Italian mime Ennio
Marchetto is usually the silent type, but Maki Nibayashi got him to wax lyrical about his
unusual career and characters.
Although his family expected
him to take over his father's coffee machine repair shop, Ennio Marchetto had a dream -
literally - about becoming Marilyn Monroe. After creating his first paper costume of the
star for the Venice carnival, Marchetto has gone on to receive worldwide acclaim for his
quick-change paper clad characters and sprang into the limelight after winning the Zanzara
D'Oro prize in 1988. After rave reviews at the 1989 Edinburgh Festival, Marchetto has
circled the globe delighting audiences with his carefully mimicked takes on international
celebrities such as Madonna, Freddie Mercury and more recently Eminem. For his return
visit to Japan, and current tour of Prince hotels, he has added several new members to his
"cast," which now includes Astro Boy, Hibari Misora, Hiromi Go and Sonoko
Suzuki. When he's not touring, Marchetto relaxes at his Venetian home where he gardens and
tends to his collection of cockerels.
How many characters do you have
have a favorite?
It's always the latest creation. One of the audience's favorites is the Mona Lisa, but
because it's so popular I've done it a million times so it's difficult for me to enjoy it
anymore. I still do it anyway. The newest creation is always good because it takes time to
develop. It's exciting for me to arrive at the point of the show where I introduce a new
character. The latest is Botticelli's Venus, which I made especially for the Italian Year
festival in Japan. Abba is also quite new.
What was the first costume you
Marilyn Monroe, who's still in the show. The idea of the paper costume came from a dream I
had when I was 21. I was helping out with my father's business, which is totally different
from what I do now, and I had free time to create. I did my first ever show in Venice,
just for friends. When I started I made costumes using other types of material as well as
Were you always interested in art?
I was more into theater and dance and especially silent theater rather than speaking.
Being an actor doesn't interest me.
Courtesy of Akasaka Prince
How do you prepare for the show?
Doing the make-up is my way to get ready to perform. The make-up is like a mask; without
it I can't perform.
How much paper do you use per
We recycle a lot of our costumes. We can use them about 50 or 100 times. Of course there
is always a need for repair, but that's easy. We have about 140 pieces for the costumes.
For one show we use about 60.
Do you use a specific type of
We use paper like oak tag as well as crepe paper and Velcro for the detachable parts. I
put plastic on the inside because I sweat and that ruins the paper. If I didn't put it on
the back, I would have to make a new costume for every single show that I do and that's
just not possible.
What new characters are you
thinking of doing next?
We don't know yet exactly. Maybe some new pop star.
How about Japanese characters?
We are going to do the character Oscar from the Rose of Versailles, which is a
famous Takarazuka theater show. We'll be doing the character this time in Japan. If you
have any other ideas about which Japanese characters might be good, let me know!
Are the costumes easy to get in
and out of?
Yes, fairly easy. I trust myself and my staff to get it right.
Do you have to practice a lot?
Not much any more. In the beginning I did, but because the show is the same most of the
time and I only add one or two characters at a time, it's not so bad.
Have you ever met any of the
people you imitate?
Well, this year, I'll be performing at a party that Elton John is having, and I'm sure he
will have many famous guests like Cher, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and Boy George. In Italy, I
did one of the most popular singer/dancers and she didn't know that I was doing her, but
she seemed pleased.
Did anyone ever get angry with
No never... well, maybe Kate Bush. She didn't enjoy being imitated. She saw the video
because I had to ask her if it was possible to do her character on a TV program, and she
said that it was inappropriate.
What do you like to do in your
Many things. I have many friends and family that I like to visit. I like to ride my
bicycle and go swimming.
How about Japan?
I think I saw quite a lot already, but I like places where there are a lot of young
people. I like how they look, what they wear, and what's in - I think Harajuku is great.
The young girls dress in such a strange and unique way. After seeing so many buildings and
people, I like to get back in touch with nature.
Do you have a favorite
restaurant that you like to go to when you're in town?
I have favorite foods, such as shabu shabu and sukiyaki, and also teppanyaki
- it's very visual, expressive and fun to watch.
