Clint Eastwood, Cannes 1994.

Thursday, 29 April 2010 I took this photograph whilst on assignment for Loaded at the Cannes Film Festival. I was with the writer Martin Deeson and our brief was to gate crash as many film star parties as we could. As always with Loaded, it was a last-minute decision to go, so we didn’t have time to apply for any passes or accreditation. Martin’s view was that none of that mattered and, besides, he’d be too drunk to care. The trip didn’t get off to the most auspicious start because when we got to the airport, someone noticed that the Loaded office had erroneously booked us two return tickets to Caen, in Northwest France, rather than Cannes, in the south.

This photograph was taken whilst I was hanging about on the Croisette, together with about 20,000 die-hard French film fans (Martin was comatose in his hotel room, recovering from the night before). Just as I was passing the famous Carlton Hotel, the gendarmes held everyone back for a long black limousine. Although the windows were heavily tinted, I could see the occupant was Clint Eastwood. As the car passed me, I noticed the back window was open slightly, so I pushed forward and poked a small camera (a Canon Mju) through the gap. I managed to shoot one frame before one of the gendarmes pulled me away. As he passed, Clint Eastwood looked at me and gave me the sweetest of smiles, so I guess he didn’t really mind. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a real star.