Cannes Rambling Reporter: Eddie Izzard, Vexed on the Beach

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Eddie Izzard

Notes from around the festival, including Cassel the Chameleon and Simon Baker.

Eddie Izzard, in town this year to promote the animated Rock Dog to buyers (he voices a paranoid guitar-hero cat), has come a long way since his first time visiting Cannes in 1980. Back then, he sold “luminous necklaces” for 10 francs apiece by day, and spent his nights on the sand. “There were kids by a fire and I was trying to get to sleep and there was this thing and we were like, ‘Is that a rat or a dog?’ and I thought, ‘That’s a rat.’ I don’t think it could have been a rat because it was so big. I tried sleeping up by the sea but then the sea was going to come in and I realized that wasn’t going to work, so I went underneath where they put out all the deck chairs for the restaurants, and then a big animal ran by.” Ah, memories.

Cassel the Chameleon

Tale of TalesVincent Cassel, known for his shape-shifting roles, leaves Cannes to immediately start shooting Xavier Dolan’s family drama It's Only the End of the World, and then will jump to Tahiti to play Paul Gauguin. So is it tough to switch character gears so quickly? Not at all, he insists. “What I’ve realized is that you adapt to anything,” he says. “I was shooting a movie called The Monk and then in the same time I had to shoot a movie called A Dangerous Method. One character was a totally crazed-up cocaine addict. And the other one was a monk who never had sex in his life. And so I started freaking out, saying, ‘What am I going to do?’ And then, at some point, I said, ‘No, it’s exactly the same.' It was the same part of myself.”

Serves Him Right! The Simon Baker Treatment

The French: a nation of rude waiters, snobby shopkeepers and dismissive hotel staff? That hasn’t been Simon Baker’s experience. The Australian actor, star of TV’s The Mentalist, gets treated like a king every time he visits. It doesn’t hurt that his show is the top-rated in la grande nation. “When people travel with me, they can’t believe how nice the French service is and how different it is when I’m not there,” Baker says. In Cannes to drum up interest in Breath, his upcoming directorial debut, Baker is used to starstruck French fans. When the bellboy at the Majestic saw him step on the elevator, “he turned bright red and then he broke out laughing. He didn’t even say a word.”


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