Red carpets and rap parties: rising movie star gets full Cannes experience

CANNES, France (Reuters) - For Danielle Macdonald, a young actress hailed by Hollywood Reporter as the movie industry’s “next big thing”, every part of her Cannes experience - from the standing ovation for her movie to getting stuck in a lift - was part of the adventure.

“It’s been amazing because there’s all these kind of fancy parties that you go to and we’re in this, like, beautiful location,” an excited Macdonald told Reuters ahead of the screening of “Patti Cake$” at the Director’s Fortnight section at Cannes.

“But then my bags got lost and then we got stuck in an elevator for 20 minutes. Everyone was just pouring with sweat and we climbed out of the elevator once they wrenched the doors open, it was crazy,” she said.

“All these crazy things are happening and that makes it even better, honestly, because it’s just an adventure.”

“Patti Cake$” is a bittersweet comedy about Patricia Dombrowski, a plus-size white girl from New Jersey, who goes by the aliases Killa P and Patti Cake$ and dreams that a flair for rapping will be her ticket out of poverty.

With New Jersey working class swagger and a genuine musical talent, Macdonald’s performance is all the more remarkable because she is not from New Jersey - she is Australian - and had never rapped before.

“While there’s a bit of a far-fetched fairy tale aspect to it, (director Geremy) Jasper wraps it all up with a high-octane finale that leaves you wanting to see more of Patti and, more realistically, of Macdonald, whose talent is all but staggering,” wrote Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy after the movie premiered to rave reviews at Sundance in January.

For Jasper, who wrote the film based on his own experiences in hiphop in New Jersey, bringing his first feature film to Cannes has been an exhausting, exhilarating experience.

“Partying, feeling very under-slept, drinking way too much coffee, way too much champagne, smoking way too many cigarettes just, like, being very bad – being naughty, and then having to talk a lot about Patti ... it’s been kind of intense.

“(I have) to keep my wits about me but I don’t feel like I have them any more!”

The Cannes Film Festival ends on Sunday.

Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Andrew Bolton