EXCLUSIVE Cannes brings out all kinds of interesting people.
Waiting for the curtain to go up tonight on the opening film, “Jeanne duBarry,” I heard two women speaking English to each other. Naturally, I introduced myself.
One of the women was stylish marketing director for the Saudi Arabian Red Sea Film Festival. Red Sea put money into “”Jeanne du Barry” and has also become a sponsor of the shady amfar charity. Of course, when I think of Saudi Arabia. I think of Jamal Khashoggi, the fine journalist who was ordered chopped up on orders of Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. This woman says she’s Saudi, but she told me she was born in Columbia. Missouri. (When I said I was wary of Saudi Arabia, she replied: “You should come. There’s a lot more than chopping up people.”)
Her attractive friend introduced herself. “I’m Hadley Gamble.” Yes, the Hadley Gamble, the CNBC reporter who brought down NBC Universal chief Jeff Shell and was reported to be having an affair with Tom Barrack of Colony Capital, Donald Trump’s close adviser in the 2020 election.
When I mentioned to the marketing director that I’d seen an actual sheik at the Palais, she said, Yes, that’s Prince Turki Al-Faisal, who is basically her boss. The two women, who didn’t know each other previously, said they were the Prince’ s guests. How did Hadley know the Prince? “I cover oil and gas,” she said, at least before everything went sideways.
I did try to ask Hadley about her Shell game, but wisely, she said, “I can’t talk about it.” She was very nice, and pretty hot, so I could see how Shell and Barrack enjoyed her company.
But if you were worried about Hadley Gamble since she “parted company” with CNBC, it seems like she’s doing great. Royally great.
This is why we go to the Cannes Film Festival!
Later, at the Film Festival’s opening night dinner in the massive ballroom of the renovated Carlton Hotel, I ran into Michael Douglas, Mads Mikkelsen, John C. Reilly, Catherine Deneuve and her daughter Chiara Mastroianni (she sang during the opening ceremony tonight and has a great voice), plus Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren, “Jeanne duBarry” director and lead actress Maiwenn, and several other actors from the film including Melvil Poupaud,,who stars in the new Woody Allen film, “Coup de Chance.” He hasn’t seen it yet but I have, and told him how good he was.
Also in the room, the great young German actor and director Mattias Schweighöfer. You may have seen him playing the swim coach in “The Swimmers.” (If you haven’t seen “The Swimmers,” on Netflix, you must.) Look out for this guy– he starred in Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead.” Snyder liked him so much he had him direct “Army of Thieves” (on Netflix now). He has a big role in Christopher Nolan’s
“Oppenheimer.” He’s directing a movie soon starring his wife, actress Ruby O. Fee. That’s a lot of projects, but not as many as Helen Mirren. She has eight movies coming out soon! Eight! And yet there she was at 1am rocking some blue hair!
Only in Cannes!
PS American singer Jacob Lusk knocked everyone out at the opening ceremony with “Stand By Me.” He was on “American Idol” in 2011. Now he’s in a group called Gabriels. They’re about to drop a first album. He and the Gabriels guys may be Best New Artist of 2024. Stand by.
(How did he get booked at the Cannes opener? “I have no idea,” he said. Neither did his bandmates.)