By Matt Williams, The Guardian
Man fires shots from starting pistol during live TV interview with Christopher Waltz and French actor Daniel Auteuil
Actors ran for cover at the Cannes film festival on Friday after a man fired shots from a starting pistol during a live TV broadcast.
Oscar winner Christopher Waltz and French actor Daniel Auteuil were being interviewed by French TV station Canal+ on a beach-front set when two shots were heard.
“The bodyguards jumped over the barriers into the crowd and pulled him [the suspect] to the ground. The police arrived and told everyone to run because there was a grenade in his hand,” one eyewitness told Reuters.
French authorities, who arrested the man at the scene, confirmed he was carrying a dummy grenade and a knife. A police source said: “It really appears to be a crazy guy.”
Live footage showed actors and film crew scrambling from the seaside stage. The programme was taken off air temporarily, but continued minutes later after the programme’s producer said: “The show must go on.”
The host, Michel Denisot, said the shots had been blanks and that there were no injuries.
Waltz won a best supporting actor Oscar this year for his role as a bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
The incident is the second security hitch to disrupt the 12-day film festival, after the theft of $1.4m worth of Chopard jewellery in the early hours of Friday morning. A safe containing the jewellery was unscrewed and taken out of the Suite Novotel hotel in central Cannes.
Chopard later claimed the value had been exaggerated and added that items were not set to be worn by actors.
An Australian journalist who was at the festival said the sound of shots was completely unexpected. She said: “One minute everybody was happy and the next there was panic.”
“People didn’t know what was going on, many girls were rushing away crying, it was really scary. No one was sure what was going on.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]