Movie Stars to Visit U.S. Troops

Wednesday, November 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) _ Movie producer Jerry Weintraub had an idea, so he called the nation's 41st president.

As a result, ``Ocean's Eleven'' stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Don Cheadle will be going to Turkey to visit U.S. and coalition troops.

``We want to bring them a little bit of home for Christmas,'' Weintraub told The Associated Press Tuesday in a telephone interview from his Malibu estate. ``We really wanted to do something for these kids. We can pat them on the back, sign autographs and tell them we care.''

``Ocean's Eleven'' will be released nationwide on Dec. 7.

Hours after the film's Dec. 5 premiere in Los Angeles, the ``Ocean's Eleven'' stars, Weintraub and director Steven Soderbergh will board a jet headed for a U.S. military base ``somewhere in Turkey,'' Weintraub said.

The exact location won't be disclosed but Weintraub said American service personnel as well as British coalition troops will be on hand. Warner Bros. will pay for the trip.

``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,'' said Weintraub, who put in a call to former President George Bush, his longtime friend. ``I called President Bush, the 41st, and he said he thought it was fantastic. He made a call and two minutes later I got a phone call from the Pentagon and we got the ball rolling.''

DVD copies of ``Ocean's Eleven'' and other films will be left at the base, and Weintraub said DVD copies also will be sent to 11 U.S. warships.

The ``Ocean's Eleven'' entourage will spend several days in Turkey before traveling to London and Paris for media interviews.