movies: Julie Delpy’s post­card to New York, ..........................

Julie Delpy re­turns, this time to show French peo­ple in New York, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

ULIE Delpy, Richard Lin­klater and Ethan Hawke shared a Best Orig­i­nal Screen­play Os­car nom­i­na­tion for 2005’s Be­fore Sun­set, about a chance meet­ing that un­ex­pect­edly links two lives.

At a nom­i­nees’ lunch in Los Angeles, Delpy met Chris Rock, who was host­ing that year’s cer­e­monies. Life echoed art as their fleet­ing con­ver­sa­tion sparked a long-run­ning friend­ship. Now they’re co-stars in Delpy’s daffy, en­dear­ing rom-com 2 Days in New York.

Born in Paris to per­former par­ents Al­bert Delpy and Marie Pil­let in 1969, she be­came a star at 14 when Jean-Luc Go­dard cast her in his De­tec­tive.

She moved to New York as a teenager, at­tend­ing NYU and study­ing at the Ac­tors Stu­dio.

Choos­ing roles with renowned di­rec­tors such as Ber­trand Tav­ernier, Ag­niezska Hol­land and Krzysztof Kies­lowski, Delpy, who has lived mostly in the US for the past 15 years, be­came one of the most pop­u­lar French ac­tresses of her gen­er­a­tion.

Al­though she’s also a screen­writer, di­rec­tor and film ed­i­tor, Delpy is best known to US au­di­ences as the star of 1995’s Be­fore Sun­rise and its se­quel, Be­fore Sun­set.

In her new film, Delpy plays Mar­ion, a quirky neu­rotic in­tro­duced five years ago in her com­edy 2 Days in Paris. In that film, she and boyfriend Jack (Adam Gold­berg) tried to reignite their ro­mance with a quick trip to see her bo­hemian par­ents, where ev­ery cliche about French rude­ness proves true.

The new film picks up sev­eral years later, with Mar­ion and ra­dio host Min­gus (Rock) shar­ing a twobed­room Man­hat­tan apart­ment, rais­ing the lit­tle boy she had with Jack and Min­gus’s young daugh­ter. The bal­anc­ing act is thrown for a loop when Mar­ion’s fa­ther, sis­ter and lover drop in for a visit.

‘‘I thought it would be fun to do the re­verse shot, you know, show­ing French peo­ple in New York. Also as we get older, have kids and lose our par­ents, life is tough,’’ Delpy, 42, says.

Delpy’s par­ents played Mar­ion’s mother and fa­ther in Paris. Her mother died in 2009, and Mar­ion’s new sta­tus as a half-or­phan is much on her mind in New York. Delpy wanted to por­tray those ideas in a com­edy. ‘‘Bet­ter laugh than cry,’’ she says. ‘‘The film’s an homage to her, but I wanted to keep it light be­cause she’s a very happy per­son.’’

She also wanted to re­sist the stereo­type of ‘‘the French be­ing very classy peo­ple wear­ing Chanel’’.

Her dad ar­rives wear­ing a tacky US-flag neck­tie and smug­gled sausages taped to his chest, her sis­ter is an ex­hi­bi­tion­ist, and her boyfriend – one of Mar­ion’s myr­iad of ex-lovers – tries to bond with Min­gus by singing the praises of ’80s rap­pers Salt-n-Pepa.

‘‘It’s ex­ag­ger­ated, it’s a com­edy, but it’s not far from the truth. The crit­ics who take of­fence at that are Amer­i­can. When the French see this they say, ‘Oh my god, that is so my fam­ily’.’’

Her wild-eyed, large-bearded fa­ther is ‘‘a de­praved Santa Claus’’, she says, and a de­light to di­rect on film.

‘‘He was an ac­tor be­fore I was born, I’ve seen his work in the­atre all my life, and it’s great to give him a fun part to do on­screen,’’ Delpy says.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously it’s not al­ways easy ’cause I’m his daugh­ter and I’m giv­ing him direc­tions. He’s not al­ways agree­ing with me, but in the end I’m the boss.’’

Be­cause of the cast­ing, some view­ers mis­tak­enly as­sume that Delpy’s 2 Days films are au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal. Not the case, she says. ‘‘I’ve got well-con­structed re­la­tion­ships. I met a guy, had a baby, and I’m with him.’’

She lives in Los Angeles with Marc Stre­it­en­feld, a pro­lific film-mu­sic ed­i­tor, and their son, Leo, 3.

Delpy says she and Rock talked about mak­ing the new film over a pe­riod of years and while his screen act­ing is not at the level of his supremely ac­com­plished stand-up com­edy, she says he is her ideal co-star.

‘‘I like him and I wanted some­one who wasn’t the ob­vi­ous first choice for the boyfriend in an indie movie. It’s an un­usual choice, pick­ing some­one from the com­edy world who’s such a per­sona, but that’s what I like about it. I like break­ing rules.

‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter any­way. Tal­ent is tal­ent.’’

opens to­day.

Above: Chris Rock (Min­gus) and Julie Delpy (Mar­ion) in

and (left), Delpy’s dad, Al­bert, as Mar­ion’s dad, Jean­not.

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