May 20, 2024

willem dafoe, cannes dispatch, cover story, kinds of kindness
hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
willem dafoe, cannes dispatch, cover, kinds of kindness

CANNES DISPATCH 11 …
As Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds Of Kindness bowed at Cannes Film Festival, the film – a triptych of contemporary tales starring Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe and Jesse Plemons – got a standing ovation and a flurry of engaged reviews lauding a challenging film with no easy answers. ‘Listen, I’m a total cheerleader for festivals,’ smiles Dafoe when Hollywood Authentic sits down with him in a Carlton Hotel suite on the Croisette. ‘This is not a popcorn movie. So when it comes to a festival, it starts a discussion, and that’s a good way to make contact with a critical world.’  

Though he’s made so-called popcorn movies during his long and illustrious career, Dafoe is well known for collaborating on invigorating films that prompt discussions on meaning that often start at festivals before moving the lobbies of cinemas globally, and Kinds Of Kindness marks another piece of provocative work as the actor plays three roles. In the first story, he’s a businessman with an idiosyncratic wardrobe who minutely controls every aspect of the life of his subordinate (Plemons). In the second he essays the father of Emma Stone’s lost-at-sea wife who returns to her cop husband (Plemons) and arouses suspicion that she may not be who she seems. And in the third, Dafoe is a cult leader who is sexually permissive and cries tears into a vast vat of sacred water, sending his acolytes (Stone and Plemons) out into the world to find the group’s new messiah. 

willem dafoe, cannes dispatch, cover story, kinds of kindness

Having previously worked with Stone and Lanthimos on last year’s acclaimed Poor Things, Dafoe was intrigued by the script as soon as the director offered it to him during post production on their period awards winner. He didn’t hesitate in jumping in again. ‘Poor Things was such a good experience. Yorgos is a filmmaker that I’ve always followed, and have always enjoyed. And he’s so good with actors. He gives you really fun stuff to do. He’s very playful. He’s very intellectually curious. It’s a very conscionable and very creative set. So, to work with him again was fantastic.  Also, this structure was interesting, the fact that we’re playing three different characters. It became very clear that [Lanthimos] didn’t want this to be a showy thing of actors transforming. Because they’re three distinct films, but they’re all obviously thematically related. And they’re all different, given each different world, and our function in that world. For example, in the first one, I have a pretty substantial role; in the second one, quite a smallish role; and in the third one, a medium role. How I fall into those worlds is different each time. But it’s the same group of people, dealing with the same kind of mentality and themes.’ It also meant re-teaming with Bella Baxter herself, in Emma Stone. ‘Emma, I adore!’ he enthuses. ‘She’s really fun to work with.’

Those themes then; all the stories explore control and cruelty, the weird and illogical kindnesses that humans do for each other in marriage, business, friendship, faith. And each story, while not related, informs the next as a viewer. But like all of Lanthimos’ work, the meaning is defined by each audience member – a Rorschach test in cinematic form. ‘It’s a little bit of a Russian doll,’ Dafoe nods of the project. ‘But you work so hard to just try to be engaged with what’s in front of you. You know, that’s one of the tricks of an actor: that’s your world, so you want the other parts to fade away, because you don’t want to point to those things, or be too tied to that. You want a fresh start each time.’

willem dafoe, cannes dispatch, cover story, kinds of kindness
willem dafoe, cannes dispatch, cover story, kinds of kindness

While playing Stone’s Dad required Dafoe to tap into his affection for his co-star (‘I just cued off my love for Emma’), playing a cult leader did have him looking into real-life examples. ‘I’m fascinated by the nature of cults. I looked at a documentary that I think Jesse recommended to me called Holy Hell, also I liked Wild Wild Country. Not so much because I need that to figure out how to play a cult leader. That’s not it. The themes are there. You know, the kind of devotion, the need to give your freedom up to someone else, or dedicate yourself to something outside of yourself. All those themes, the power dynamics, the things about sexuality – they’re all in that. You’re swimming in that pool. You’re not necessarily taking something, and seeing something, and saying, ‘I’m going to do that’. It’s just to get you in that head.’

