Virus-hit star Lea Seydoux pulls out of Cannes

Cannes (France) (AFP) –


French star Lea Seydoux was forced to pull out of the Cannes film festival Wednesday after coming down with the virus despite being fully vaccinated.

The actress, who is in three films running for the festival's Palme d'Or top prize, had already missed the star-studded premiere of Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch".

Seydoux plays the prison guard muse and model of a criminally insane artist (Benicio del Toro) in Anderson's sparkling piece of whimsy which was adored by the critics.

The Bond star tested positive for the virus last week but was asymptomatic.

She was taking daily PCR tests in the hope that she would make the screening of one of the four films she is appearing in at the world's biggest movie gathering.

"Sadly, I have to self-quarantine in Paris and won't be able to attend this year," she said in a statement.

"I wish I could celebrate the return of cinema to my favourite festival, but it is in everyone's best interest to err on the side of caution and do my part to keep everyone safe and healthy," she told Variety, the film industry bible.

She was also due to walk the red carpet on Wednesday for Hungarian Ildiko Enyedi's "The Story of My Wife" and Arnaud Desplechin's "Deception", which are both in the main competition.

Seydoux, who shared the Palme d'Or in 2013 for her daring performance in "Blue is the Warmest Colour", was also to lend her star power to the premiere of Bruno Dumont's "France", where she plays a newsreader who wants to escape the limelight.

Thousands of industry movers and shakers from outside the European Union -- including those who have been fully vaccinated -- have been tested daily before being allowed into the Palais des Festival, where the premieres are mainly held.

With up to 3,000 tests a day being done, festival organisers say only a handful of people have tested positive.