclaimed indies, pauses.) Oh no, please handle that with humor and responsibility.

Tatum: In “She’s The Man” (his starrer with Amanda Bynes), I had a total of one shirt in my entire wardrobe. But, I don’t mind getting naked, though I feel more secure when I have clothes on.

Sienna, you have worked with some of Tinseltown’s most exciting actors. In a word or two, please describe the following: Daniel Craig (who was with you in “Layer Cake”), Heath Ledger (“Casanova”), Cillian Murphy (“The Edge of Love”), Channing Tatum and former flame, Jude Law (“Alfie”).

Tatum: What am I doing in that impressive list? I stick out like a sore thumb. (Laughter)

Miller: Daniel, strong. Heath, funny—he was hilarious. Cillian, talented. Jude, clever. And, Channing, kind. Oh God, tomorrow’s headline will be : “Jude is clever!” (Laughter)

Channing Tatum as Duke. He stars next in the sports drama, "Parkour".

Tatum in his recent movie, "Fighting". In G.I. Joe, Channing Tatum joins the A-listers!

Sienna Miller - I recently saw her in the disturbing and sexually ambiguous "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" with Jon Foster and Peter Saarsgard. She plays the Baroness in G.I. Joe

The Baroness gets her way.

Marlon Wayans as Ripcord

Byung-hun Lee, Korean superstar as Storm Shadow (below)

Christopher Eccleston as Destro

Producer Di Bonaventura, Miller and Tatum smile to the crowd at Roppongi's Ritz Carlton in Tokyo. G.I. Joe is produced by Paramount Pictures and is distributed in the Philippines by Solar Films.

Please visit the Philippine Daily Inquirer at

This is the Eye in the Sky.

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