Palm Springs film festival: What the celebs say about Palm Springs

Actress Sally Field signed autographs Jan. 5, 2013, before walking the red carpet at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. (Wade Byars, The Desert Sun)

Dozens of Hollywood stars and starlets drove into the Coachella Valley on Jan. 5, 2013,  for the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s annual awards gala.

The stars talked about their Palm Springs visits — what they’ve been doing, if they’ve visited before — during brief interviews with The Desert Sun on the red carpet.


Sally Field, who won Career Achievement Award after her role in “Lincoln”

“I grew up in Los Angeles, so Palm Springs was the place we would go — it wasn’t often, every now and then. It was in the ‘50s, so it was literally one street. Palm Springs would always make me smile.  …

“I haven’t been here in a long time, so I thought, ‘What? This can’t be the place! What happened to Main Street?”


Martin Sheen, who presented Sally Field with her career achievement award

“This is my first time ever. I’ve never been to Palm Springs. I’ve driven through it, but I’ve never been here before. I always wanted to know where Frank Sinatra lived.”

He said he needed to leave Sunday morning: “But I’ve seen enough to want to come back, I’ll tell you that.”


Naomi Watts, who won Desert Palm Achievement Award – Actress  

While she was participating in a film festival session, her kids “had such a beautiful day” in the pool — and at Boomerz in Cathedral City.


“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, who won the ensemble award for “Argo”

“I’ll swing by and see my partners at Cinemas Palme d’Or and talk business and make sure that our theater is running smoothly and that our audiences enjoy the selection of films we have. ‘Argo’ is one of ‘em.”


Bill Pullman

“Yesterday morning we went out to the experimental station…  The date station out in Thermal and we ate a lot of dates with the guy, Vince, who runs it all.”

On Desert Sun reporter Bruce Fessier’s wife baking him date cookies: “I thought that is Palm Springs at its best.”


Director of the Year Robert Zemeckis and his wife, actress Leslie Zemeckis

The couple went to Copley’s on Palm Canyon for dinner Friday and to the Palm Springs Air Museum with their kids. They hoped to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway before leaving town.

“We just love being around the architecture and just sort of the vibe of the city. We love it,” he said.


Ben Affleck, who won the Ensemble Performance Award for “Argo”

“I really like the community. I like Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio. I have memories of driving down here in the summers to see my dad and rolling the window down and it feeling like a blow dryer, you know, on my your arm.

“It has this wonderful romance to me of, like, all those pictures you see of old gas station rest stops on the side of the road in the 1950s. There’s a feeling of an older America here that’s past in a lot of places but that I really find romantic.”


Helen Mirren, who won International Star Award for “Hitchcock”

“I’ve been to Palm Springs for weekends now and then, and I had my very first Jacuzzi ever in Palm Springs, so that was an amazing and memorable experience. At this time of year, out under these incredible skies, is wonderful.”



– Desert Sun reporter Xochitl Pena contributed to this.