May 15th, 2009
11:44 PM ET

Yes we Cannes

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/14/coppola.cannes.tetro/art.coppola.cnn.jpg caption="Director Francis Ford Coppola traveled to Cannes to unveil his new film Tetro."]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

You’ll excuse me if I get teary when someone mentions this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Even though my career as a Hollywood leading man is long over, I still yearn for those carefree days on the French Riviera, watching Gene Hackman exfoliate his knuckles while Sophia Loren hand-fed me Twizzlers.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was part of that whole scene. I think my last trip to Cannes was when I was promoting the buddy western I had just made with Linda Evangelista, “Is That a Honda Accord in Your Garage or Are You Just Happy to See Me?”

It was a wonderful trip, aside from that one small incident on the red carpet. But, in hindsight, who among us hasn’t accidentally given Kathy Bates an open-mouth kiss?

As with the Oscars, we see coverage of Cannes on television, but it’s really not the same as being there. The glittering jewelry, the well-coiffed hair, the flowing ball gowns. And that’s just Steven Seagal.

And, of course, it goes without saying that one does not go to the festival merely for the film screenings. There’s plenty of fun-in-the-sun to be had on the beach and – if the mood should strike you – in the Applebee’s parking lot.

But, as is often the case with the Hollywood crowd, things can easily get out of hand. I suppose I should apologize to Sean Connery for what happened out on the ocean. I didn’t realize there was such a fine line between water-skiing and becoming a drug mule.

And regardless of whether I was – as I believe – on Sandra Bullock’s yacht, or, as the police report says, in my hotel room watching Speed 2, I regret those late-night phone calls to Rue McClanahan.

Also, my apologies to that woman I mistook for Mickey Rourke. You do not, as I said upon approaching you, look manlier in person.

Perhaps, as I think back on it, the craziness of Cannes is in large part due to the language barrier. Hell, the last time I was there all I remembered how to say was, “Judi Dench just stole my Speedo.”

And apparently the French paparazzi were not telling me I looked like a hotter Hugh Jackman, but rather like a more disheveled Olsen twin.

Alas, those glory days are history. The reserved seats at the hottest films – nowhere to be found. The pie-eating contests with Cheech and Chong – now only when I see them in the Larry King green room.

But that’s OK, nothing lasts forever.

Except for my Angela Lansbury tattoo.

Follow Jack Gray on Twitter @jackgraycnn

Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Robert

    So when is Anderson gonna come out of the closet? Not to be rude but everyone in the known Universe already knows he's gay.

    May 18, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  2. Mimi Davidson

    Having spent a year trying to find a good movie... the festival should be renamed....No,We Can't. hoping for a better year cinematically ...

    May 17, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  3. Mad Fashionista

    Jack, dahling, you were (almost) a welcome presence at Cannes in those days. Except for your penchant for throwing tantrums when the latest starlet du jour brought you the wrong color of Twizzlers. Really, that sort of language should only be reserved for Christian Bale movies. But then, you've always been SO unpredictable, you naughty man!

    (And just between you and moi, Sean Connery confided in me that he vastly enjoyed the aqua experience. The man has, er, hidden depths, so to speak.)


    May 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  4. Susan Williamson

    Once again Jack gives back! I so appreciate and enjoy your sense of humor.

    I'm seeing a weekly (Friday) spot on AC360. Jack Cafferty is on a more serious note. Jack Gray will brighten up our weekend.

    Keep your humor coming. Your fans like it and if truth be told, they also need it.

    Have a good one.

    May 16, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  5. Cathy McRae

    Jack I'm amused by all the people you've amused...

    May 16, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  6. Bo AZ

    Thanks for the laughs Jack. I think I would rather spend time in Larry King's green room than Cannes..

    May 15, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  7. Lauren--NY

    Funny stuff as always, sir. The Steven Seagal crack made me laugh out loud. Have a great weekend, buddy! <3

    May 15, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  8. Annie Kate


    Funny as usual.....I loved your Steven Segall description although when I first read it I thought you might be describing the return of Elvis. I really think you should talk to Will Smith and see if another Men in Black movie could be made – you are just perfect for it and since the Tommy Lee Jones character "retired" from the service there is a convenient opening for you. I bet you could not only star in that movie with Will but write it as well. As Will said in the first movie – You will make that suit look good.

    Have a great weekend and keep the laughs coming.

    May 15, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  9. Marian

    Jack – you definitely need your own show – Why don't we ever see you on 360???

    May 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  10. MattB

    Brilliant as usual. Why doesn't he have have his own show?! I'm looking at you, CNN.

