05/10/2011 03:49 pm ET Updated Jul 10, 2011

Carla Bruni In 'Midnight In Paris': How Woody Allen Cast French First Lady

Though almost certainly a romantic coincidence, given the filmmaker's idiosyncratic work habits and unparalleled stature, Woody Allen's new film presents a perfect storm ahead of its Cannes debut: a movie set in idyllic Paris, premiering at an iconic French film festival, featuring an anticipated cameo by the beloved French First Lady.

So what did it take to make this magic happen? Just some breakfast.

Allen spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the film, "Midnight in Paris," and his upcoming appearance at Cannes, explaining in simple detail how the simple deal got done, and in doing so, dispelling the many media-created rumors that cropped up as the movie was shot.

"My wife and I were having brunch with the Sarkozkys about a year and a half ago," Allen remembered. "I had never met them before. He was very charming, very nice, and then she walked into the room. She was so beautiful, so charming and charismatic, I said, 'Would ever think of being in a movie? Just a small thing, for fun, for your own amusement.'"

Right away, one of the most in-demand women in the world jumped at the chance to work with Allen.

"She said, 'Yes, just once in my life I'd like to do it, so I could tell my grandchildren I was in a movie,'" the lucky filmmaker said. And the relationship continued to be just that easy.

"She was no problem, she was very natural. The tabloids kept printing that I was doing a million takes with her, but I wasn't at all," he stressed. "I was doing the normal amount of takes. I certainly don't do a million takes with anybody, and I was only doing a normal amount with her."

Unfortunately, Bruni won't be able to attend the festival for "personal reasons," but she is, of course, hardly the only star in the film. The movie's core cast includes leads Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams as a couple visiting Paris, and Marion Cotillard as the alluring symbol of its great romantic possibilities. Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen and Adrien Brody co-star, as well, offering perhaps the strongest cast headed to Cannes.

For so much more from Allen about the film and Cannes, click over to The Hollywood Reporter.