When I found out that “The Bling Ring” was to premiere at Cannes, I was sitting in my pajamas with no makeup on while watching a basketball game on TV with my family in Illinois. Within two months I would be walking the red carpet at the biggest film festival in the world wearing Dior and Swarovski. Pretty crazy.
Before heading to Cannes, my mom took me to Paris for a graduation gift. I’d never been outside of the country, so she thought this would be the perfect time to visit a city I had been in love with since I was a little girl. We stayed near the Place du Vendome and visited the Eiffel Tower, Les Hotel des Invalides (SO COOL!), The Musée D’Orsay and the Louvre, where we spent an entire day. The Pharaonic Egypt wing was my favorite part of the museum.
After three days in Paris we flew to Nice and then drove to Cannes. The drive is pretty simple—it was mostly highway—but when our driver finally got to La Croisette, the main street in Cannes, nothing seemed simple anymore. One side of the street was lined with luxury hotels and designer storefronts like Prada and Roberto Cavalli. The other side was a beautiful vista of sandy beach and aquamarine water with yachts and speedboats.
The next few days were filled with more interviews than I can remember. There were many different photo shoots with my castmates and Sofia, and, of course, amazing food. All the while I couldn’t really comprehend that I had just been sitting in my AP Environmental Science classroom in Winnetka, Illinois, a week ago, and now here I was sitting in a fancy room at the Palais des Festivals talking about how much I loved the movie.
When we opened Un Certain Regard on Thursday night, I found out that the famous Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi was a member of our sections jury. I met her briefly but was overwhelmed by her poise and kindness. It was very exciting for me to see a well-respected and talented Asian actress being given such an important role in the festival.
At the end of the day, I would take my quiet life in Illinois over a life in Cannes, but I can’t deny that I loved being at the festival and would die to go back one day. I think my mom would like to go back, too—her eyes were peeled for Steven Spielberg, Julianne Moore, and George Clooney.
Photo by Emily Jaffy