It wasn't easy for James [Toback, the director of Tyson] to persuade me to do the documentary, then to come to Cannes. I'm glad I did. The reception at the screening was incredible. The people in Cannes have been so friendly. In contrast, I think I could win the Nobel Peace Prize and it wouldn't change the opinion that people have of me in the United States. I didn't watch any films. I didn't even watch the documentary that I'm in. I left the theatre as soon as it started. I think that it's too personal to me and I think that I'd watch it one day, but alone in my room and definitely not in Cannes.
It feels like each time that we come to Cannes we have more work to do, speaking to journalists and being in front of the public. Of course it changes a little bit because we are different, too. We just come with great hope for the films. We really wanted to see the Clint Eastwood film, The Exchange, but we have been busy the whole time, because we stay only four days. We love Eastwood films – Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and his first, Play Misty for Me.
I was really flattered that Cannes wanted to show a restored version of Let's Get Lost [his 1989 documentary]. It's like coming to a school reunion. I made part of my film here and now I'm seeing how Cannes has changed. There are more people on the harbour, on the Croisette, and I think if Chet Baker was here he'd like it. When I was here in the Eighties it was easier to get things done than it is today. It was a really busy festival and a big circus still in those days but they didn't have all these tents set up and it wasn't organised like this. Back then everything was done in hotels and sidewalk cafés but now everything is so much more controlled and busy.
Cannes is so crazy. You get here for two days and you have to do 150 interviews and you don't know what you're saying. But last night we got to play a concert at the party for Maradona and it was great to see everyone jumping up and down going crazy. It was wonderful. We were on stage and you're not sure what is happening and then all of a sudden everyone stops looking at you and it's because Maradona has come on stage and everyone is joining in and singing. It was a reprise from a concert that we also did in Madrid and the same thing happened. It's a little bit of a daze and since we started playing at 2am and ended at 4am, I don't think that I'll be doing any photographs today.
The truth is that there has always been a thing about Europe that Americans have. They always feel it is romantic, mysterious, free sexually, advanced from the United States – they always feel that way. Certainly in the last eight years Europe has been a paradise. It's a whole other world and different values. This was borne out to some degree when I was watching films: European films were advanced and bohemian, while American films were conceived to make money and were escapist, and this is how Americans feel about Europe. They feel that Europe is a deeper life, more adventurous and artistic and I think that for many of them this is true.