How much do you spend traveling in
Sometimes eight months. Last year I was in San Francisco for three months, LA for two,
then Italy in July and finally Japan. I was quite busy.
Whats the secret of your
I never thought I would be this successful. I still do what I do with a lot of pleasure.
It's like a play. Sometimes, I get tired of traveling and long for home so I decided to
try and not travel for more than three months at a time - I don't like long-running
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IN PERSON: 539: Sea worthy Deep Blue director Andy Byatt breaks the surface after five years of filming
the ocean. Carlo Niederberger reports. 538: The public eye Switch on a TV wide show and theres a good chance youll
see Dave Spector commenting on the news or debating panelists. Chris Betros
meets the TV junkie. 537: Casting a spell Fans in Japan can't get enough of Harry Potter, whether it's movies, books,
merchandise or the stars themselves. Chris Betros catches some of the Hogwarts
gang in Tokyo. 536: Page turner Longtime Tokyo entrepreneur Rick Roa has enough stories to fill a dozen
lifetimes, as his biographer found out. Chris Betros hears some of the juicy
ones. 535: Glitter twins Will Matthew Bourne's latest reinterpretation of a classic strike a chord
in Japan? Lead dancers Scott Ambler and Richard Windsor tell Dan Grunebaum about
Play Without Words. 534: Character study Puerto Rican star and Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro turns in another intense
performance in 21 Grams. Chris Betros reports. 533: The big freeze Roland Emmerich and his team are chilling audiences with their ice age disaster
film The Day After Tomorrow. Chris Betros joins them out of the cold. 532: Hitting a Homer At 40, Brad Pitt looks to be in pretty good shape after a tough shoot and
even tougher publicity schedule for Troy. Chris Betros reports. 531: Trade deficit A new book by Robert Whiting looks at Japans latest quality export
to America: Ichiro and the boys. Rob Smaal catches up with the author. 530: Hey Jude British actor Jude Law is very low-key about his sex-symbol status in Japan.
Chris Betros gets a close-up look. 529: Field goals After three years as a San Francisco 49ers cheerleader, Ai Yasuda tells
Sachie Kanda the lessons she learned from the Gold Rush. 528: Voice of reason Whether hes on InterFM or co-hosting the Japanese version of 60 Minutes,
veteran Japan resident Peter Barakan brings a mature view to the masses. Chris
Betros listens in. 527: Rock enroll Comedian-rocker Jack Black is in fine form during a jaunt to promote School
of Rock. Chris Betros listens in. 526: Spoils of war Director Anthony Minghella and Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger revisit
the Civil War in Cold Mountain. Chris Betros takes note. 525: Second acts Dewi Sukarno wears many hats-social critic, TV personality and charity fundraiser.
Chris Betros visits the former first lady of Indonesia. 524: State of Grace TV variety show presenter Hiroko Grace thrives in the hustle and bustle
of New York. Chris Betros finds out what shes been up to. 523: Manga mania TokyoPop founder Stuart Levy has struck gold as the leading publisher of
Japanese manga in the US. Chris Betros finds out whats behind the boom.
522: Queen of hearts Newly crowned Miss Nippon Yuriko Saga is ready to seize the day. Carlo Niederberger
meets the new belle of the ball. 521: Remember when A beefed-up Ben Affleck says he wants to keep all his memories-unlike his
character in John Woo's thriller Paycheck. Chris Betros finds out why. 519: Bilingual beat Red carpets at the Grammys, TV interviews and radio work keep Yuka Komaki
pretty busy. Chris Betros catches up with the globetrotting personality. 518: Full speed ahead Australian director Peter Weir takes us back in time on an epic voyage in
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Chris Betros books his passage.
