Amanda Steele Details Her "Crazy Anxiety Attack" on Her First Cannes Red Carpet

Getty Images
Steele walked the red carpet for the 2017 premiere of 'Okja.'

The in-demand beauty influencer (with 2.6 million Instagram followers) recounts the complex emotions that came with facing the world's most famous line of photographers for the first time.

I went to Paris Fashion Week once as a guest of Dior Beauty so we already had a relationship when they asked me to come along for another trip to the South of France last year, ahead of the Cannes Film Festival. We stayed at Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc and I took my mom because it was right around Mother’s Day. We had a great time and got to relax and hang out by the pool and eat, just enjoying our time.

We had a group lunch one day, and one night we went to dinner at Christian Dior’s house which was amazing. It’s like a museum now, and we got to see every bottle of fragrance that Dior has made over the years. At the end of the evening, Dior set off fireworks that were insane; it was the most beautiful night. It remains my favorite trip that I’ve ever been on in my life.

It was never the plan to attend a red carpet premiere, but super last minute I got a ticket to walk the carpet for Okja. It was really crazy as we figured out how to make it happen. Next thing I know, I’m literally on a moped rushing through the streets to find something to wear with wet nails and my hair only half done. The fashion is so important and it’s such a huge event that people talk about it for months after its done. I ended up in Redemption with all Dior makeup and it was the best experience ever.

I arrived and honestly, I had a bit of a crazy anxiety attack when I got there. I got super scared and flustered. I had no idea what I was doing. I walked the carpet by myself and without a phone because it wouldn't fit in my bag. As soon as I got on the carpet, they sent everyone up the stairs and I was so overwhelmed and no one was speaking English. I didn’t know if I was doing the looking in the right direction for the photographers. I was very flustered, but I think I figured it out. Still when it was over, I had to figure out how to leave the Palais and get home without my phone.

Cannes is such an iconic film festival. The biggest actors and actresses have walked that carpet and for an aspiring actress like myself, it was such a huge moment for me. I do red carpets all the time -— almost every week — but to be in such an awesome place like that does not compare. Every actor dreams of getting to that point, and I feel so lucky and blessed and so inspired to keep doing what I’m doing.

People know me as an influencer. I don’t mind that word but I hope that’s not what I’m called forever. Being an “influencer” is still a new term and idea. People haven’t quite figured out a name for this kind of job that doesn’t have a slightly negative connotation. I hope that changes but for now it works because being an influencer is so broad. I know that I’m so different than the typical influencer.

But in general, I think it’s important for the normal, mainstream media to acknowledge influencers, especially beauty and fashion influencers. We have such an impact. Our job is drawing in followers and posting things that people want to see in connect with.

There will be other phases to my career. I’m auditioning a bunch and I’m trying to learn the craft more and work on different projects. Just really have new experiences. I want to keep being creative. I have a jewelry line I’m working on right now so that’s to come. But who knows? A lot of things pop out of nowhere and that’s what is exciting about my job. I’m always open and looking for what’s next.

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 11 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.