A few weeks ago, during a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, George Clooney defended making his coffee commercials overseas, arguing that it affords him the ability to live well while making great movies for scale in the United States. "I make coffee commercials overseas, and I make a lot of money, so I get to live in a nice house. And I don't give a sh*t," he said. "And people will go, 'Oh that's a sell out.' And you know what? F**k you."
But here's the thing about the overseas commercials that celebrities often do for massive sums of money: They're often very entertaining. However, celebrities make them overseas so we won't see them, which is a shame because -- in some cases -- we'd actually think better of them. Some of them are funny and self-deprecating, some are strange, some are sexy, and many -- especially those made in Japan -- are just balls-out goofy.
I spent a few hours on YouTube tracking down 25 of the most bizarre. Many are from Europe, most are from Japan, some are from a celebrity's early career, and some are more recent. But the one thing that ties them all together is the fact that we in the United States haven't seen most of them. That's too bad, because we all deserve to see Naomi Watts and Sandra Bullock shill for feminine hygiene products, Tarantino's Japanese TV commercial, Harrison Ford try to master a video game, Sean Bean's early beer commercial, a wacky Ben Stiller spot, Jennifer Love Hewitt slide on a tight pair of Levi's, and Nic Cage in a cowboy hat battling alien astronauts, among many others (and if you want to see the truly bizarre, search YouTube for all of Schwarzenegger's Japanese commercials, of which I could compile an entire list). The first and last (Yvonne Strahovski and Hugh Jackman) spots, however, are my favorites of the bunch.
Yvonne Strahovski -- Double A Paper
Nicholas Cage -- Sankyo
Naomi Watts -- Tampax
Tim Roth -- Maxim Coffee
Natalie Portman -- Super Lux Shampoo
Harrison Ford -- Uncharted (video game)
Quentin Tarantino -- Perfect TV
Michael J. Fox -- Integra
Hulk Hogan -- BigFlow
Keanu Reeves -- Suntory Reserve
Sylvester Stallone -- Some Sort of Processed Pork Product?
Ben Stiller -- Some Kind of Soft Drink
Bruce Willis -- Eonos Credit Card
Arnold Schwarzenegger -- Cup Noodle
Brad Pitt -- Toyota
George Clooney -- Martini
Sean Bean -- Barbicon Lager
Keifer Sutherland -- Calorie Mate
Sandra Bullock -- Kotex
Keira Knightley -- Super Lux
Scarlett Johansson -- Mt. Rainier Coffee
Jennifer Aniston -- Heineken
Jennifer Love Hewitt -- Levi's Tight Fit Jeans
Gwyneth Paltrow -- Martini
Hugh Jackman -- Lipton Ice Tea