517: American dream Switch-hitting shortstop Kazuo Matsui is set make a splash as the first
Japanese infielder to play in the Major Leagues. Rob Smaal reports on his big
move. 516: Hail the hobbits Accolades and awards are making it hard for Peter Jackson and his cast to
adjust to life after Lord of the Rings, reports Chris Betros. 515: In the name of love Only 20, British actress Keira Knightley is already building an impressive
body of work, the latest being the romantic comedy Love Actually. Chris Betros
reports. 514: Horsing around Tobey Maguire swaps his Spider-Man costume for a jockey's kit in the acclaimed
Depression-era drama Seabiscuit. Chris Betros reports. 513: Free bird Actress-model Anna Umemiya juggles single parenthood, work and the tabloids.
Chris Betros asks how she does it. 512: Girl next door Fame hasn't gone to Holly Valance's head, Chris Betros finds after meeting
the former Neighbours star and now Australian singing sensation. 511: Emotional baggage Fumiko Ishioka uses an old suitcase from a young Auschwitz victim to teach
Japan's children about the Holocaust. Chris Betros hears more. 508: All that jazz Filipino singer Charito is still winning fans after 20 years on the Tokyo
jazz scene. Chris Betros checks out her style. 507: Lord of the rings Hollywood can't get enough Japanese horror movies to remake. Producer Takashige
Ichise loves it, Chris Betros learns. 506: Men of honor Tom Cruise and Edward Zwick say we can all learn from the samurai code of
ethics. Chris Betros dusts off his armor for a few lessons. 505: A lofty goal Ken Ohtaka swapped a top job at a securities company for mountain climbing
to raise money for charity. Chris Betros finds out why. 504: Gallo's humor Vincent Gallo comes out swinging in defense of his controversial movie The
Brown Bunny. Chris Betros dodges a few punches. 503: Making J-Waves Radio navigator, TV host, event MC and jewelry designer Chris Peppler has
a lot on his plate. Chris Betros finds out how he manages it all. 502: Glitter Ball 501: Crossing swords
Quentin Tarantino pays homage to Japan, strong women and anime with buckets
of blood in Kill Bill. Chris Betros lives to tell the tale. 500: Share the wealth To commemorate our 500th issue, Metropolis is asking Halloween partygoers
to donate ¥500 to help two local children's charities. Chris Betros digs
deep. 499: In full bloom Okinawan-American singer DAHLIA hits the big time, thanks to Japanese rock
icon Yoshiki and Expo 2005. Chris Betros meets the young talent. 498: Just for laughs The Sushi Brothers have a joke for every occasion. Chris Betros meets the
wacky pair. 497: Nobel mind At 79, former US President Jimmy Carter is a busy man championing human
rights, world peace and public health, as Carlo Niederberger observes. 496: Broad strokes Live performances and self-promotion are all part of being a painter in
today's world, artist Ponzi tells Krista Wilson. 495: Action figure Angelina Jolie is busy these days, kicking butt as Lara Croft and standing
up for refugee children around the world as a UN representative. Chris Betros
hears more. 494: Show and tell Yuka Nukina brings the world to Japan on NHK's Weekend Japanology program.
Chris Betros tunes in. 493: Pasona non grata Business maverick Yasuyuki Nambu's vision of a radically new Japanese society
doesn't endear him to bureaucrats, but Chris Betros is impressed. 492: Rain man Author Barry Eisler takes to the mean streets of Tokyo with his second book
featuring Japanese-American assassin John Rain. Chris Betros digs deeper. 491: Golden boy Kosuke Kitajima is the latest athlete to captivate Japan after smashing
two world records at the world swimming championships. Fred Varcoe hears about
his new life. 490: Murder, she wrote Award-winning mystery author Natsuo Kirino proves herself a master of the
macabre in Out, her first novel to be translated into English. Chris Betros
reads between the lines. 489: Life or death Acclaimed British director Alan Parker's latest film delves into the moral
debate surrounding the death penalty. Chris Betros listens in. 488: Work of art Salma Hayek spent eight years bringing her passion for Mexican artist Frida
Kahlo to the big screen. Chris Betros hears the story. 487: A charmed life Actress Uno Kanda's ultimate goal is to end up being a cute grandma. Chris
Betros asks how she intends to do it. 486: He's back The Terminator returns after a 12-year hiatus as its star Arnold Schwarzenegger
ponders a career shift. Chris Betros reports. 485: Prime time Thirty-something Tomoko Ogawa has found fame and career fulfillment behind
the TBS news desk. Chris Betros pays the anchorwoman a visit. 484: Screen test Project Greenlight gives aspiring film directors a million bucks and a chance
to be the next Martin Scorsese. Chris Betros meets its first winner, Pete Jones. 483: Angel eyes Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore thrill the faithful during their
visit to promote Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Chris Betros joined the masses. 482: No holds barred Top female pro wrestler Chigusa Nagayo has a growing legion of fans. Sachie
Kanda finds out why. 481: Top of the hill While heading up designer Terence Conran's Roppongi Hills projects, architect
Richard Doone took time to get lost in Tokyo. Steve Trautlein reports. 480: Inside the Matrix Six months of Matrix fever begins this weekend with The Matrix Reloaded.
