For those who have seen Lost in Translation, you undoubtedly remember Bill Murray’s character’s honest attempt to make an easy buck hocking Japanese whiskey. As seen in the movie, the formula for Western stars in Asian ads usually goes that they are doing something a little strange or impossible, followed by a lot of Japanese, followed by them looking soullessly at the camera, and then they say the brand name and maybe a catchphrase. The End. For around $2 million a pop, there certainly are harder ways to make money. In one of those stranger-than-ﬁction moments, celebrities have actually been doing this for years to supplement their Hollywood incomes, usually with varying levels of hilarity. In celebration of some of them beautiful people pouring into town for TIFF, here’s a look back at some of their career highs doing cosmetics ads in Asia.
Charlize Theron – Lux: Spa Moist
Apparently Charlize is so busy that she needs to be immersed in mildly hallucinogenic rose water. If you read the translations at the bottom, you’ll ﬁnd such gems as, “With its full aroma, it will smooth all the way to your heart.” The litter girl petal-bombing Charlize on the red carpet at the end is pretty great, too.
Kate Beckinsale – Lux Haircare
I’m not entirely sure what’s happening in this video but I think Beckinsale may have transformed into a WereSpiceGirl. It’s a full moon in Japan, bitches.
Natalie Portman – Lux Haircare
Natale Portman auditions to be Zoro in front of a bunch of Swedish businessmen.
David and Victoria Beckham – TBC Beauty Line
Between the Beckhams poorly mouthing Japanese and Victoria being dressed up as Geisha Spice, it is one of the great mysteries of our time as to why this hasn’t gone viral sooner.
Jodie Foster – Keri
Stephen King’s Carrie > Keri.
Anne Hathaway – Lux
Anne Hathaway stars as “Flying ’90s WalMart Mom.”
Alyssa Milano – DeBon Cosmetics
This actually (probably) will be remembered as the height of her career.
Keira Knightly – Lux
This is like Cinderella meets the scary little girl from The Ring.
Nobody is entirely sure what this skin-care product does, but Sharon Stone will steal your soul if you don’t buy it.
Shannon Doherty – Korean Lipstick
Love the guy at about 0:16 drinking a hot coffee in the bar. Oh yeah, hey Heather.