Lanthimos is also known for his rehearsal process before filming, another aspect that Dafoe was drawn to. ‘Yorgos is very good at making a company. Rehearsal is not so much to deal with the text, or even talk about character, except to play games and get comfortable with each other. And that’s very helpful. So once you finish that rehearsal period, you feel very comfortable with each other, and everyone is kind of on the same footing. And it’s a good way for you to understand Yorgos, what his impulses are, what he likes, and what he tends to go towards. You get in his head a little bit. And it’s always good any time you can get that in a movie, because then people stop worrying about that old thing of, ‘leave your ego at the door’.’

willem dafoe, margaret qualley, cannes dispatch, cover story, kinds of kindness

Dafoe will be digging into ego, legacy, fame and the impact of praise on the soul with his next project, a film he’s also in Cannes to launch. Late Fame, adapted from Arthur Schnitzler’s 19th century Vienna-set novella, switches the time period to 70s New York with Dafoe playing a poet long forgotten by society. Until, that is, his poems are rediscovered and feted. Sandra Hüller will play a Broadway actress and fan of his work who challenges his ideas of genius. Directed by Kent Jones, the film starts shooting in New York this Autumn. The project was sparked by creative serendipity for Dafoe.

‘The Schnitzler novel that it’s adapted from, a friend brought to me, independent of this production, and said, ‘I think there’s a movie here’. I was carrying it around when I happened to meet the director, and we started talking. To make a long story short, we came together on it but from separate places. We were both reading this, and were interested in this, at the same time. And then it’s Samy Burch who wrote this beautiful adaptation that sets it in New York at a time that I was in New York, and it was a very special time, the late ‘70s. It’s very rich material. It expresses a very particular time, and it has lots of interesting ruminations about fame and personal history and memory and ambition, and about what it is to aspire to be an artist.’

willem dafoe, cannes dispatch, cover story, kinds of kindness

Kinds Of Kindness premiered at the 77th Cannes Film Festival and will be released later this year. Late Fame starts shooting in autumn this year, release TCB

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic

CANNES DISPATCH 1
You can call it a comeback, but as Johnny Depp tells me, “I mean, you have to have gone away to come back. I didn’t go nowhere…” It was lovely to shoot Johnny on his return to Cannes – and the first major outing in the film world since his highly publicised trial – for the world premiere of Jeanne Du Barry, directed by and co-starring French actress and filmmaker Maïwenn, which opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

johnny depp, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams
johnny depp, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

Johnny is back in the Hollywood spotlight, and it’s a unique moment for the actor. Johnny was last at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 2011. 12 years later, being back in Cannes is somewhat of a phoenix moment for the actor, “That was a real surprise,” he says.

In the car en route to the premiere, he talked about his tight, mischief-filled friendship with Marlon Brando and what it means to him to be welcomed back at Cannes.

johnny depp, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams
johnny depp, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

Jeanne Du Barry is in cinemas now

May 26, 2023

jude law, firebird, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams
hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
jude law, firebird, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

CANNES DISPATCH 10
Jude Law moments before the world premiere of Firebrand, for which he has received unanimous praise for his explosive performance as King Henry VIII.

Law stars alongside Alicia Vikander as his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, in the film directed by Karim Aïnouz, which screened in competition at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.

jude law, firebird, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams
jude law, firebird, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

Jude Law wears custom Brioni, styled by William J Gilchrist and grooming by Alain Pichon

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
natalie portan,may december, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

CANNES DISPATCH 9 …
Natalie Portman returns to Cannes for Palme d’Or nominated film, May December, directed by Todd Haynes, with Portman and Sophie Mas acting as co-producers on the film under their production company MountainA.

The story follows actress Elizabeth Berry (Portman) who travels to Maine to speak with Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) to do research for a film about her notorious tabloid romance with Joe Yoo (Charles Melton), a school boy at the time, and twenty-three years her junior.

natalie portan,may december, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

Natalie Portman wears Chopard jewels and Dior

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
lily-rose depp, the idol, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic

CANNES DISPATCH 8
Lily-Rose Depp stars in new Sam Levinson-directed drama, The Idol, co-starring Abel Tesfaye, AKA The Weeknd. The HBO show premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.