Chris Betros hears what the stars have to say about it. 479: Universal themes The Miss Universe final is just the beginning for Miyako Miyazaki, who wants
the world to see the beauty of Japanese culture. Chris Betros hears more. 478: On the ball
Japans national soccer head coach, Zico, has big plans for the team. Fred
Varcoe finds out whats on his mind. 477: That's a rap Director Curtis Hanson gets a surprisingly good performance out of controversial
hip-hop superstar Eminem in 8 Mile. Chris Betros finds out how he did it.
476: Say the magic word Popular magician Dave Letendre has a trick for every occasion, Chris Betros
observes. 475: Bully boy Bad boy Brad Renfro takes on another tormented youth role in Larry Clarks
no-holds barred drama Bully. Chris Betros tries to figure him out. 474: Inventive mind From the weird to the wonderful, Dr NakaMats has an invention for every
occasion. Chris Betros meets the genius. 473: The king of rock n role Montreal entertainer Martin Fontaine brings The Elvis Story to Japan this
month. Sachie Kanda meets the star of the high-energy musical. 472: Inside out Akiko Shimizu is on a mission: to give Japanese women the skills to make
the right choices in their lives. Chris Betros gets a few tips, too. 471: Dramatic intrigue International star of stage and screen Mozaffar Shafeie gives Stephen Cotterill
the lowdown on Tokyos theater scene. 470: Guru of gore Bizarre movie director David Cronenberg is the most normal person he knows.
You wouldnt think so from his films, though, Chris Betros observes. 469: Female bonding Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike leave 007 shaken and stirred in Lee Tamahoris
Die Another Day. Chris Betros hears more. 468: Baby boom Pint-sized BRAT has Japans pop culture in his sights. Chris Betros
talks to his creator, British illustrator John Shelley. 467: Good Lord Actor Viggo Mortensen dismisses comparisons between Lord of the Rings and
the fight against terrorism. Chris Betros lends an ear. 466: Just for thrills
Edward Norton adds Red Dragon to his impressive list of credits. Chris Betros
reports. 465: As a Matt of fact Matt Damon is happy to take on any role, even a sumo wrestler, if the project
is right. 464: First bass Producer and bassist Bill Laswell hits the top without even trying, he tells
Tom Bojko. 463: White lies
Aboriginal author Doris Pilkington and filmmaker Phillip Noyce lift the lid
on Australias Stolen Generation. Chris Betros reports. 462: Pottering about
Daniel Radcliffe is enjoying life in the spotlight as Harry Potter works his
magic at the box office. Chris Betros reports. 461: In Gere
Richard Gere speaks about getting old, being cool, infidelity and being an activist.
