AUSTRALIA NEWS WEEKLY MAY 7,  2001

 

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TOMCATS & JERRY

Tomcats star Jerry O'Connell hits Sydney's bars

Unlike some visiting celebrities, Sliders star Jerry O'Connell hasn't been hiding out in his hotel room or surrounding himself with minders.  In Australia to film the mobster-meets-kangaroo comedy Down and Under, the American has become a bit of a fixture on the Sydney social scene, admitting a weakness for local bars, beer and playing dice.  

Have you caught up with ex-girlfriend Sarah Michelle Gellar out here?
SMG, no, I have not.  Well, those guys are in Queensland.  Yeah, it's a little far.  And they're just as busy as we are.  Working on a film, you probably get about eight hours off a day, and of those eight hours, you wanna get five of those sleeping.  So, for the three hours I have free, I don't want to be flying to Queensland; I want to be running to Establishment (Sydney's latest hip bar).

You've been seen there quite a lot.
I live right next door, so I'm there all the time.  It's the modern-day, all-in-one entertainment venue.  Dinner, sushi, cigar, bar, club.  I should set up a cot there.

Are the natives friendly?
Aussies are just great people in general.  They're great travellers, and great travellers make great hosts.

Some of the film Tomcats was filmed at night in Vegas.  Was it tough to make the 3am call?
It was impossible.  From 4am to 4pm, we would shoot in the casinos, because those are the down times.  At 4pm I would swear I was going to sleep.  Then somebody would say, "Hey, come on, let's go play some dice."  I'd always say, "Alright, I'll play a little bit."  Then I'd end up at a club until 3 or 3:30am, and I'd have to go to work again.

How did they get you sobered up?
We had oxygen on set.  It's a Hollywood trick.  It really sobers you up pretty fast, and gets rid of red eyes and puffiness.  They had a lot of oxygen available.  I guess my reputation preceded me.


Jerry - "If I go on a date I tend to talk quite a bit.  I don't like

moments of silence.  I feel I should be entertaining, somehow."


Your character has a thing for redheads.  What do you find sexy in a woman?
I consider myself an extremely intelligent fellow.  Not only that, my humour is as sharp as it gets, so for me to say something like, "Sense of humour and intelligence" is not quite enough.  I look for outrageous, hands-down brilliance from women.  I go right to the top.  I should settle for nothing less, right?

How do you now you're on a good first date?
What I look for on a first date is someone who gets my sense of humour without too much explanation.  If I feel I have to keep saying, "I'm just kidding" with a woman, then it's really not working out.

What are you like on a date?
If I go on a date, I tend to talk quite a bit.  I don't like moments of silence.  I feel I should be entertaining, somehow.  If I go to a dinner party, I try to be the funny guy, hence me being in the entertainment industry.  I remember when I went to go do Stand By Me, I was very rambunctious kid, always shouting out in class.

Are you seeing anyone right now?
I can't keep a plant alive for a week; I don't know how I could keep a relationship alive for longer than that, either.  It's horrible, I know; it's bad.  I wish I could say I'm looking for the special one, but I'm really having a little bit of fun right now, being single.  I'm going to keep down that road.

 
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Tomcats was pretty sexist.  Did you take any females to see it?
I don't think it's going to win any prizes for portraying women as strong female role models.  But my mom saw it, and she loved it.  But, honestly, the movie could have been in Swahili and she would've said (in a strong New York accent), "You were great.  You were the best."

How do you like the Australian sense of humour?
I like it a lot.  It takes a little getting used to, primarily because you're at the butt of the jokes, especially as an American.

Are you nervous about going out to the Outback to film Down and Under?
I jokingly say I'm leaving my phone number with friends, just in case I end up in the bottom of an opal mine, but I'm actually really excited.  I'm a city kid; I'm from New York, so in all honesty I'd probably never have gone to the Outback if not for this film.

 

-Pip Harry

 

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