The revered actress is among the Hollywood heavyweights stunned by news that officials at the festival insisted all female stars should wear high heels on the red carpet, arriving for her chat with The Hollywood Reporter on Friday wearing sneakers.

Thumbing her nose at the rule makers, she then changed into heels as she sat down and quoted a famous movie adage about the difficulty of being an actress in Hollywood, stating, "Just like Ginger Rogers knew with Fred Astaire, you have to do it backwards and in heels."

MCDormand added, "I'm much more of a sneaker person, but I think they (Cannes officials) think that flats are the road to ruin and I'm going to end up in them (sneakers) on the red carpet.

"But we all know that Roger Vivier (designer) makes a beautiful flat that is more more elegant than some of... these shoes women are wearing now."