Chris Betros takes it all in. 460: Freedom of the press
Maverick newspaper publisher Kiyoharu Nakayama is taking on the big boys with
his free newspaper Tokyo Headline. Sachie Kanda reports. 457/458: A farewell to arms
Kathryn Bigelow and Harrison Ford lift the veil on a dramatic Soviet sub disaster
in K-19: The Widowmaker. Chris Betros goes below. 456: Leaders of the pack
It was mass adulation as Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese brought Gangs
of New York to Japan for the world premiere 454: Future tense
Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise warn about tomorrow's grim possibilities in
their mystery Minority Report 453: Keeping the Faith
Family is the driving force in country singer Faith Hill's life whether she's
making CDs or soundtracks 451: Watts the matter
Success has been a long time coming for The Ring star Naomi Watts, but it's
all part of a learning experience 450: Class action
Batman and 007 are out, Triple X is in, celluloid superhero Vin Diesel says 449: On the rise
A newly restructured Tower Records is setting the pace in Japan's retail music
industry 448: Tomorrow the universe
Justine Pasek knows being Miss Universe will be tough, but having faith and
a sense of humor can go a long way 447: Cyber sisterhood
Entrepreneur Kaori Sasaki is spreading the message online that Japan's male-dominated
corporate world is under threat from an army of capable women 446: Hot rod heart
The Japan Grand Prix is somewhat of a homecoming for 2001 British Formula 3
Champion Takuma Sato 445: Raking it in Hugh Grant is in peak form, basically playing himself as the stylish layabout
in About a Boy 444: Funny business
Japan is a joke to comedian Simon Bligh, who returns to perform with the Punchline
Comedy Club 443: Cartoon Channel An expert editor and diehard manga fan, Coamix head honcho Nobuhiko Horie
is going global with his Raijin Comics series 442: Killa' Milla
Milla Jovovich squeezes in a chat with Nicholas Coldicott about tough schedules,
superficiality and flesh-eating zombies 441: The show must go on
Japanese entertainers help to bring Broadway back to life with a charity gala
concert. 440: Hip hop pop
Japan's original turntablist tells Dan Grunebaum how music saved his life 439: The long road home
After tasting Hollywood success, Y Tu Mama Tambien director Alfonso Cuaron fled
LA for his native Mexico's "holy ground." 438: In the spirit
New Age music virtuoso Kitaro takes to the stage for his Silk Road tour 437: The Tomei express
Marisa Tomei's career is in full flight, Chris Betros observes, as the perky
actress alternates between the theater and cinema, her latest effort being In
the Bedroom 436: Wells spoken
More than 100 years after HG Wells wrote "The Time Machine," his great-grandson
Simon directs the latest movie version 435: Stepping lively
Reva Rice and Kenya Osumi promise plenty of eroticism in the newest version
of the hit Broadway musical Fosse 434: Full plate
Tokyo architect Benjamin Warner is about to add another successful design to
his portfolio with a chain of delicatessens 433: Brunch break
TV personality Tamao Sato's goal in life is to make people happy 432: Heart beat
Justin Gardiner speaks with the versatile percussionist who took center stage
at the World Cup closing ceremony 431: Hard to heart
Former sumo wrestler Konishiki is in great demand these days, but his heart
lies in his many charitable endeavors 430: Calling the tunes
Shocking peers, maverick sensei Makoto Nishimura invites foreigners into the
cloistered world of the shamisen 429: What women want
Fantasy film Kate & Leopold's Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman debate the art of
seduction 428: The write stuff
Shodo meets suspense in Todd Shimoda's new novel, "The Fourth Treasure." 427: Will and testament
Will Smith takes on his biggest challenge yet in Michael Mann's biopic Ali 426: Foster care
Now a mother of two, Jodie Foster re-emerges in Panic Room, which deals with
the issue closest to her heartfamily 425: Pop rocks
Britney Spears is big business, but the 20-year-old pop singer sees it all as
just good fun 424: No shortcuts for Morgan Freeman
Fame was a long time coming for Morgan Freeman, who gives thanks to providence
and friends 423: Universal values
