Cannes a time to reconnect for Reno


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CANNES -- After hitting the Croisette last year with "The Da Vinci Code," Jean Reno is back in Cannes finishing his latest French-language film, "Cash," currently filming on the Riviera.

Scriptwriter Eric Besnard makes his directorial debut in the action-packed detective crime comedy starring the French James Bond, "OSS 117" leading man Jean Dujardin, alongside Alice Taglioni and Italian actress Valeria Golino.

The film, produced by Patrice Ledoux for Pulsar Prods., marking the producer's first film since his recent split from Gaumont, will finish shooting on the Riviera next week and will film in Paris through the end of July. "I offered the project to Patrick Binet, and he said yes within 10 minutes," said Ledoux, who joined Dujardin and Reno for a beachside press conference.

The $20 million "Cash" is co-produced by TF1 Films Production, with TFM Distribution set to release the film in Gallic theaters April 23 and TF1 International handling international sales at the Cannes market. "It's glamour, charm and champagne," Ledoux said.

After last year's huge red carpet premiere for "Da Vinci," transatlantic star Reno has returned to the Croisette for a more mellow festival. It's the actor's 20th Festival de Cannes, but he's still enjoying the experience.

"For me, Cannes is a time to see friends who I haven't seen in a long time, that can be journalists, actors, producers, makeup artists -- it's more of a meeting for the profession because I'm not 20 years old anymore running around."

So is the aging Reno threatened by his co-star, a younger Jean, filling his action-star shoes? "Absolutely not. There comes a time when one wants to spend time with one's family, or wife, not just to make movies. It's normal, we can't just make movies. It's not possible to make more than two movies per year."

Reno, who recently wrapped filming on Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" with Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo, understands that the fest isn't all about glitz and glamour. "Cannes is a market where there are a lot of films being sold every day -- that's the principal reason for Cannes, not the red carpet. I'm happy that there are difficult films that come here -- if they can't come here, where else can they go?" he said.

But it's not all about the job for the star. "Being friends with the people with whom I work is why I do what I do. It's more people I appreciate for their human quality than their artistic qualities, even though, of course, that's very important. You can make a movie with 15 different stars, but what's important is the relationship you develop with a person," he said.

So what does Reno do with his foreign friends who come to town for the festival? "Cannes is a nice opportunity to introduce them to the city and show them the good restaurants," he said.