You’ve been attending the Cannes Film Festival for many years now, how does it feel to be back?

It feels so good to be back. Especially this year since it’s the first time that the festival is fully back. You can feel the energy—everybody’s here, and the fans are excited. It’s great to be here at this particular moment!

What are your best memories from the festival?

I have so many great memories at Cannes! My first one was one of the most memorable— I remember I bought a dress for $40, just because I needed a cute dress. Anything about dressing for the red carpet and being like, ‘Wow what is this place!’ And what better place to have a festival? Waking up and seeing the beach every morning outside your window. Every time I’m here, I make such great memories.

What is your best achievement with L’Oréal Paris? 

You know there are so many things, so many products I have launched with L’Oréal Paris, but the things I am most proud of are my philanthropic efforts that they support and the stand-up training that we’ve done with L’Oréal. I just love how philanthropic the brand is and how they’ve always supported my philanthropic endeavours, and so for me, that’s probably the work that I’m most proud of with them. Whenever we get to partner outside of the brand and just try to make the world a better place.

Do you have any beauty tips for the red carpet at Cannes?

The biggest tip I think is that you have to go a little darker with your makeup because you’re in front of so many flashes that can really wash you out. So when you’re doing a red carpet look, you’re going for a bold eye, a good cheek [colour] and a good lip [colour]—in order for [your makeup to] really show up in photos. I’m also a big fan of false lashes, so that’s my secret on a red carpet [laughs].

Why are awards like L’Oréal Paris Lights on Women Award for female filmmakers still important in 2022? As a woman in the film industry, what does this award mean to you?

It’s so important! Women need all the help they can get when it comes to exhibiting their talent and so the Light On Women is an award that L’Oréal was created to amplify and celebrate and applaud the women who are doing the work. We also offer them a grant as well to continue that work; so anytime that we can promote female filmmakers, I think it’s really an amazing thing because we’re so far from gender equity as far as female directors.

Are you working on any new projects?

I just directed my first feature called Flamin’ Hot which is the story of Richard Montanez, the Frito Lay janitor who channelled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos [the snack]. It’s super inspirational, it’s so beautiful; We’re in post-production now and I can’t wait to see the work to see that! And I just directed a documentary called La Guerra Civil that just opened at Sundance and was a documentary about the iconic rivalry between boxers Julio César Chávez and Oscar De La Hoya. It’s a really interesting exploration of identity.

I love directing, I have been doing it for 12 years so it comes very naturally to me and I’m good at it—I think it’s okay to say that. When you’re good at something, you want to continue to do it at the best level you can.