How Poppy Delevingne Does Cannes

Though she is expecting to be “running around like a rabbit in the headlights” during this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Poppy Delevingne has a pretty peaceful vibe about her while discussing her French Riviera schedule.

The actress, model and entrepreneur is back in Cannes as an ambassador for luxury jeweler Chopard so her itinerary is jammed with red carpet appearances and events. But she’ll also be squeezing in some project-related meetings and likely some handshaking as Delevingne has a film hitting the Cannes Market courtesy of Rohit Karn Batra’s timely tale The Gun on Second Street. Ahead of hitting the Croisette, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Delevingne to talk all things Cannes, travel must-haves and the newest plans for her prosecco brand Della Vite.

You said in a 2015 interview with W magazine ahead of your first trip to Cannes that you were only hoping not to fall up the Palais steps. I assume that didn’t happen but what else do you remember from that night?

Literally, I was so convinced that I was going to fall flat on my face and remarkably, I didn’t. You would think that after all these years I would be over it by now but coming back in 2023, that’s still my biggest fear. I was here last year, too, wearing this beautiful belted Dolce & Gabbana almost chain-mail-like gown that I had to be sewn into because the zipper couldn’t go up. It was a sort of Joan of Arc moment and it was not an easy feat. I had to have my beloved agent Joseph, who I love more than life, stand at the bottom of the stairs and wait for me so he could help me up. Next time, I think I might need a wheelbarrow to get me around. I still get the same nerves every time. I don’t feel like a pro at this in any way, shape or form.

How do you prepare? Maybe a beta blocker or a glass of champagne?

Deep breaths. Last year, I was so lucky because Augustinus Bader was in Cannes and I had the most incredible facial from this incredible guy. It wasn’t just an average facial but he also did light therapy along with a meditation for 20 minutes with light breathing exercises. It was something I’ve never done before a red carpet and I highly recommend it for anyone that is nervous because it completely calmed me down and made me feel present and very much within my body.

But I always surround myself with the most amazing team, the most amazing stylists and most amazing hair and makeup teams. They’re not just people, they are my great friends. When you’re around people that you love and that you can have fun with and laugh with, to me that is immediately calming for the nerves as well. I’m someone that before I do a major event like this, I don’t tend to drink, but a little glass of Della Vite Prosecco — just a couple of sips — could always help to give you an extra boost of confidence.

You’re coming with Chopard this year and you’ve worked successfully with them in years past by wearing their jewels here. What is the process like of selecting jewelry here?

It’s insane. We always stay at the Martinez and on the roof is where they have all the jewelry. It’s like Fort Knox there but you go to the top with your stylist — in my case, it’s Nicky Yates — and go through security. By that point, you’ve already picked what you’re wearing and you just find jewelry that will work. I’ve been a magpie since I was a child so anything that shines and glimmers sets my heart on fire. So, this whole extraordinary process of selecting jewelry is amazing and then you put in and off you go with security and a bodyguard to make sure you don’t make a run for it.

Everyone at Chopard is so lovely and so it becomes a sort of Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment — it’s a lot of smiling and a real pinch-me-moment. I sit there thinking, am I dreaming? Is this actually happening? Have they got the wrong person? How did I end up here? I look at other women like Julianne Moore or Anne Hathaway, who is my ultimate style icon at the moment, and think that they always seem to know what they are doing while I always have imposter syndrome. Like, someone’s going to figure it out and say, “Get her out of here.”

Your looks have been so memorable and beautiful here from a yellow gown to the gunmetal, both by Dolce & Gabbana. You’ve worn Chanel. What is your style strategy?

Cannes is the place where you can pick pieces that really stand out and I think that’s the key. I love the standout moments on the red carpet with the juxtaposition of the more casual moments or when you have downtime and you’re just doing meetings or wandering down the Croisette. It all sounds just like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? I like simple things for those moments, like a great pair of denim shorts with a T-shirt and gold sandals. The juxtaposition between the two is always quite extraordinary.

What are your other travel must-haves for Cannes?

You want a big pair of shades, like Miu Miu cat-eye shades. A good book for the plane. At the moment, I’m reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which is fabulous. I love an Envy Organics rose facial spray, something to make you feel fresh. A beautiful Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. I also have this vintage Gucci bag that I’m taking with me this year. Maybe a Mason Michel hat. Sandals, frayed denim. Also, a good sense of humor. You have to have a good sense of humor to get you through the chaos, the fun, divine chaos.

Any favorite Cannes hideaways?

The Hotel du Cap is such a beautiful, special place. During the height of the festival, it’s so busy that, to be honest, I love to just wander down the Croisette. There are so many restaurants on the beach. Everyone’s drinking rosé all day and that’s so normal here. I don’t feel like that’s normal anywhere else in the world. But the French know how to drink during the day. They’re extraordinary. I like to wander, and if I have an extra minute, I might go to the original Petite Maison. When I was filming Riviera, I lived in Nice for six months. There’s a Petite Maison in London but the original is in Nice and they always have live music and tomatoes and lemons on the table that are the size of your head. You mix it with olive oil and salt before you start eating and the food is exquisite.

Since you have your own prosecco line Della Vite [with sisters Cara and Chloe Delevingne], do you exclusively drink that or are you sampling the competition while you’re here?

I stick to my brand. The reason we went into this business is because my sisters and I were huge prosecco drinkers and we were always frustrated by what was out there and what was being presented to us. The best proseccos in the world come from Italy and Valdobbiadene. So we went out there and found a winery that shared our values and sustainability [ideals] and we came together to create Della Vite. Now that I’ve been spoiled by my own brand, I don’t think I can sample the others. You’ll have to try some.

That’s so kind, thank you. Those days are done for me since I’ve been sober for 13 years.

That’s wonderful, congratulations. We are coming up with a zero percent …

Wow, I wondered about that. I saw your sister, Cara, at the Vanity Fair Oscar party and congratulated her on her sobriety and that Vogue piece which was beautiful. She so clearly detailed just how transformed her life has been by recovery.

Absolutely. The Vogue piece was just so powerful. She’s so incredible and obviously, as sisters, we still have this brand that we love and adore. It’s our baby that we created and obviously the way that her life is moving and our lives are moving, we thought, why don’t we create a zero percent line. So many people are sober and Della Vite as a brand values inclusivity and we want everyone to be a part of it. That’s the next step for us as a brand, researching how to do a no-secco prosecco. And we’ll see where that takes us.

That’s such a smart idea because alcohol-free spirits are on the rise and in demand. There’s no easy way to segue from prosecco to gun violence, but you just signed on for a new movie, The Gun on Second Street, described as “an allegory of the gun crisis in the United States.” What drew you to the story?

I was approached by Rohit Karn Batra, the writer-director-producer of the film. The first thing that I was attracted to was wanting to change my directing and do something that was very honest, very real and true and authentic. This one is different from all the roles that I’ve done so far. What this character goes through and the arc of her story is very interesting, grounded and gritty in places. I don’t feel like I’ve ever had a role like that and it really appealed to me. The subject matter is very relevant to what is going on in the U.S. and I hope it grabs people’s attention. It’s a challenging role for me and one that I am so longing to take on.

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