Cannes: Ethan Hawke, Isabelle Huppert, Lee Jung-jae, Rebecca Hall, Austin Butler and More in The Hollywood Reporter’s Festival Photo Diary
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Nothing compares to Cannes.
That has never been more true than it is this year as the international film festival rolled out the iconic red carpet to celebrate a milestone 75th anniversary, as always, against the backdrop of the French Riviera. Welcoming A-list stars, celebrated auteurs, musicians, models and, yes, even TikTok creators, the 2022 Cannes Film Festival recalibrated to maximum energy after two unprecedented years amid the pandemic.
To capture the glamour, stars and scene, The Hollywood Reporter has partnered with award-winning filmmaker, photographer, creative director and visual storyteller Julian Ungano to present exclusive images of Cannes 2022. Ungano segues to THR’s Cannes photo diary after serving as creative director, video and stills creator of the viral content from the world premiere of Dune at the Venice Film Festival. Additionally, Ungano has written and directed two films, And After All and State of the State.
THR will be updating the gallery, with captions from Ungano, through the Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 17-28.
I go straight from the airport to the Le Majestic hotel for my first portrait: Virginie Efira, one of France’s biggest actresses. Nothing like starting off low-key with la maîtresse de cérémonie!
This will forever be known as Top Gun day. I head over to Hotel Martinez and connect with team Top Gun. They’re all only here for about six hours before they leave for the Royal premiere in London.
First stop: director Joe Kosinski. I manage to catch Joe in a suite that Paramount has rented, which could only be described as part office space, part fast food restaurant and part dressing room.
A quick layover in Lewis Pullman’s room (call sign Bob) to, shall we say, “limber up” with a little liquid courage and then off to the premiere. What an absolute spectacle! I could fill an entire separate album from the premiere, but it’s important to stay on mission here.
I head over to the Palais to meet up with one of my favorite actors at the moment, Omar Sy. This is my first time meeting Omar, but we have some great mutual friends and we hit it off immediately. A bushel of flowers match the flowers on his shirt and, boom, we’re off!
Next up are my early candidates for best dressed, Korean icons Lee Jung-jae and Jung Woo Sung. These two walked into the room and everyone stopped what they were doing — a rare quality for people to have.
It’s back over to Martinez to meet up with British actress, director and jury member Rebecca Hall. I’m greeted by her agent of 30 years. I have a quick look around while she finishes getting ready. Rebecca appears to levitate from her bedroom dripping in a new upstart design house called Gucci.
I head back to my room to edit, order a pizza and fall asleep.
Another day, another stroll along La Croisette. I meet Vicky Krieps downstairs by the pool. She’s wearing these beautiful black leather Chanel overalls. We chat for a bit and order a couple of sparkling waters with lemon that never came but we didn’t let it ruin our morning.
I meet up with Joel Edgerton at the Screen Australia flat. I could barely keep my eyes open. We agree that after 35, jet lag just hits different. Deux double espressos were promptly consumed.
Day 4 Continued:
I go to the top floor of the hotel. Every once in a while in Cannes something unexpected happens. In this case I’m not expecting there to be five other photographers waiting in a hallway to shoot Marion Cotillard, but there are. My immediate instinct is to leave, but then I remember I have a secret weapon with me. A little camera that I see no one else has. I insist on going last, and when she makes it to me I’m told I have one solitary minute to take a meaningful portrait. I, of course, waste 47 seconds reintroducing myself and seeing if she remembers the time we met in LA a couple years ago. She says, “Yes, of course, at Sunset Tower.” Voila, I snap three Polaroids.
I stumble down to my own room. I’m asleep in 0.7 seconds.
At 8:30 a.m., it’s rise and shine for my first shoot. Thank God it’s with my good buddy Adria Arjona. I walk down to Adria’s room, I haven’t showered, and I think I forgot to brush my teeth, so Adria if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for smelling. She’s landed the night before. I ask her if she’s jet lagged (I don’t know why because just by looking at her I can tell she’s probably been up for hours and been to the gym, she’s glowing already — I’m jealous. I want to feel that way.) She says “No not really, I woke up at 5 a.m. and went to the gym, so I feel pretty good.” I hate when I’m right. We fire up two double espressos, and she throws down a snack before leaving for the photo call for Irma Vep, the new HBO show she’s here to premiere.
