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Gatsby Cannes: Director Baz Luhrmann Says He Never Got Good Reviews

The Cannes press conference for The Great Gatsby was more interesting for what wasn’t said than what was going on: beefy bodyguards for Leonardo DiCaprio stood at the edge of the stage. One of them filmed the audience of reporters and photogs with his iPhone. DiCaprio, center on the dais among the cast, drank espresso and some kind of fizzy water. The press, which did not applaud at all after this morning’s screening, seemed as muted as their reaction to the actors as they did to the movie.

Director Baz Luhrmann said he didn’t really worry about the mixed reviews. “I’ve never had great reviews,” he said. He said that he and DiCaprio had not totally given up the idea of making the epic
Alexander. “We even have a studio built for it, by Dino DeLaurentiis.” It was a film that never came to fruition.

DiCaprio looked a little bored. The one time he lit up was when he mentioned the great US box office from this past weekend. He must be tired of doing press for this movie already.

The one real highlight of the press conference was the appearance of Chaz Ebert, widow of Roger Ebert. Several of us jumped up when she walked in, and there were a lot of hugs.

“Don’t make me cry,” she said.