×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham, Will Smith Steal the Show at Cannes amfAR Gala

Leo and David! Leo and David! Everybody was trying to get near this year’s power duo at the Cannes amfAR gala. At around 8 p.m., at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, the world’s biggest movie star was chatting with the famous soccer player, as bodyguards flicked away photographers. Leonardo DiCaprio looked animated, using his fingers to count down talking points, as David Beckham nodded politely.

Then it was time to go inside the dinner, held in a massive tent with a 1920s Hollywood vibe and dancing showgirls. As Beckham strode through the grass, a fan managed to sneak by him to ask for a selfie. Beckham hesitated, before reluctantly agreeing.

“David, you should charge money for that picture, man,” one of his handlers cracked. “$10,000 a shot!”

It might not have been a bad idea. This year’s amfAR celebration — which feels like the unofficial closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival — raised $20 million for HIV/AIDS research, as celebrities rallied onstage to encourage the rich to bid on valuable art, yacht-destined vacations, and other unique items. Beckham and DiCaprio were seated at the same table, along with Tobey Maguire. Will Smith, Dustin Hoffman, Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, Christoph Waltz, Adrien Brody, and Dionne Warwick were also in attendance.

“Elizabeth Taylor is the reason we’re here tonight,” said Nicole Kidman, referring to the organization’s first celebrity champion.

The dinner, which started in 1993, now generates enough star power to rival the Oscars and enough alcohol to put the Golden Globes to shame. There’s also a fashion show with a stage packed with supermodels (Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, etc.), where 30 dresses sold to a single bidder for $3.4 million, and musical acts straight out of the Grammys.

Nicki Minaj kicked off the night by performing a set, which included backup dancers shimmying on chairs (see video below). British crooner Rita Ora debuted her new ballad, “Your Song.” Diana Ross, donning a fur jacket, belted out chestnuts like “I’m Coming Out” and “I Will Survive.” And at 1 a.m., the night closed with Joe Jonas and DNCE. It wasn’t a tame performance, as the band’s bassist, Cole Whittle, dumped a bottle of champagne over his head, spraying some of the gowns in the front row.

Between the singing and dancing, there was the bidding. Beckham took the stage to sell a private soccer match with him and his pals for $390,000. A 1958 Jaguar signed by DiCaprio went for $670,000. Smith introduced a collection of portraits by celebrity photographer George Hurrell. But to help drive up the bidding, Smith took over as auctioneer, and threw in a selfie that would include his pals Chastain, Chris Tucker, and Uma Thurman as well as a “kiss on the cheek.” Sold! For $560,000.

Here are other highlights from the night:

More Scene

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

  • The CalArts REDCAT Gala 2019 Honoring

    Pixar's Pete Docter Honored at CalArts REDCAT Gala

    Pixar’s Pete Docter reminisced about his days as a student at CalArts on Saturday night at the 2019 CalArts REDCAT Gala, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. For the wide-eyed boy from Minnesota, where life was more routine, attending CalArts “was a free-for-all. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways,” he recalled. “But [...]

  • Sasha Pieterse, Eli Brown, Sydney Park

    'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Unexpectedly Coincides With College Admissions Scandal

    It was a case of art imitating life at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of “The Perfectionists” — Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff about a scandal involving college students striving for excellence by any means necessary. The TV show’s debut was coincidently preceded by a real-life college scandal involving Hollywood celebrities who allegedly didn’t let a [...]

  • Keira Knightley'The Aftermath' film screening, Arrivals,

    Keira Knightley Talks 'Aftermath,' Alexander Skarsgård and Another Itchy Wardrobe

    The reigning queen of period pieces, Keira Knightley, knows a thing or two about historical clothing. “Lining. Lining is always important,” the Oscar-nominated actress playfully advised on Wednesday at the premiere of her post-WWII drama “Aftermath.” “If you get a lot of itchy stuff always put lining in it. I have learned that from having [...]

  • Priyanka Chopra

    Priyanka Chopra to Speak at the 2019 Women in the World Summit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Priyanka Chopra has just been added to the star-studded list of speakers at the 2019 Women in the World Summit. Chopra, who will be interviewed on stage by Women in the World founder Tina Brown, will discuss her career as an activist and entrepreneur. Recently, the “Baywatch” actress joined forces with Serena Williams in investing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content