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The Cannes Festival Diary: Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee are full of mutual love


Some may have expected fireworks between two contenders for this year’s best director Oscar who also meet on the Cannes Film Festival jury, but Steven Spielberg insists there are no hard feelings at losing out to fellow juror Ang Lee this year.

Spielberg, who is president of a star-studded jury including Nicole Kidman, Lynne Ramsay and Christoph Waltz, said: “Ang and I have been friends for a long time and we’ve never ever been competitors. We’ve always been colleagues and that will just continue. And certainly I worship Life Of Pi and therefore I worship Ang Lee as well.”

The press conference became a mutual love-in as Lee said: “I don’t think any result would change how I feel about him or even myself. He’s my hero.”

Spielberg did have a cheeky dig at the Oscars, however. “It’s such a relief that we are going to be seeing movies… and we don’t have to go through the campaigning,” he said. “There’s always campaigning for the Oscar election. There’s no campaigning here and that’s a breath of fresh air for me.”

Star of ‘Heli’ too young to see violent scenes

Thursday marks the screening of Amat Escalante’s Heli, which is in competition for the Palme d’Or. It tells the story of Estela, who has fallen in love with a young police cadet, set against the backdrop of gang warfare in a Mexican town. One person who will not be attending is the star, 13-year-old Andrea Vergara. After her press conference duties she will not join the rest of the cast for the glitzy official screening as the film is just too violent.

I’ll be back, but this time more toxic, says Arnie

Film stars do not usually like being tarred with the term “toxic”, yet one of the biggest stars of them all is actively seeking it, if the market buzz is to be believed.

News hit the Croisette yesterday that Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks to star in a remake of The Toxic Avenger. Arnie is not in line to be the lead – a bullied nerd who mistakenly jumps into a toxic waste in the original – and the new film is aimed at the mainstream.