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Ellen Barkin, Elliott Gould, and David Levien Interviews
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According to Elliott Gould, Ocean's Thirteen is about friendship and
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Ellen Barkin, Elliott Gould, and David Levien Interviews
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Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the North American premiere of Ocean's Thirteen.
Ellen Barkin ('Abigail Sponder')

What's it like joining this group, this all male cast?

Ellen Barkin: "Oh, it's about as good as it gets."

Is it as much fun as it seems?

Ellen Barkin: "Yeah."

Did you expect it to be that much fun on the set and for these guys to be as open and welcoming?

Ellen Barkin: "Yes. I mean I knew a lot of these guys. I had a cameo in Twelve that was cut out, so I've been around the Ocean's world before. And Jerry Weintraub cast me in my very first movie, which was called Diner. So, you know, I was with friends."

And working with Steven Soderbergh?

Ellen Barkin: "That was the best because now I can answer the question, 'Who is my favorite director of all time?'"

He is?

Ellen Barkin: "Absolutely. Just the most talented, the most delightful to work for, easy, focused, works hard, prepared. You just have a great time. And he just makes everybody relaxed, and when you have a director like that, it just kind of trickles down."

If there's an Ocean's Fourteen are you back for it?

Ellen Barkin: "Oh, I hope so."

Elliott Gould ('Reuben Tishkoff')

Tell me about reuniting with this cast. What makes these guys so special to work with?

Elliott Gould: "Well, it's a bunch of real people, down to earth people. A group of people where there's no room for ego or vanity. Nobody is more important than anybody else. And this film, Ocean's Thirteen, is about friendship and about loyalty. And you can see it on the screen. It's what the story's about."

Did you know when you went into the first one that it would become a franchise like this and so popular?

Elliott Gould: "No, no, no, no. I was just happy for the job. I'm glad that Steven Soderbergh and Jerry Weintraub cast me. I didn't expect a second one and certainly didn't expect a third one. I think that it shows something. There were the New York Yankees and a lot of franchises, you know, but this is a special group of people. We've got enough on film for you to see that we're all who we are."

Why do you think audiences have grabbed onto this film so much and have fallen in love with this Ocean's gang?

Elliott Gould: "Well, you've got a group of people who are very contemporary, who are at different stages of growth and evolution. We've got some wonderful younger people, like Casey Affleck and Scott Caan. You have different women who are with us. You've got superstars like George [Clooney] and Brad [Pitt] and Matt [Damon]. You have old-timers like Carl [Reiner] and myself. Old-timer, my god… But it's just a great group of people."

Screenwriter David Levien

You came in on the third film and the characters are already established. How difficult is it for you then to find an interesting story for them to tell?

David Levien: "Well you know, there is some positives to it. Brian Koppelman, my writing partner, and I got to inherit these great characters that were so well established, though they did cover a lot of ground in the first two movies. So we had to come up with like a really fresh heist and a real reason why they all got together. The idea of getting revenge for a friend seemed perfect to us."

How hands-on and how collaborative is Steven Soderbergh?

David Levien: "He's the best. He's the best director to work with. He gives you the freedom to just sort of go wherever you want with it. He's really inspirational. He's terrific at giving really concrete suggestions. He had tons of input. Just a great guy to work with."
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