Mina Chiba is equally at home on the stage as Miss Universe Japan as she is
on a car racing circuit 422: Tsuzuki style Kyoichi Tsuzuki, writer, editor and maverick designer, is Japan's great
chronicler of the strange and exotic 421: Arnie, get your gun Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger explains why the Sept 11 terror attacks
won't change a thing in Hollywood 420: Plenty to Crowe about
Despite missing out on the Oscar for A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crowe is still
very much in the spotlight 419: Piano man
George Winston has made a career playing instrumental music inspired by the
American West 418: War plane Heroes often emerge out of the blood and guts of chaos, say filmmaker Ridley
Scott and his crew of Black Hawk Down 416: The sexplorers
Killing Me Softly director Chen Kiage and star Heather Graham talk titillation
415: Don't call us retro
Stereolab take tunes back to the future 414: Running "Rings" around the
The cast and crew of Lord of the Rings talk Oscar and samurai elves 412: Lynch pin
Composer Angelo Badalamenti on Mulholland Drive and working with its famed director 411: Duality
Architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham on the beauty of building in Tokyo 410: American Woman
Natalie Merchant on her life and music 409: There's nothing like a dame
Veterans Julie Andrews and Gary Marshall team up for the Princess Diaries 408: Caiya Kawasaki
has built her image on berating Japanese men, but it's all for a reason 407: The Skys the Limit
Vanilla Sky's Cruise, Cruz & Crowe on casual sex 406: The
art of elegance
Veteran designer Takeo Nishida 404: Don't
judge an ogre by its cover
Shrek producer Jeffrey Katzenberg 402: Teen
Crime and Punishment in suburbia director Rob Schmidt
401: Life's a party
400: In the Nic of time
Nicole Kidman high-kicks in Moulin Rouge
Memento's director Christopher Nolan
American alt rockers 311 take a special interest in Japan
397:Evolution of an ex-Filer
David Duchovny explains why he went from the X-Files to Evolution
396: Rock Warrior
Former Clash frontman Joe Strummer
395: 2001's absurd odyssey
The Coen brothers pay tribute to classic American cinema 394: Jolie
Angelina Jolie kicks plenty of butt in Tomb Raider 393: Keeping
up with the Jones 392: Ratner
a man in a rush
Director Brett Ratner can't wait to film Rush Hour 3 in Tokyo 391: Far
from the Madden crowd
Captain Corelli's Mandolin is more than a World War II love story ... 390: Wake-up
NHK morning news anchor Toko Takeuchi is an early bird with a passion ... 389: Gallo's
Artist, filmmaker, actor, model, Vincent Gallo 388: Reaching
for the universe
Misao Arauchi 387: Speak
softly and carry a big kick
Actor Steven Seagal 386: Paper
Italian mime Ennio Marchetto 385: A sight
for saur eyes Jurassic Park III's Sam Neill 384: The
planet that went ape
Visionary filmmaker Tim Burton 383: Digital
The father of ambient music, Brian Eno 382: Mission
TV personality Mari Christine 381: Bombs
Long-awaited Pearl Harbor comes to Japan 380: Not
so close encounter
Director Steven Spielberg 379: Sexy
Samantha Lang, director of The Monkey's Mask 378: Hogan's
Crocodile Dundee - Paul Hogan 377: Sumo
British actress Charlotte Brittain 376: Mummy
dearest The Mummy Returns' Brendan Fraser 375: Animal
Independent movie auteur, Michael Di Jiacomo 374: Brief
American Short Shorts Film Festival organizer, Tetsuya Besho 373: Porn
Doug Wright, screenwriter of Quills 372: Virgin
Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group 371: Don't
call me babe
Bombshell Charlize Theron 370: Killer
personality American Psycho's Christian Bale 369: Sweet
French actress Juliette Binoche 368: Playing
Nick Park and Peter Lord, the creators of Chicken Run 367: The
"Tony" Hopkins in a PR stupor 366: Get
focked Meet the Parents' Ben Stiller 365: Age
"Auteur" filmmaker Paul Cox 364: As the
Meg Ryan promotes her new movie 363: The
The down-low on J. Lo 362: Boy
in the hood
Actor Masaya Kato 361: Bouncing
Hollywood's queen of cool, Gwyneth Paltrow 359: Play
that funky music
Catch up with Verbal from Japan's hip-hop group m-flo 358: A heartbreak
hotel Hotel Splendide director Terence Gross 357: Billy
Star Jamie Bell 354: In a
New age musician, Kitaro 351: Bah
Jim Carrey as The Grinch