What can you tell about the personalities of Expendables 3 cast members just by watching them ride in Soviet-era tanks in the South of France? A lot! (I think. Perhaps.)
On Sunday, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, and friends shut down the Croisette, the main street in Cannes (no mean feat in the middle of this festival), for a publicity stunt in which they rode in tanks after a screening of a 12-minute preview clip of the next installment in the old-guys action-flick franchise. Crowds with cameras chased them from one end of the Croisette to the other. But the stars, who in turn had their phones out filming the crowd, seemed just as fascinated by the scene unfolding before them.
What was each actor's tank-riding style?
Jason Statham: Front of the tank, chest out, manly stare, charging posture, like a stubbled, bald, beefcake-y George Washington crossing the Delaware. I'm in front, I've got this.
Sylvester Stallone: Sitting up straight, on his knees, proud grandpapa smile. Alternately shaking hands and waving people away, concerned for their safety and attentively watching to make sure the tank wasn't going to run over anyone.
Mel Gibson: Riding backwards, clinging to a metal pole, looking a little nuts with his wild salt-and-pepper beard and frequent bursts of laughter at nothing in particular.
Kellan Lutz: Standing in a tank hole, filming the crowd the whole time, nodding a little, like, Here we go. I've made it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Weirdly hidden in a middle-tank hole, surrounded on all sides by other cast members. Looking stunned and confused.
Kelsey Grammer: Side-of-the-tank position, perma-grin, like he can't believe that this is his life.
Wesley Snipes: Standing in a tank hole, filming constantly, tossing off peace signs and thumbs-ups like they were candy and he was a liberating soldier. Snipes requires bodyguards when he comes to Europe. These are his people.
Harrison Ford: Riding backwards, side of the tank, a picture of relaxation, resting his arm casually on his bent knee. He's old hat at this.
When the tanks arrived at the Carlton Hotel, Cannes police immediately blockaded the street, shutting out both journalists who'd been trying to get into the press conference and the occasional hotel guest. One man who said he had a meeting in ten minutes at the hotel had been told to enter at the middle of the blockade. "But there are tanks in the middle," he screamed.