    May 15, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  11. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Too many visuals for me this go 'round 🙂 Thanks for the laughs as I'm decompressing from the job from hell (that will be over in seven days).

    May 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  12. Don, WA

    Cannes is where day dreams have sub-titles.
    Great read today. Very tongue-in-chique.

    May 15, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  13. Sandra Robertson, GA

    It's never too late to go back, Jack. The French Riviera calls. I'm sure you can get into another Speedo. After all, you eat Twizzlers, only one gram of fat per serving. Have you tried the rainbow twists (six different fruity flavors)? Yum. Give Sammy a hug for me; she is probably the only one who will ever paw-feed you Twizzlers.

    May 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  14. Helen, Reading, UK

    Man, you get more surreal every time you blog! What the hell is in those Twizzlers anyway? If I were you, I'd stay well away from those plants Sammy's cultivating in your back yard. Which reminds me of a story over here last week, about a lady who only realised she was living next door to a cannabis farm when her dog started pestering her to go and buy family sized packs of Doritos at three in the morning. I should mention that I'm still waiting for that topless picture of you, just for comparison purposes between you and the lovely Hugh. I'll return the favour if you like, but I will win the 'who has the bigger boobs' and 'who has the hairiest chest' contests, hands down. Like you, I'm desperate for a date, it's been a long time and I figured that maybe I was a bit too choosy. So all it will take now is for a guy to have his own hair and teeth. And a pulse. On that note, I'm off to place my lonely hearts ad in the window of my local old folks home. Enjoy your weekend, everyone and don't forget if you're following Jack on the Twitter (and who isn't these days?), then head on over to the Facebook and join our merrie little band of Gray Groupies! Peace out x x

    May 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Jennifer - Michigan

    You're so funny Jack! Happy Friday. Right now I'm melting marshmallows for some rice crispie treats. Yum – don't worry, I'll have one for you. I look forward to your next post. Hope you have a good day and a nice weekend.

    May 15, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  16. Miss J

    Jack, why does someone always have to be hand feeding you twizzlers? Isn't it about time you learned to eat those by yourself?

    May 15, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  17. Alex

    Great blog Jack! Always love your sense of humor.:)

    May 15, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  18. trish

    I can ALWAYS count on you to make me laugh..... I have given up having any liquids around my pc when reading your blog or tweets. Thanx as always for the smiles & cheering up.

    I am still thinking of you getting affection at the airport security check !! 🙂

    May 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  19. Lisa, Salt Lake City, Ut

    Jack you're a genius. Love the way you look at things. So funny. I've seen the Mickey Rourke woman. Good call. I once saw Betty Davis in San Francisco.

    May 15, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  20. Veronika

    Another good one dude!! I laugh at loud as I stroke my freshly poofed up mini-mini french poodle Fru Fru, on our yacht docked in Cannes getting stupidly drunk....wishing you were here Jack. (joking)

    May 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  21. Maria Noriega

    thanks for the laugh in this crazy times I needed that 😀

    May 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  22. Carol B. in MD

    So, do you imagine yourself as more of a film noir or dramedy, actor? Or, maybe something foreign with subtitles that have a lot of "%$!#!" quotes in it. You'd probably have to put down the Twizzlers or hide them in your fedora, as it would be hard to work that into the film. At least you have a Cannes do attitude. I'm not sure who cares about this thing as much as or more that the actors. Have a good W/E.

    May 15, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  23. julesgregory

    Jack you are better for me then all the vitamins I chuck down or any less then tasty healthy yucky chocolate shake. Not only are your an A-One writer, you have an off the camera humor that surly precedes you in everything you do. As I ponder daily my next tweets, your warbling tweets are inspirations and reminders to keep connected with my wildly humorous darker side. Not to mention to not be so afraid to lay some shall we say slightly kinky cards upon my table lol. Keep on tweeting and blogging for I am now depending on your for my fragile well being lol!

    May 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  24. Rhonda, Rancho Santa Margarita CA

    OK – that blog had me laughing so hard I was wiping tears. VERY good, and thanks for the laugh!! 🙂

    May 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Jack happy Friday
    Wow you humouroso dude ! That was so funny My face hurtts from laughing so hard . Thanks for your post you are defintley hotter than Hugh Jackman .Although Anderson is a close second behind you Jack .Thanks Have a great weekend!

    Michelle D.

    May 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  26. Samantha

    To be fair, I've found the phrase "Judi Dench just stole my Speedo" exeedingly useful and utter it at least 16 times a week.

    She's voracious – I go through a lot of Speedos 🙁

    May 15, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  27. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass.

