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And Clooney Complains About Fattening Up

Published: December 8, 2005

And Clooney Complains

About Fattening Up

The after-party for Tuesday's premiere of "Memoirs of a Geisha" was at the Central Park Boathouse, which had been transformed into paper screens, sushi platters, sake bars and yakitori buffets.

The place was impossibly packed; while we were talking to the petite ZIYI ZHANG, the geisha in question, she was brusquely bumped to the side by photographers trying to get a shot of HARVEY WEINSTEIN.

MICHELLE YEOH was somewhere, we were told; the director ROB MARSHALL, about whom the actors spoke in almost reverent tones, seemed to move about rather fluidly; SIR HOWARD STRINGER was rooted to one place; and KEN WATANABE made it outside in the frigid air for a smoke.

KAORI MOMOI, who plays the geisha's sort of landlady-mistress-foster mother, was wearing an orange kimono, her hair in a bob.

"What do you want to know?" she asked.

All your secrets.

"All my secrets, or geisha secrets?"


"Well, I am not a geisha; I don't know," she said. "You should ask Rob Marshall. He knows everything."


"Yes. He knows everything about the geisha."

How did you prepare for the role?

"Prepare? It easy to play mother because she is just like me! She is Japanese and she really likes money and she smokes a lot. I smoke five packs a day."


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