She's walked kilometres of red carpet in her time, but Megan Gale says nothing is quite as overwhelming as fronting the cameras at the Cannes Film Festival.
Speaking to The Weekly in the French Riviera hamlet only hours before she donned her custom-made Alex Perry gown and joined fellow L'Oreal Paris beauty ambassadors at the premiere of Benicio del Toro's new film, Jimmy P, Megan said arriving at the Palais du Congres at Cannes and stepping onto the red carpet "is unlike anything else in the world".
"It's complete bedlam and chaos," said Megan, who made her Cannes debut at last year's festival.
"You have banks of photographers on either side of you all screaming at you to look at them. They announce your name and they place you in front of the cameras and the flashing and shouting starts. And then you just move slowly but surely up the red carpet, smiling as you go. It's pretty overwhelming."
Sharing the red carpet at the Jimmy P premiere was the film's star, Benicio del Toro, festival jury president, Steven Spielberg and - in town to promote their upcoming Hunger Games sequel — Jennifer Lawrence and Aussie actor Liam Hemsworth.
With more than 4500 journalists from all over the world in attendance, and some 11,000 delegates to the film festival, Cannes remains the premier cinema showcase in the world.
For the French-based cosmetics company, L'Oreal Paris - co-sponsors of the festival - the week-long movie love-in is a major event of their calendar year, and one which is attended by all their international ambassadors, including Victoria's Secret model Doutzen Kroes, actresses Eva Longoria and Freida Pinto, double-amputee, athlete and model Aimee Mullins and Hollywood legend, Jane Fonda.
Megan, 37, is the first Australian-based Aussie ever to be chosen as a face of L'Oreal Paris.
"It's extremely humbling to be in such esteemed company," she said.
During a photo shoot on the Croisette yesterday, Megan was mobbed by fans. Still a household name from the time she spent in Italy as young model and actress, Megan's celebrity status appears not to have dimmed.
"Amazingly, while there were Italian accents among them, most of them were French," she said. "And they were brandishing photos of me from last year's red carpet here."
At a lunch at the exclusive Hotel Martinez, Megan impressed Italian journalists chatting confidently to them in their mother tongue. Outside the hotel, and despite the torrential rain that has fallen on Cannes for the past twelve hours, crowds waited patiently under umbrellas to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.