If you are one of those people who believe that celebrities have always been cool and that all their performances in front of the camera are epic, then you are in for a rude shock. Today the media paints a flawless picture of the kind of lives that our famous celebrities live, and how carefully they choose the movies they will feature in because they have a reputation to uphold. However, even the best of these celebrities were at one time looking for a way into the industry, and they did some pretty ridiculous things. Thanks to the Internet, the performances that these celebrities are most embarrassed about are available for our watching pleasure.
Japanese ads are probably the biggest compilation of celebrities’ most embarrassing performances, because they have a hilarious way of making these celebrities look so silly. It would shock you to realize that so many of today’s stars have promoted Japanese products in ads that they would not be caught dead doing in Hollywood, simply because they would be embarrassed to do so at home. However, even if these celebrities travel halfway across the globe to make some money in not-so-cool ads, we will eventually find out what they did and share the outrageousness of their performances with our friends.
Here are 10 celebrities who have featured in at least one embarrassing Japanese ad, and they have probably been hoping that people will have forgotten about what they did in Japan. Since we love the following celebrities at their best in the Hollywood movies, let us laugh at them at their ‘not-so-best’ in Japanese ads that they might not be so proud of today.
10. John Travolta – Tokyo Drink ad
John Travolta is one of those Hollywood celebrities who have had a very long and successful career, since his performances on screen never disappoint. However, when you think of his Tokyo Drink commercial, you will realize that even someone as cool as Mr. Travolta has done his share of embarrassing things in his life. As entertaining as the ad is, everyone watching cannot quite get over the fact that John Travolta is the one doing the weird dancing. This goes to show that success does not come easy, and everyone has to do something that he or she will not be so proud of a few years down the line.
9. Tommy Lee Jones – Suntory Boss Coffee ad
Tommy Lee Jones truly loves Japan with a passion, because he frequently visits the country and claims to love the food and the culture of the Japanese people. In addition, Jones took part in a song together with other Japanese celebrities to raise the spirits of the Japanese people after the Tsunami hit Japan, a project he did for free. When it comes to advertisements, Jones has taken part in many hilarious Japanese commercials promoting Suntory Boss Coffee, with some, such as the one where he is an alien detective, are sure to crack your ribs. Other celebrities would feel a bit embarrassed to do such ads, but not Tommy Lee Jones.
8. Lucy Liu – Suntory Diet Beer ad
Lucy Liu is an American actress, model, and producer who has no problem fitting in a Japanese Ad. Though she was born and raised in the United States, her parents are from Beijing and Shanghai, meaning that she has the looks, can talk, and behave like a Chinese or Japanese woman in any setting. In the Suntory Diet Beer commercial, Lucy is defying gravity by riding a bicycle up a skyscraper and making strange presentations successfully, all thanks to the beer she is sipping at the end of the commercial. Not many female celebrities promote beer in North America, but Lucy can get away with it since this is Japan and it’s diet beer.
7. Harrison Ford – Kirin Beer ad
Harrison Ford is known for taking up serious roles in movies, and it appears as though he takes his beer drinking seriously too. In this 1994 Japanese Kirin Beer ad, Ford enters a restaurant and orders a Kirin Lager Beer. The chef seems to mishear the order, or just assumes the actor ordered an American beer due to his accent, to which Ford reiterates that he wants the Kirin, to everyone’s apparent surprise. You know, because “Everybody drinks Kirin Lager Biiru.”
6. Charlize Theron – Honda ad
Charlize Theron is a wonderful actress, model, and producer who was born in South Africa and has United States citizenship. She commands a lot of respect because of the great work she has done over the years, which is why her Japanese Honda ad is not what you would expect of her. Although the Muppet Show and Sesame Street are great places to interact with puppets, talking to a puppet in a Honda commercial is not something you want your friends seeing. Although the pay must have been good enough to make her go for it, Charlize must probably be feeling embarrassed about the whole ad by now.
5. Jean-Claude Van Damme – Black Black Gum ad
Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of Hollywood’s most versatile celebrities. You must have watched movies of him acting as the hero, you must have seen him as the villain in movies such as The Expendables 2, and you must also have seen him in commercials for products such as Black Black Gum. It is hard to tell whether Van Damme is embarrassed about that crazy Japanese ad which he did before he was as rich and famous as he is today, because he seems to be enjoying himself and we love him for the craziness he displays on screen. For someone known for being over the top, this series of commercials definitely fits his style.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – Jim Beam ad
Many celebrity actors in Hollywood made embarrassing ads before they achieved their fame and fortune, but not Leonardo DiCaprio. Famous for a list of timeless movies such as Titanic, Inception, Django Unchained, The Wolf of Wall street, and many more, you would not expect to find him acting in a commercial for Jim Beam. The commercial was meant to be only for the eyes of Japan and a few of its neighboring countries to save DiCaprio from the shame, but thanks to the Internet, everyone in the world can watch it. It might also be that DiCaprio was taking a break from movies to do such commercials… No?
3. Nicolas Cage – Sankyo Pachinko ad
No one can accuse Nicolas Cage of caring about what people think about him because he clearly does anything he wants to do whenever he wants to do it. Furthermore, the series of advertisements that he did for Sankyo Pachinko, a Japanese gambling company, is evidence of just how the word “embarrassment” is not found in his dictionary. The ads are hilarious and Mr. Cage seems to be enjoying himself through them all, though we all know he enjoyed the pay check for doing these commercials more. You might think that most celebrities would not do such ads, but quote the right price and you will get almost any celebrity you can think of.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Alinamin V Energy Drink
Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in Takeda Pharmaceutical Company’s Alinamin V energy drink commercials. If you’re seeing this for the first time today, be warned, you will never be able to get the picture of Schwarzenegger embarrassing himself over and over again out of your head. These Alinamin V Schwarzenegger ads are what we would call in present day, absurd and impractical, and they take Schwarzenegger’s annoying signature laugh to a whole new level. Would you buy a drink which when you open the bottle you find a weirdly dressed Schwarzenegger swimming inside? Apparently the Japanese consumers don’t mind such a drink.
1. Sylvester Stallone – Ito Ham/Bayern Sausage ad
Think of Sylvester Stallone and all that comes to mind is Rambo knocking down doors and shooting randomly at the enemy. Stallone is truly a badass in all his movies, and people especially love the fighting scenes where he finally kills the bad guy after a tough hand to hand combat. Therefore, people who heard that Stallone was acting in a Ham commercial must have had seriously high expectations of mind-blowing Ham action, only for their hopes to be quashed. All the characters that Stallone has played over his career would be embarrassed at his participation in this ad, but the disappointment never dampened the Japanese people’s spirits to enjoy the Ito Ham.
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