‘Game of Thrones’: Cannes Power Players Scramble to Watch the Finale

Chloë Sevigny may have starred in HBO’s “Big Love,” but her association with the premium cable channel isn’t strong enough to help her out of a jam. She’s desperate to watch the series finale of “Game of Thrones” while she’s at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to promote Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die.”

“What are they going to do? Send me a link,” she told Variety‘s Marc Malkin.

Unless she figures out a way to pirate the episode or finds a bar or friend’s house that’s showing “Game of Thrones” at 3 a.m. Cannes times Monday, she may miss out on the big reveal or risk having someone spoil who ends up on the Iron Throne.

“I can’t look at my phone — there are spoilers,” Sevigny lamented.

She’s not the only one suffering this predicament. “Game of Thrones” is a television phenomenon with few parallels, one that thrives on twists and turns, shocking betrayals and surprise alliances as various factions vie for control of Westeros. And since the show started outpacing George R.R. Martin’s original novels way back in season five, it’s anyone’s guess whether a member of the Stark, Lannister or Targaryen clans will emerge as the one king or queen to rule them all. In the social media age, many viewers essentially live-tweet their response in real time, making it nearly impossible for anyone online who may have missed the most recent episode to avoid reading about what happened.

That’s left some Hollywood players reconsidering their plans to travel to Cannes this year. At the JW Marriott, one of the posh hotels that line the city’s main thoroughfare, one U.S. customer called to ensure he could watch the show in his room. Turns out, he couldn’t. And he was likely out of luck at the Grand, the Martinez, the Carlton or the Gray d’Albion, which don’t offer HBO through OCS (Orange Cinéma Séries), the French cable channel that shows the series. Some of the most expensive rooms do offer a slightly more expansive channel selection, but it’s unclear if that includes any platform that shows “Game of Thrones.” Complicating issues is the fact that HBO Now isn’t available outside of the U.S.

That’s left some attendees willing to bend the rules in order to watch “Game of Thrones.” Many studio executives and producers privately cop to using virtual private networks or VPNs to builds a secure connection between a mobile device and the internet that allow HBO and HBO Go subscribers to stream the series. These networks mask users’ geographic location. One executive rationalized that he is “already paying for HBO anyway so [he] should be able to see it.”

Although some Hollywood players expressed anxiety about their ability to stay abreast of the big goings on in the Seven Kingdoms, it’s a familiar problem for producers and directors who are often out of the country for long stretches of time, shooting movies in far-flung locations.

RT Features founder Rodrigo Teixeira recently set up an account in the Canary Islands where he was filming so he could stay in the loop on “Game of Thrones.” He’s done the same thing in Cannes. He got a French friend to buy a French iPad and set him up with an account so he can find out what goes down in Westeros.

“I’m not going to miss it,” said Teixeira. “If I read spoilers, I’d go crazy.”

More Film

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Jennifer Lopez's 'Criminal' Striptease: How 'Hustlers' Landed the Fiona Apple Hit

    Contrary to what you might be expecting, the number of songs by Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo and Cardi B in “Hustlers,” their newly released acting vehicle, adds up to … zero. Meanwhile, the standout music sync in a movie that’s full of them belongs to no less likely a choice than Fiona Apple. The scene in [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Dances Toward $32 Million Opening Weekend

    “Hustlers” is eyeing the biggest opening weekend ever for STXFilms, following a Friday domestic ticket haul of $13.1 million from 3,250 theaters. If estimates hold, the stripper saga could take home around $32 million come Sunday, marking the best live-action opening of Jennifer Lopez’s career. “Hustlers” follows a group of former strip club dancers, led [...]

  • Hustlers intimacy coordinator

    Meet the Stripper Consultant Who Gave 'Hustlers' Authenticity, Dignity and Sexual Freedom

    At last week’s Toronto Film Festival premiere of “Hustlers,” an audience of Hollywood heavyweights and Canadian locals applauded as a statuesque woman strutted on stage, rocking six-inch platform heels and a pastel tie-dye bodysuit. This adoration was not for stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu or Keke Palmer, nor was it for the film’s acclaimed writer-director [...]

  • Kristen Stewart

    French Director Olivier Assayas Pays Tribute to Kristen Stewart at Deauville

    French director Olivier Assayas paid tribute to Kristen Stewart, whom he directed in “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper,” at the Deauville American Film Festival on Friday evening. Stewart received a honorary award in Deauville before the French premiere of Benedict Andrews’s “Seberg” in which the actress stars as Jean Seberg, a French New [...]

  • Liam Gallagher: As It Was

    Film Review: 'Liam Gallagher: As It Was'

    Liam Gallagher is nearly as fascinating a rock ‘n’ roll figure as he thinks he is … which is saying a lot. After the breakup of Oasis, one of the most self-avowedly arrogant stars in pop culture found himself severely humbled, fighting to become relevant again without the help of Noel, his ex-bandmate and, for [...]

  • The Vast of Night

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Vast of Night'

    It’s the first high school basketball game of the season and all of Cayuga, N.M., population 492, is cheering on the Statesmen at the gym. Except for the town’s two brightest kids, Everett (Jake Horowitz) and Fay (Sierra McCormick), who are strolling through the empty darkness to their respective jobs as a radio DJ and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content