I reconnect with a friend who’s working with Alicia Vikander, the star of the aforementioned Irma Vep. I’m told she comes to the shoot with ideas, which I love. I am, after all, taking a portrait of someone, and I want that person to feel beautiful and like it represents them. She has such a positive glow and energy. We kick around a couple of ideas and that discussion ends with her laying on the floor. She literally cannot take a bad picture. This will be a very difficult selection process.
“Julian Ungano died today while attending the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival” is how my obituary will read, I imagine, because the chances of falling out a hotel window increase dramatically if you have to climb in and out of one to take a picture six times a day. Luckily, Harris Dickinson is up for something different. Harris is starring in the very buzzy Triangle of Sadness with Woody Harrelson and Charlbi Dean (spoiler alert: I’m shooting Charlbi as well!). He’s every bit as coy and demure as I’ve been led to believe he is. We find a very quiet stairway off a side street and duck in for some portraits.
I’m over the moon to work with Ethan Hawke, a person I’ve never met but feel like I’ve known for an eternity. Ethan’s flight was delayed to the point where he lands with about an hour to get from the airport to the premiere. A consummate pro, he stills makes time for me. He runs down to the lobby bar premiere-ready in a Zegna tux. I’ve commandeered a corner table with two cold Kronenbourgs (when in Rome) at the ready.
It’s a new dawn it’s a new day, it’s day six.
The man, the myth, the legend Mr. Scott Feinberg is able to arrange a portrait with the inimitable Ms. Lea Seydoux before their live recording of Scott’s THR podcast Awards Chatter (which is actually my favorite podcast on the planet). Lea emanates cool. She’s at the festival for the much-talked-about David Cronenberg film Crimes of the Future.
I’m reunited with Isabelle Huppert. I was fortunate enough to work with Isabelle last summer at the Venice Film Festival through my ever loving Cartier family. She’s an absolute icon and looking every bit of it again tonight in head-to-toe Balenciaga.
Devon Ross and I FINALLY connect after multiple days of missed connections. She’s everything I’ve hoped for and more. More importantly she also has had it with shooting in her hotel room. I snap a quick picture in the hallway as we’re walking out to the Irma Vep after party, but the plan is to find a cool unexpected spot on the way. I walk with Devon and her equally cool friend Camille Jansen. I see a dark, cavernous loading dock and opt for a high/low moment for Devon’s Celine gown.
It’s not hard to win me over on a shoot if you bring your dog. The first person I meet when I arrive to shoot South African actress Charlbi Dean, playing opposite Harris Dickinson in Triangle of Sadness, is not a person at all but Dean’s Brussels Griffon, Kanicki. I lean down and give Kanicki a pat and a snuggle — my anxiety about the day melts away immediately. Dean and I compare dog pictures on our phones for 20 minutes and decide to let Kanicki run loose. The dog gets the zoomies, and she’s off running Monaco Grand Prix-paced laps around the yard. We let her tire herself out to sit still for one brief moment, and we’ve got our shot.
I was lucky enough to meet up with Tilda Swinton in the Chanel suite. I’ve come in contact with Tilda on more than a few occasions, as she shares the same team as another person I work with regularly. Several times throughout this trip I found myself working with actors that I’ve looked up to for so long, having seen their work since I first became interested in cinema. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a fan of a lot of these people. That’s to say, I’m certainly a fan of Tilda, even more so after this experience with her, sharing many laughs.
Being able to both see and smell the sea from your hotel every day, but not having the time to go in — let alone near — it, makes being here bittersweet. Luckily my next subject, Scott Speedman, is avid swimmer, and he’s down for a quick dip. Speedman can be seen in David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future.
I first became familiar with Melanie Laurent the way most Americans did, through Quentin Tarantino. Where I became a legitimate fan of her was through Mike Mills’ Beginners. Having come close to working with Laurent several times through my partnership with Cartier, I’m delighted to find out that she’s somebody I’m going to be working with on this trip. After quickly realizing we share the same dark sense of humor, we concoct a make-believe heist plan involving some new Cartier jewels. She agrees as long as the pretend scheme includes the dashing security guard from down the hall.
I’ve done a lot of these shoots now, not just during this festival but other premieres, award shows, etc. Some of them really stand out and the experience will stay with me forever. Today, “Elvis Day,” the energy on the Côte d’Azur feels like it’s one of those days.
