Mel Gibson walked down the red carpet in Cannes with co-star and friend Jodie Foster at his side for a screening of their new film.
The troubled star smiled for photographers though he occasionally looked uncomfortable as the cameras flashed.
The actor plays a depressed businessman who uses a beaver hand puppet to communicate in The Beaver.
Asked by a reporter if his role was a metaphor for his recent, well-publicised, problems, Mel smiled and said he did not understand the question.
He had earlier missed a press conference, attended by Jodie, to publicise the film which is being shown at the festival.
Reporters were told commitments in Los Angeles had caused his late arrival in France.
His absence did not stop him dominating the proceedings.
Jodie, who has been friends with Mel since they starred in the 1994 western Maverick, faced a barrage of questions about the actor who has been accused of racism, homophobia and anti-semitism and appeared in court this year on a battery charge after a complaint from ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
But she insisted the troubled star "was the right actor for the role" and had "a deep understanding of the struggles" faced by the character.
She said: "He really understood the character in a way that was extraordinary. I think that he was willing to go to such a deep place and willing to expose himself in some ways, to really talk about something he knows a lot about, which is struggle, wanting to change, wanting to transform yourself, not wanting to be who you are, and I'm so grateful for that performance."