Festival-goers call the craze "Cannes-gelina."
Angelina Jolie has been the belle of the Cannes International Film Festival, endearing the crowds as she promotes two new films while displaying a prodigious belly of twins.
First came "Kung Fu Panda'"s premiere last week, and tonight is "Changeling," a Clint Eastwood-directed drama opening Nov. 7 about a mother in 1928 Los Angeles whose child disappears, but the boy returned to her is not her son.
She says she's responding to the crush of attention with calm: "It has been lovely. I did my first day, then got to get home for dinner and got to hang out and play Barbies and things" with Maddox, 6, Pax, 4, Zahara, 3, and Shiloh, 1.
The key, she says, is to enjoy the festival's circus-like atmosphere instead of fighting it. "It has been really nice. With a film like "Kung Fu Panda," it's so easy and fun. Even doing the red carpet — people can tend to get very serious about that, with competition — but we got to go up with a (costumed) panda," she says with a laugh. "It all remained fun and in the spirit of kids' movies."
Another important part of being a festival star: comfortable shoes. She recommends a low heel with a Nike sole.
Even with the mountains of attention directed at "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," Jolie has been the standout star. After finishing an interview at the Hotel Carlton, she wandered into the hall and caused a stir among "Crystal Skull's" George Lucas, Karen Allen and Harrison Ford, who flashed his wry smile and enveloped her with a hug and kiss on the cheek.
Jolie says the attention has not been overwhelming. "It's not such hard work. I'm sitting and talking a lot, and people are being very nice to me. If I was feeling too pregnant, everybody said I didn't have to come. So I was feeling all right," she says. "The photography and all that can be something that is not fun to live with, (but) when you come here and you're proud of something … then it's a positive thing."
Jolie doesn't want to announce the gender of her twins, and she says she and partner Brad Pitt haven't decided where she'll give birth.
"Because we have twins, we have to get to know a doctor wherever we're based, just in case they come early," she says.
The secrecy is partly about avoiding the paparazzi, the actress adds. "It's not as much focused on the whole celebrity side of it. It's about wanting the experience of birth, and also spending time with the other children. It just should be a very beautiful time, for any woman."
Before daughter Shiloh was born, the family set up in a remote town in Namibia. "We spent our days with the children on safari, or in the dunes, or painting, or just having a beautiful time. When she was born, we were the only people in this tiny little clinic where there was only one anesthesiologist in the town, only one pediatrician in the town," she says.
"It was just very intimate. It wasn't about avoiding the outside world. It was just making it as beautiful an experience as we could. This time we are limited because we can't be as adventurous in where we go because when there's two, you have to be more careful."
While in Cannes, she also is doing interviews for the action-thriller "Wanted" (June 27), in which she plays a Dodge Viper-driving, gun-blazing assassin.
She points out that she's not doing anything all that extraordinary; it's what many women do up until they give birth. "I just have to do my job."