Thursday’s preem of “Snow Falling on Cedars” was a benefit for the American Film Institute, but also benefiting from the launch was Youki Kudoh, who was making her American studio debut.
Kudoh (sometimes referred to as “the Japanese Madonna”) spoke at the preem’s Beverly Hilton after-party and said it’s unusual being in America because in Japan, “I’ve been famous since I was very, very small. Everyone treats me like a star and I’ve gotten used to it. Here in the U.S., I’m a nobody. It was shocking. I can be treated very bad at the grocery store.”
Kudoh was treated very well at the premiere, as were the other guests, who included Universal’s Ron Meyer, Stacey Snider, Nadia Bronson and Marc Shmuger; director Scott Hicks; producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall; star Rick Yune; AFI’s Jean Firstenberg; Jamie Kennedy, Bai Ling and Kevin Pollak.