Cannes film festival: What Pete Doherty and Ronan Keating have in common

You wouldn’t normally expect to see Ronan Keating and Pete Doherty mentioned in the same sentence. But then it isn’t every day that the Boyzone star and former Libertine come to Cannes to talk up their film acting debuts.

They’re not in the same movie, that would be too surreal, but in a romantic comedy, Goddess, and a woozy adaptation of Alfred de Musset’s novel Confession of a Child of the Century, respectively.
The latter played in Un Certain Regard, meaning all press got to see Doherty’s (some might say appropriately) somnambulant performance, as a 19th century libertine – see what they did there – and, broadly, write him off as an actor.

Doherty, though, said he enjoyed watching himself on screen when I caught up with the surprisingly healthy looking musician on Monday. A refreshing antidote to the tight-lipped, publicist-controlled automatons that frequently confront journalists, Doherty talked openly and, apparently, honestly about his use of, and liking for, drugs, Amy Winehouse, and his chaotic lifestyle.
The following day, Keating, sitting bathed in the first rays of sun to hit the rain-drenched Riviera resort almost since the film festival started on 16 May, described his decision to cross-over into movies as “nerve-racking”, because the “media are just waiting to knock you”. (Just be good, Ronan, that’s all we ask for.)

He said he had auditioned for Moulin Rouge and King Arthur, but “wasn’t good enough. So I studied, I learnt, and I feel I have worked hard to get to this position to be in the film.”
The Life is a Roller Coaster singer hasn’t abandoned music, and in August will release his first studio album in five-and-a-half years.

Asked where he got his ideas from, he appeared to suggest that he’d been inspired by the turmoil that hit his life when it was revealed in 2010 that he’d had an affair with a backing dancer, leading to the recent split from his wife of 14 years.

“I have had kind of a tough three years, and you can draw a lot from that,” he said.

Indeed, just ask Pete Doherty.

The 65th Cannes Film Festival continues until 27 May.

First published in The Scotsman

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