Cannes Hams

updated 05/29/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/29/2000 01:00AM

Even movie stars need a spring break, although there was more champagne than Schlitz flowing on the French Riviera for the 53rd annual Cannes film festival. "I'm getting a new liver on eBay," boasted a frat-boyish-sounding George Clooney. "I was facedown drunk last night until 6:30 in the morning, and then I made a 9 o'clock call, so that makes me a professional." No more professional than Greg Kinnear of the comedy Nurse Betty: "It's my second time here," he told reporters gathered at the Palais des Festivals. "Eleven years ago I was here as a journalist for an American television channel trying to get interviews with pretentious actors. So any of you who have questions, I'll be happy to oblige."

Never accused of being pretentious, Chris Rock was equally laid-back. "I was raised a few blocks from here," he said, to laughter. "So it's good to be home. The French are soooo nice. Just like southern people!" Others, though, confessed a lack of familiarity with their surroundings, like first-time visitors Calista Flock-hart ("It's a thrilling, thrilling experience"), Haley Joel Osment ("It looks an awful lot like Beverly Hills") and Maya Hawke, who made an impact despite failing to hold a press conference: The 22-month-old toddler was spotted learning to walk in the company of papa Ethan Hawke (mom Uma Thurman was also around). But it was all a bit too much for Penélope Cruz, who plays a chef in the romantic fantasy Woman on Top but sounded as if she were auditioning for The Greta Garbo Story: "There are no parties for me, because after all these interviews I just want to go back to my hotel and be in silence." Hey, take a tip from Kinnear. His one-word survival strategy? "Chianti."

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