About the characters

Ocean’s Twelve finds Danny Ocean and company at a different place in their lives and “careers,” but it quickly becomes apparent that while you can take the thieves out of the game, you can’t take the game out of the thieves.

“Even though everyone in the crew is trying to lead a somewhat legitimate life, the truth is, the characters are happiest when they’re planning and pulling off a heist,” George Clooney suggests. “They need that adrenaline rush and it’s something they’ve missed during the past three years.”

“I think the character stuff in Ocean’s Twelve is even more interesting than in the first film because the cast know their characters so well and were able to push them even further,”

Steven Soderbergh says. “Part of the fun of this film is seeing what each of the characters has done with their money. It’s also fun watching them find out who busted them with Benedict, and figuring what to do about it.”

Following is a who’s-who primer of the characters who inhabit the world of Ocean’s Twelve:

Pulling off the impossibly daring and complex heist of Terry Benedict’s impenetrable Las Vegas casino vault propelled charismatic ringleader Danny Ocean from divorced parolee to the most infamous mastermind in the criminal underworld. After splitting the $160 million score with his crew, Danny remarried his ex-wife Tess and settled into a quiet “legit” life with her in Connecticut.

“Danny is happily shopping for a second third anniversary present for Tess when she calls him with disturbing news,” Clooney reveals. “Everyone in the crew has tried to start a legitimate life, but they’ve been spending their money like crazy. And then a part of our history comes back to haunt us.”

Rusty Ryan’s con career was flatlining when Danny Ocean recruited him to serve as his confidante and detail man on the Benedict job. In the wake of their incredible success, Rusty has refashioned himself as a trendy Hollywood hotelier. But his future holds more than another major heist – he may actually have a shot at real romance.

“In the first film, Rusty’s sexuality was ambiguous at best,” Brad Pitt says facetiously, “and we wanted to clarify it in the sequel. So he gets a female love interest.”

Talented newcomer Linus Caldwell earned his stripes on the Vegas heist, but the master pickpocket’s ambition threatens to undermine his considerable expertise. “Linus very much aspires to be running a crew like Danny and Rusty, but he’s not quite ready yet,” says Matt Damon. “He’s been spending his money on ‘talent development’ in Chicago, trying to emulate Danny and run his own crew.”

Polished, accomplished and an expert at solving sophisticated thefts of priceless merchandise, Europol agent Isabel Lahiri is herself the daughter of a deceased thief. “Isabel is a very good detective, very focused on her job and being the best she can be,” says Catherine Zeta-Jones. “She has studied the Vegas heist, and she has a personal connection to the Ocean’s gang, which accelerates her desire to solve this case.”

Ruthless entrepreneur Terry Benedict would love nothing more than exacting revenge on the brash crew who robbed $160 million from his casinos – especially their ringleader, Danny Ocean, who stole Benedict’s girlfriend in the process. “There were really only two ways my character could be involved in the sequel – either Benedict had to join them or kill them,” Andy Garcia says. “I think in his heart he would prefer the latter.

“I enjoy playing the heavy,” he continues, “because it means I don’t have the responsibility of being the protagonist overcoming obstacles. In this story, I am the obstacle. It’s a different kind of responsibility – and with it comes much more freedom.”

After rewiring half of Las Vegas to pull off the Benedict job, Cockney explosives expert Eugene “Basher” Tarr has been using his share of the loot to pursue a dream. “Basher has always wanted to break into the music business,” Don Cheadle says. “He has aspirations to be a recording artist, but he’s frustrated because he doesn’t understand why the four-letter words sprinkled through his songs can’t be played on the radio.”

“You can’t rob a guy like Benedict and expect it to just be over,” says Bernie Mac, who plays Frank Catton, the safecracker with a penchant for manicured nails. “We disrespected him, and you can’t mess with a cat like that. Somebody has to pay the price.”

Though Catton is reunited with the Ocean’s gang under less than ideal circumstances, they pick up right where they left off. “The best thing about this gang is how close they are to one another,” Mac believes. “One of the highlights is the camaraderie they all have, even after not seeing one another for three years while they were trying to keep a low profile.”