    Hey Jack, I heard that Judi Dench got big bucks for your Speedo on ebay! I also heard that she donated the money to a cause close to her heart,some thing about helping Mickey Rourke to undo all his plastic surgery.........: )

    May 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  28. Ashley - St. Louis, MO

    So here I sit, stuck at home because I've been struck with Bronchitis (but hey, it's better than the "oinky bug," as my fellow editors have joked about). I'm going back and forth between checking e-mails and refreshing Twitter... Anything to not face the copy-editing I have to do for my school's newspaper. Anderson makes mention to a "good laugh" and something about a man named Jack Gray. Why not check it out, right? If only I knew what I was getting myself into.

    Jack, you're a brilliant columnist. Thank you for the much-needed laugh (even though it ended in a coughing fit with the whole Bronchitis thing). It really was a great pick-me-up. Cheers to future writing!

    May 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  29. Duncan

    anything with a Golden Girl reference cracks me up..funny funny!

    May 15, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  30. Teresa

    When comments like, "And regardless of whether I was – as I believe – on Sandra Bullock’s yacht, or, as the police report says, in my hotel room watching Speed 2, I regret those late-night phone calls to Rue McClanahan" come so easily to you it makes one wonder about your personal experiences....

    May 15, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  31. earle,florida

    Yes to humor,yes to laughter,and a big yes to your piece! My face has become unwrinkled because of your literary medicine,...thanks

    May 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  32. Maren in Oregon

    I'm still stuck on the image of you in an open mouth kiss with Kathy Bates. You didn't explain whether you were both still standing up, or had tumbled to the Carpet itself. I prefer the later, I think.

    Surprised the Mickey Rourke "lady" didn't get more of a shout-out from you; or did those wounds heal badly?

    Enjoyed reading about your storied Hollywood career; I'm certain people are still talking about it – subpoenas or not!

    Continued success to you Jack! And, thank you to the Witness Protection Progam for making that possible!

    May 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  33. Linda Sante'

    Hi Jack:

    You're article was a joy to read, I almost fell of the chair laughing.

    What a great voice you gave to your great life experiences. If it's fate you are it at it's best. You're life has been a honeymoon where not even death will you part.

    This article will live on forever; so will you.

    May 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  34. jane MI


    Busted out laughing again...and others had to look and see what you wrote...Looks like you'll be gaining some more followers...Thanks for the laughs

    Perhaps those glory days are not history!!...Your the new leading man on twitter (I remember when you were at 500)...Now that your getting soo popular maybe you can score a trip to Cannes from CNN/AC360 (hint..hint) and do some coverage!!

    May 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  35. Lilibeth

    I don’t know what to say other than thanks for the funny blog, Jack. I appreciate that you take the time. You're a great guy. Have a nice weekend!

    Edmonds, Washington

    May 15, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  36. Anna, HK

    Wow Jack,

    You really do get around... & with a pretty talented crowd too!

    Your life is so colourful.... & exciting ......& the locations you visit... so exotic.... I suppose you have a Palme d'Or or 2 sitting at home somewhere... cluttering up the place too?

    It's a Wonderful life.

    May 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  37. Fernando, Santiago, Chile

    Jack, you r so right... well I hope another score from you... 'cause I was saying what you recently said all the days of this week... Nice!

    May 15, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  38. Alyzabeth

    Haha! I'm willing to bet that's not far off from the real events surrounding Cannes.

    May 15, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  39. Carol

    Hi Jack,
    As always, you make us all laugh out loud. I look forward to your blogs and tweets and find myself quoting you! I always give you credit. : ) Have a great weekend.

    May 15, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  40. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Hi Jack, your blogs give me more out-loud laughs than any humorous writing I've ever read! Just picturing Steven Seagal decked out like a queen–LOL! Thanks so much for cheering me up. I love reading your tweets, too.

    May 15, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  41. Frannie

    So Jack.. when do we get to see the picture of the Angela Lansbury tattoo?

    May 15, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  42. Tara - New Brunswick, Canada


    You made me giggle again, out loud, in public. Thanks! 🙂

    Have a good weekend!

    May 15, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  43. Cindy

    Oh Jack...you really crack me up! Thanks for the laugh! Your posts always make this blog so much better! HMM..maybe you need to do more..just sayin..LOL

    But really I'd have to pass on the whole Cannes celeb thing. I just do not like celebs at all! In my opinion they are a narcissistic bunch. I'd rather spend my time with Sammy at the beach then any of them. She'd be more fun I'm sure. But she probably can be a bit bossy huh? LOL Just keeping it real!


    May 15, 2009 at 12:15 pm |