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The Film Industry in Cannes – The Actor

The Film Industry in Cannes - The Actor

All the glitzy photos of Brad and Angelina often make us forget that there are other hard-working actors attending Cannes.  I had a chance to discuss the actor’s perspective on the business of Cannes with Canadian actress Emily Hampshire – best known for her roles in Snow Cake and the upcoming Cosmpolis.

What brings you to Cannes, have you been here before?

I’ve never been to Cannes before.  I am here as part of the cast of David Cronenberg’s film Cosmopolis which is in competition this year…and THEN I found out that I will also be receiving the inaugural Birks Canadian Diamond award while I’m ‘in town’ so… I’m thinking my FIRST TIME at Cannes is going to be a hard one to beat.
Seems very exciting, but hectic.  Is it tough to arrive and go straight to a press conference?

I can’t really say it’s “tough” to arrive on the Riviera, slip into a Stella MacCartney gown and go straight to a press conference in order to receive an award from my home country with the word “Diamond” in it.  Surreal, YES. Tough…not so much.

How did you get started in acting?  What do you like about it?

I joined the after-school drama club in high school –because we had to join something and drama seemed like the path of least resistance. Anyway, I got this teeny tiny part in the school play and our vice principal came up to me after the show and seemed to go out of her way to tell me how good and funny I was in it and…well, that’s all it took!  From then on I pretty much made acting my life and then began acting professionally when a casting director saw me in a play and called me in for an audition for which I ended up getting the part…which in turn got me an agent.

I feel like acting provides me with this quazi loophole in the universe where I get to live multiple lives. I’m somewhat of a recluse in my own life but at the same time I feel this insatiable desire to “know what it’s like” -like, when I hear a story or read an article about someone’s extraordinary life…I desperately want to know what it’s like to be in their shoes so… I think what I like most about acting is that it allows me to have my cake and eat it too; experience what it’s like without any of the consequences.

Where can we see you?  What’s next on your plate?

You can see me in the limo with Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis out in theaters now.  And next on my plate is a movie called ‘All The Wrong Reasons’ that I’ll begin shooting in Canada this July.

Any advice for actors looking to catch that first break?

Don’t waste your time trying to ‘catch’ a break: CREATE it. I think my friend Xavier Dolan is a shining example of that: He wanted to act and no one was giving him a break, so at 18 years old he wrote, directed and starred in his own movie which ended taking him to Cannes.
Technology has made it so much easier for actors -all performers, today. With iMovie and a world stage on YouTube I don’t know why anyone would wait for someone to give them anything.

Any “Crazy Cannes” stories come to mind?

Did I mention that I came to Cannes for the FIRST TIME and within 2 hours of landing I was given a DIAMOND!!?? I mean, the only thing crazier than that is the fact that it came with a GORGEOUS 20-SOMETHING FRENCH BODYGUARD to accompany me to every event while I’m here. baaaahahahah!

Next up…The Film Commission

Written by Zack Coffman.  Follow Zack’s film marketing tips and adventures @choppertown on Twitter.

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