When is a star a superstar?

May 24, 2007

Anyone compiling a Cannes survival guide for journalists may want to consider the following:

1. There are parties and there are parties. After I got an invite to a major Hollywood bash at this year’s festival it quickly became clear that while it may get you through the door, it won’t get you to where you want to go. Hoping to check out the magnificent building at the end of a large garden where most the guests had gathered, my path was barred by two burly security guards standing next to a sign saying “limited access” (or some such). So that must be where the great hang out, while the merely good, and the journalists, mill around on the lawn.

2. There are stars and thereCannes9.jpg are superstars. While the stars generally hold court in Cannes, more often than not on a swanky hotel balcony or the beach itself, the superstars have a habit of demanding much more of your time and effort. The really big productions, and those that feature top Hollywood actors, often hold their interviews at the exclusive Du Cap hotel located about 30 minutes’ drive from Cannes. So I travelled there to meet Angelina Jolie for “A Mighty Heart” while a colleague did the same to interview Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon et al for “Ocean’s Thirteen“. Although the surroundings are pleasant enough — manicured gardens, azure seas, towering palm trees plus the odd paparazzo bobbing up and down in a nearby boat with an ultra-along lens — the waiting can be tedious and the temperatures draining.

And for a five-star establishment, the coffee they serve needs some attention. The “Mighty Heart” interviews actually ran fairly smoothly, meaning a round trip of around four hours for six minutes of questions with Angelina (plus a similar time with three co-stars).

It could be a lot, lot worse.

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