IT was an unlikely combination. New Zealand actor and Hollywood superstar, Sam Neill, and former Australian rugby union captain, George Gregan, were snapped recently belting out a few tunes at Niseko’s karaoke bar, Angel. From the look of this photo, Neill (seen in movies The Hunt for Red October, Jurassic Park and The Piano), with smile and clenched fist, really looks like he is getting into Japan’s favourite musical pastime. The expression on Gregan’s face is, however, reminiscent of his concentration while on the field playing scrum-half.
Word has it Neill spent time in Niseko with his wife, high-profile Hollywood make-up artist, Noriko Watanabe, and another movie celeb, Bryan Brown (Cocktail, Breaker Morant, Along Came Polly). But Neill, Gregan and friends aren’t the only celebrities to experience Niseko’s vibrant nightlife and, of course, our plentiful powder. Anonymous sources have revealed to Powderlife that many other famous faces have slipped in and out of town this season.
Several big-name Asian stars have also found their way here. Daniel Wu – an American-born Chinese film actor, director, and producer known mainly in Hong Kong for his martial arts films – enjoyed Niseko’s winter wonderland. Japanese pop star Uzaki Ryudo also came to town, along with famous Japanese reporter, Mai Satoda. In the off season, Emmy Award and Tony Award-winning film, theatre and TV star Hugh Jackman (X-Men, Kate and Leopold and Van Helsing) also came to experience all that Niseko can offer in the warmer months.