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George Clooney and Julia Roberts woo Cannes

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 13/05/2016 Bryan Alexander

Hard to believe, but screen veteran Julia Roberts, 48, had never been to the Cannes Film Festival before this week. "You have to leave a few things in life for later," Roberts said.

After a dazzling Cannes run that peaked with the Money Monster world premiere Thursday alongside co-star George Clooney, 55, an authority on his fourth Cannes trip, the two stars might as well co-own the festival.

Their roadmap to victory:

Julia Roberts listened to the pro

When Roberts found out that Money Monster (in theaters Friday) had been selected for Cannes, she immediately dialed Clooney for advice.

"George and I are friends to the extent that there are certain things that I put in his hands," said Roberts. "I asked, 'Should I go?' and he said, 'Yeah, we’ll make it fun.' " 

They owned the famed Cannes camera banks

Julia Roberts tells George Clooney a little secret on the Cannes red carpet Thursday night. © Joel Ryan, AP Julia Roberts tells George Clooney a little secret on the Cannes red carpet Thursday night. The sight of two walls of Cannes photographers taking pictures can be daunting. But Clooney and Roberts owned the ritualistic photo call Thursday.

"Being dead center in one of those things, it’s one of the more shocking things," said Clooney. "You get your picture taken all the time. But when you have that many flashes and everyone's yelling for your attention, you really are taken aback by it."

Not too taken aback. Clooney even flashed a bit of a "blue steel" pose.

They yukked it up at the media conference

There were serious moments, like when Clooney dismissed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. But there also were plenty of whispers and laughs between Clooney and Roberts. When a journalist posed a question in muddled English, Roberts asked, "Are you talking to me and George as if we're one person? We’re kind of one at this point."

They conquered the steps of the Palais des Festivals

The Money Monster crew dazzled with director Jodie Foster, Roberts, Clooney and his wife Amal all at the red-carpet premiere. Roberts even audaciously kicked off her heels and dashed up the steps.

Clooney said that standing on the grand steps leading into the Palais is one of the high points of being a Hollywood actor.

"There’s the experience of going up those stairs," said Clooney. "That should be done once in your life."

Roberts declared victory

She summed up the experience simply: "Having never been here before, this is so crazy and wonderful and such a wild celebration of cinema," she said. "These are dreams coming true."


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