Vincent Gallo has confessed he hired then fired controversial Hollywood star Winona Ryder from his new movie - because of the publicity it would create.

The actor-turned-director sacked both Ryder and SPIDER-MAN star KIRSTEN DUNST from Brown Bunny on the morning they were due on set to start filming.

And he admits he had no intention of ever working with Ryder - and only cast her because of the headline-grabbing shoplifting trial she was embroiled in at the time.

Gallo says, "I knew she was going to jail and this will be good for the movie. I would never cast Winona Ryder in a significant role."

He says he fired Dunst because of the demands of her "lunatic agent" and moved onto Ryder after she called him "every five months".

Gallo is at France's Cannes Film Festival promoting the movie, with CHLOE SEVIGNY.

22/05/2003 13:59