Bellagio Art Gallery curator Tess Ocean was none too pleased when she crossed paths with her lying, thieving ex-husband in Las Vegas three years ago...but their chemistry was as undeniable as the audacity of Danny’s plan to rob her then-boyfriend, casino kingpin Terry Benedict. Now re-married to Danny, Tess is enjoying a low-profile life as a Connecticut homemaker.

“One of the things that appealed to me about this script,” Julia Roberts relates, “is that my character and my environment are completely different. In Ocean’s Eleven, Tess was Danny’s adversary. I worked with George and Brad but I didn’t have scenes with all the boys, so it’s been nice to be more in the mix this time.”

The Malloy twins, the ever-bickering car and transportation experts, have resolved none of their competitive brotherly issues in the three years that have passed since the Benedict heist. “Virgil was really responsible and saved most of his money from the Vegas haul,” says Casey Affleck. “He’s gotten engaged to a young woman, settled down and thought he’d never return to crime again.”

Meanwhile, Turk has spent most of his fortune on cars, machinery and inventions. “In the first film, Casey and I were sort of the comic relief,” Scott Caan observes. “In Ocean’s Twelve, everybody’s funny.”

Acclaimed French actor Vincent Cassel plays Francios Toulour, a wealthy European playboy who moonlights as a master thief known for his signature at the scene of the crime: a small black fox figurine. Born into a world of wealth and privilege, Toulour doesn’t steal for the money – it’s the rush of pulling off an impossible crime that thrills him. “Toulour is very arrogant, stylish, spoiled, incredibly charming and highly skilled,” Cassel describes. “He is also extremely focused and when he wants something, he goes for it. A loner, Toulour can do any job by himself, and if he doesn’t know how to do it, he’ll train himself until he can.”

Surveillance, computer and electronics specialist Livingston Dell, the most frugal member of the Ocean’s team, has been living with his parents and honing his stand-up comedy act. “What I like about this story is that the characters are explored in more depth than the first film,” says Eddie Jemison, who first worked with Steven Soderbergh on the director’s early feature Schizopolis. “As a group, the characters seem to be like an old married couple. They all love each other, but they just can’t seem to be in the same room together.”

Saul Bloom came out of retirement to join Danny Ocean’s crew, transforming himself into Lyman Zerga, the wealthy businessman of indeterminate origin whose insistence on placing his briefcase in Terry Benedict’s vault facilitated the incredible heist. Enjoying his second retirement, Saul has once again remade himself, this time as a member of a waspy men’s club in the Hamptons.

As Carl Reiner sees it, “Saul has never had a good life. He was a petty scammer. Then, when he got his share of the money from the Benedict job, he found a woman in the lingerie department that he likes, and decided to live with her. So when Benedict comes knocking, Saul figures he’s not gonna go out and scam again at his age. He wants the last check he writes to bounce.”

Reuben Tishkoff got his revenge on Terry Benedict for squeezing him out of the Vegas real estate market by financing Danny Ocean’s sophisticated plan for robbing Benedict of $160 million. He has the distinction of being the only member of the gang who has more money now than his original share of the take.

“Being a businessman, Tishkoff saw the signs and made a good run on the stock market,” Elliott Gould says. “When we meet him again, he’s still into polka dots and stripes. He’s also into mind-readers and mysticism, on his own glitzy eccentric level.”

Grease man Yen, who folded himself into a cash cart to infiltrate Terry Benedict’s impenetrable vault, has been enjoying life in the fast line, partying at his sprawling mansion with models and adopting a decidedly more hip fashion style. “I had a lot of fun on the first film even though I really didn’t know who any of the stars were,” says Chinese acrobat Shaobo Qin, who made his motion picture debut in Ocean’s Eleven. “Once the film was finished, I returned to work with The Peking Acrobats, and have continued to perform with them all over the world.”

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Linus: What did I say?
Danny: You called his niece a whore.
Rusty: A very cheap one.
Danny: She's seven.


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