Following a nervous breakdown that caused the cancellation of her last tour, Jocelyn (Depp) is determined to reclaim her rightful status as the greatest pop star in America. She begins a complex relationship with nightclub owner Tedros (Tesfaye).

lily-rose depp, the idol, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic
lily-rose depp, the idol, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic
lily-rose depp, the idol, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic

Lily-Rose Depp wears Chanel, hair by Alexandry Costa, make-up by Sandrine Cano Bock

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
salma hayek pinault, women in motion, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, kering

CANNES DISPATCH 7 …
Salma Hayek Pinault is in Cannes supporting Women In Motion, the program founded by Kering in 2015 as an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival, highlighting inequalities in the field of culture and the arts. Women In Motion’s latest Talks series from Cannes offers a platform for prominent figures to share their views on women’s representation in their field.

salma hayek pinault, women in motion, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, kering

Salma Hayek wears Balenciaga and Gucci jewels, styled by Rebecca Corbin-Murray, hair by Jennifer Yepez and make-up by Sofia Tilbury

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
marion cotillard, little blue girl, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic

CANNES DISPATCH 6
Marion Cotillard is in Cannes for a special screening of Little Girl Blue, a French-Belgian docudrama that tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of director Mona Achache’s mother, the author Carole Achache, played by Cotillard.

The Oscar-winning actress also currently stars in Apple TV+’s dystopian, climate-focussed series Extrapolations, with episodes starring Meryl Streep, Gemma Chan, Edward Norton and Sienna Miller.

marion cotillard, little blue girl, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams
marion cotillard, little blue girl, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

Marion Cotillard wears Chanel, styled by Eliott Bliss, hair by Wendy Iles and make-up by Christophe Danchaud

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
alicia vikander, firebird, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

CANNES DISPATCH 5
Alicia Vikander stars in Karim Aïnouz’s Firebrand, which screened in Competition at the 76th Cannes Film Festival. Vikander plays Catherine Parr alongside Jude Law as King Henry VIII. The story – adapted from Elizabeth Fremantle’s 2013 novel, Queen’s Gambit – details the life of the King of England’s sixth and final wife.

Hollywood Authentic met with the Oscar winning actor on the Côte d’Azur ahead of the world premiere.

alicia vikander, firebird, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams
alicia vikander, firebird, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

Alicia Vikander wears Louis Vuitton, styled by Victoria Sekrier, hair by George Northwood and make-up by Kelly Cornwell

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
cate blanchett, aswan reid, the new boy, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

CANNES DISPATCH 4
Cate Blanchett is in Cannes for the world premiere of The New Boy, from Caméra d’Or winning director Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah), in which she stars and also serves as a producer under her production company, Dirty Films.

The film is inspired by Thornton’s own experience of growing up as an Aboriginal boy in a Christian boarding school. Set in rural South Australia in the 1940s, the story centres around a 9-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy (Aswan Reid) who catches the attention of Sister Eileen (Blanchett), who with fellow nun (Deborah Mailman), take an interest in the unusual boy and the mysterious occurrences as he arrives.

Cate Blanchett is joined by cast members Aswan Reid, Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair and director Warwick Thornton, moments before they attended the film’s world premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.

cate blanchett, aswan reid, the new boy, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

Cate Blanchett in Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, styled by Elizabeth Stewart, make-up by Mary Greenwell and hair by Nicola Clarke. And Aswan Reid in Louis Vuitton

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
catherine deneuve, cannes film festival, cannes dispatch, hollywood authentic, greg williams

CANNES DISPATCH 3
Catherine Deneuve is in Cannes this year. She attended the inauguration ceremony at the 76th Cannes Film Festival and read Lesya Ukrainka’s poem Hope, reciting the piece in French, which was written by the Ukrainian poetess in 1880, when she was eight years old. The poem is translated to English below:

Hope
I have no happiness, and I am not free,
There’s only one hope left for me:
To return to Ukraine once again,
And see my native land in the end,
Have another look at the blue Dnipro –
No matter if I live or die there alone;
Have one more look at the steppe and graves,
Let one last passionate reverie rave…
I have no happiness, and I am not free,
There’s only one hope left for me.

Undoubtedly an icon of the silver screen – photographs of the French actress in the ’60s and ’70s are some of the most memorable from the era. This year in Cannes, she is everywhere, because one of those images – photographed on the Côte d’Azur in 1968, during the shooting of La Chamade directed by Alain Cavalier – features as the official poster of the 76th Cannes Film Festival.


Catherine Deneuve wears Louis Vuitton and Cartier