Ronin - The Los Angeles Premiere

Last Update: 29 September 1998

Coverage: and Entertainment Tonight Online

BEVERLY HILLS -- The enigmatic atmosphere of the action mystery Ronin carried over to the premiere hosted by MGM at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Asking no questions and telling no lies, the cast of the John Frankenheimer thriller appeared as if a mysterious signal had lured them to Wilshire Boulevard on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

"Ronin" means masterless samurai in Japanese, and the term loosely applies to a band of hired guns who converge on a Paris cafe in the thoroughly modern United Artists production. American Robert De Niro, a former CIA operative, quickly takes command of the team of experts that includes French Jean Reno, Russian Stellan Skarsgard and British Sean Bean.


The experts, assigned to locate a mysterious briefcase by Irish terrorist Natascha McElhone, must pool their resources to recover the case amid double-crossings and more double-crossings. With a stylish flair, Frankenheimer relies on traditional stunts without using any computer-generated special effects.

As expected from the steely characters they played, the actors remained unfazed by the flashing lights and swarms of reporters. Natascha McElhone, fresh off the triumph of The Truman Show, flew in from her London home to attend the premiere in a business-like suit of cream satin. Robert De Niro, with his usual gruff manner, refused to pose for the cameras with the standard smile. Instead, he mugged a variety of grimaces as he strolled down the red carpet. 

On the other hand, Jean Reno looked his dapper best in a black suit over a crisp white shirt. Sean Bean also cleaned up for the premiere in suit and tie. Maybe the scruffy Americans should take a cue or two from the elegant Europeans, as Gary Sinise showed up in a black polo sweater and Daniel Baldwin barely bothered to throw on a black jacket over a T-shirt.

Other celebrities attending the premiere included lovely ladies Tia Carrere, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jacqueline Bisset, Ally Walker and Gena Lee Nolin. Gia Carides and fiance Anthony LaPaglia attended arm-in-arm, as did director John Frankenheimer and his lovely wife Evans Evans.

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