Chivalry in Cannes is a live Twitter-based and blog-based report from Cannes with Chivas, Official Partner of the Cannes Film Festival. Each episode gives you an exclusive, insider’s view of Chivalry in Cannes and the world of film.
With 23 years of experience at the Martinez hotel, the dynamic Véronique Vermot-Desroches is responsible for the hotel’s continuous relationship with its entire clientele. In her office, which she calls her “control tower” right opposite the entrance, she cannot miss anyone who comes in. Regulars range from guests attracted by Cannes’ beautiful setting to the substantial share of film stars staying at the hotel during the Film Festival.
As Véronique and her team are at the constant service of film stars during the Festivals, they know how much activity and stress this event can bring. But year after year the Front of House Manager is particularly impressed by the integrity of the film personalities that come to her hotel. While celebrities are sometimes referred to as tempermental, most film stars actually display manners, class, and genuine consideration for the crowd that surrounds them. They are aware of the moral obligations their roles represent throughout their stay in Cannes.
Véronique recounts in particular the exuberant personality of actor Gérard Depardieu. When at the Palme D’Or restaurant at the Martinez, the actor regularly goes to the kitchen where he talks with Chef Christian Sinicropi about the wines being offered that night, or to taste a meal with him. Depardieu’s surprise kitchen visits show not only the artist’s true passion for gourmet cuisine but also his sense of gratitude to all the people involved – a simple act of generosity and a thoughtful gesture, in what are certainly very hectic evenings.
When serving as judge at the 59th Cannes Film Festival, Italian actress Monica Bellucci resided at the Martinez. Véronique was impressed by the considerable amount of flowers and gifts offered to her by fans and supporters. The number and size quickly became overwhelming. While many might have simply left the flowers there without a word or thought, upon leaving, Bellucci gracefully gave all her flowers to the Martinez team. This extra step evidently demonstrates the deeper, more human side of the movie world.
When Sharon Stone was last seen at the hotel, Véronique made a point to ensure that the actress felt at home, and in return the actress seemed to relax and be herself. For example, she came to the restaurant without booking and with no body guards, all in a very simple yet elegant manner. Thanks to the Martinez’s reliability, all went perfectly well. The actress’ independence and confidence in the hotel’s safety shows how sometimes integrity and chivalry are about being yourself, and in many cases, film personalities are able to do this even when they are in the public eye.
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