At breakfast this morning I’m surrounded by actors, directors, executives, “influencers” and everything in between. Eavesdropping on their conversations reveals what, I suspect, they’re ALL talking about: Elvis, Baz Luhrmann’s explosive biopic starring my next subject, Austin Butler. A day hasn’t gone by since I’ve touched down in France where somebody hasn’t asked me about Butler. My response, as it is with everyone I work with, is to smile, nod and say something along the lines of, “he’s great, I’m excited,” and move on.
This shoot feels different today. It’s 8:44 a.m. here and the girls at the table next to mine are already scrolling through their phone to try and find a contact for tickets. One of them says she’ll pay 5000 Euros (!!!) for a ticket. For a brief moment, I calculate what that would be towards my mortgage payment. Two tables away, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are talking about the energy around the film. I could go on. I’ve now waited 20 minutes for a bottle of sparkling water, and after several attempts to flag a waiter, I give up. On my way out of the garden restaurant, I bump into an old friend of mine. She asks me about shooting Austin today: “I’m excited, he’s great.”
Shoot time: I find myself sitting in a JW Marriott suite, one not too dissimilar from a room I found myself in almost one year ago to the day. I’m still running low on sleep, so I put some music on my phone in an attempt to keep me awake, and just as I’m about to drift off into a nap, the door swings open and Elvis himself (Butler) walks in. Immediately I’m boosted with energy. Butler has a big smile on his face, and for someone who I imagine is running on even less sleep than myself, you would never know it. I’m sure for both of us, this day is one of, if not THE biggest days of the year. I’ve known these 10 minutes were coming for months, so to say they were crucial is an understatement. I ask him if he’s nervous. “Only a little,” he says. The shoot goes exactly as I’d hoped. As I leave the JW Marriott and rush back to my hotel, I bump into that same friend from earlier. She asks, “How’d the shoot go?!” I say, “I’m excited, he’s great.”
I met Stéphane Bak for the first time last year in Paris through a mutual friend. I noticed when I was going over the list of films at the festival that Stéphane has not one but two films playing here — one in competition, one out of competition. I shot him a text when I was boarding the plane to come over here. Sure enough, he was willing to do me a solid and participate in the diary. He earned bonus points for not wanting to shoot in his hotel room. We hit La Croisette. Stéphane has style for days and, more importantly, a great energy. I’m super excited for his films here.
This is my second time meeting Edgar Ramirez. The first was a couple of years ago doing an assignment for Esquire. I meet him for a few minutes in the bar at the Majestic Hotel. We have just enough time to grab a quick drink — which we both need, desperately — and chat on the current state of film and how it’s evolving.
I’m so excited to be able to meet and shoot Joe Alwyn, one of the best up-and-coming actors working today. He’s here to promote Claire Denis’ Stars at Noon and looked ever so awesome in a white Prada suit.
Day 3,420 (Day 11):
Running up against a tight deadline, I squeeze in one last shoot with Gang Dong-won, and boy am I glad that I did! Dressed in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton, he’s as stylish as he is tall and seemingly up for doing something a little different. Here to promote Hirokazu Koreeda’s highly acclaimed Broker, he has been one of the most talked about actors at the festival. He asks me about my own directing work, which I’m always happy about. Every once in a while, I do a shoot and feel like I walk away making a new friend. Gang has that type of energy. We joke around a bit and make some plans to link up in L.A. It’s a great way to end this mission.
Here’s the part where I really wanted to make this grandiose statement about how epic this whole journey was, BUT I’ll be the most honest I’ve been on this whole trip and say this: I’m an hour-and-a-half late on my deadline, and I’d really like to get to bed before 2 a.m. for once. This has been a WILD ride. I saw and experienced things I’m not sure I imagined I would. I met some people I’ve been a fan of literally my entire life. I bartered for places to stay. I actually stayed in all three main hotels on the strip. I got food poisoning once, met TOM CRUISE! I cried twice. It’s been a lot. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the work and my own Hunter S. Thompson-inspired take on this festival. Hopefully the next time I’m here, it’s as a director. Thanks for following along.
source : https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/lifestyle-news/cannes-celebrity-photos-julian-ungano-1235149806/