Seeing your ex again is always awkward, but Hollywood stars Sean Penn and Charlize Theron were forced to reunite publicly on Friday (May 20th) to promote joint film The Last Face in Cannes. What made the situation even more uncomfortable was that the couple were said to have ended their relationship last year, straight after their appearance at the annual film festival.

Charlize Theron Sean PennKeeping their distance: Theron and Penn at Cannes.

Theron and Penn posed together at the film’s photocall on Friday, but managed to keep their distance from each other, making sure that actors Javier Bardem and Adele Exarchopoulos were between them at all times.

At the film’s press conference Penn was awkwardly asked what it was like working with Theron, to which he replied “I’m just a fan of great performances.” The matter probably wasn't helped by the extremely negative reaction the drama received from the Cannes critics.

More: Charlize Theron Says Son Jackson Has A Crush On Co-Star Emily Blunt

After its screening on Friday the film was met by boos from the audience and received several one star reviews from critics. The film, which was directed by Penn, is a love story which features Theron as an international aid worker in Africa who falls in love with a doctor (played by Javier Bardem).

Responding to the film’s negative reaction Penn told the press: “I just finished the film, so it's not a discussion that I think I can be of any value to, I stand behind the film as it is and certainly everyone is going to be well entitled to their response.”

Theron and Penn had been friends for years before they began dating in December 2013. In 2015 they were then rumoured to be engaged, but last June it was reported that their romance had come to an end, with Theron accused of ‘ghosting’ her former fiancé.

More: Charlize Theron Has Signed Up For Fast And Furious 8

Speaking about the ‘ghosting’ rumours to WSJ in April, Theron said: “There is a need to sensationalize things. When you leave a relationship there has to be some f***ing crazy story or some crazy drama."

"And the f***ing ghosting thing, like literally, I still don't even know what it is. It's just its own beast. We were in a relationship and then it didn't work anymore. And we both decided to separate. That's it.''