Cannes: Salma Hayek Calls Matteo Garrone a "Method Director"

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John C. Reilly also praised the director of the competition entry 'Tale of Tales.'

If Cannes has a translation headset missing at the end of the film festival, it might be worth asking John C. Reilly.

"These things are amazing, I have to be able to take one with me when I leave here," the actor said Thursday at the press conference for Matteo Garrone’s fairytale epic Tale of Tales. "I want to be able to take them to a restaurant to hear the specials."

But Reilly, who plays a king desperate for an heir, mostly praised Garrone, describing him as "courageous and instinctual," as well someone who helped unite everyone working on the film.

"I think that’s why I enjoyed working in Italy so much," Reilly said. "Unlike American films, there’s not this regimented departmental separation between people. Everyone is just, 'If we’re hungry, let’s all eat.' Whatever it is, everyone is just pitching in."

Salma Hayek, who plays the film's queen, also lauded the director, who won the festival's Grand Prix for his two previous features, Gomorrah and Reality.

"We talk a lot about method actors, but there are method directors," she said. "They arrive, they go into their world and maybe there’s a fire and they don’t see it because they’re just focused and then it’s, ‘Is it extinguished? OK, can we just repeat this stage?’ He’s there until we go home."

Hayek also reflected — somewhat graphically — on a scene in which she had to eat the heart of a sea serpent.

"It’s disgusting. Our director here wanted the inside of the heart to be identical to a real heart," she recalled. "God forbid I took a bite and the doctor would recognize that it’s an artery."

Added Hayek: "But there was pasta and candy and all sorts of disgusting things [in it]. My daughter was there and saw the monitor and after the third time I was gagging, she said, ‘If you bite from the front, you can go to the back and spit it out — you can’t see.’ She saved my life."