Overseas troops will get a Hollywood surprise from Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, and the other stars of the casino caper Ocean's Eleven.
"We wanted them to know how we are behind them … how we care," said producer Jerry Weintraub, who arranged the visit with the help of former President George Bush.
All the movie's top stars, which also include Andy Garcia, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle, as well as director Steven Soderbergh, will head to an undisclosed location in Turkey on Dec. 5, just hours after the Los Angeles premiere.
‘We’re Going to Give Them a Hug From Everybody’
"We're going there and eat with them and sleep there with them and bring them a Christmas present," Weintraub said. "We're going to give them a hug from everybody in America because there out on the front lines fighting this war for us, … and we want them to know how we're behind them and how we care."
The stars of the movie had appeared on sat down with Barbara Walters last week for a wide-ranging interview, talking about how much fun it was to remake the 1960 "Rat Pack" classic that originally featured the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
The stars also talked about how the events of Sept. 11 changed their lives. Here are some of the highlights.
Matt Damon: "I was in New York when it [the terror attacks] happened … It certainly affects everything, affects my thinking more than my actions probably … Everybody that I knew survived it. They got out. And so you have this tremendous feeling of joy followed by this tremendous feeling of guilt … My inner circle made it, you know. But there's thousands and thousands and thousands of families and friends and inner circles that have just been broken up by this."
Andy Garcia: "Well, my father and my mother sacrificed everything for us to have the ability to be free. And that's a thing that people die for. And when you have it and you grow up in it, you can take that for granted.… But I don't take that for granted because I know what we've been through in order to enjoy that freedom, and what the people that we left behind, the kind of freedoms they don't enjoy."
Brad Pitt: "This catastrophic event is really — certainly for me, and I feel like our culture — made us appreciate again what we have. It's basically reminded us of these freedoms. And to see us actually embracing other people's convictions, other religions and standing together, which is really what America was founded on … I want to see those buildings rebuilt … It's important to America to get our symbol back."
George Clooney: "We all sort of understand that — we've all been there already — which is you've got to show up. There are things we can do that other people can't do … We can help bring focus to things."
Julia Roberts: "My sister is in New York, and just the franticness when I was calling her phone number, and I couldn't get through and couldn't get through, and that miracle that I actually finally did get through to her and was able to talk to her and then call everybody else in my family and say that she was OK, and that my brother-in-law was OK, and got a hold of my friends … It was really intense."
When the stars visit Turkey, they'll leave behind DVD copies of Ocean's Eleven and send them to 11 U.S. warships. From there, the Ocean's Eleven entourage will travel to London and Paris for media interviews.
Warner Bros. is paying for the trip, and service personnel from Britain, also serving in the coalition, will be on hand.
"We were talking about doing a premiere in Rome or Paris and I said, `I've got a great idea. We've got troops over there in harm's way. Why don't we go over there and show it to them?"' Weintraub said.
"George jumped up and said `great' and everyone came on board."
For the rest of us, Ocean's Eleven will hit theaters Dec. 7.