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August 9, 2012 10:27 AM
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'2 Days in New York' Writer/Director/Star Julie Delpy Tells Us Why She's Not Crazy, Despite What Ethan Hawke Says

"2 Days in New York" Magnolia Pictures
As anyone who's seen any of Julie Delpy's brazen and brainy turns in films like "Before Sunrise" and "Three Colors: White" can probably guess, the French beauty doesn't make for a boring interview.

In catching up with Indiewire over the phone to discuss her latest directorial offering "2 Days in New York" (a sequel to her wry comedy "2 Days in Paris"), Delpy devotes a bulk of our 15-minute block to convincing me that she's not crazy, following a profile of the actress/writer/director that ran in The Guardian, in which her "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" co-star Ethan Hawke said she was just that.

While Hawke likely said that in jest, the fact that his comment irked Delpy as deeply as it did gives a good indication of how seriously she takes her craft. That craft is on full display in "2 Days in New York," a rollicking culture clash comedy in which Delpy revisits the role of Marion, a New York-based artist with a wacky Gallic family. "2 Days in New York" finds Marion split from her boyfriend from "2 Days in Paris" and living with her new man Mingus (Chris Rock) and their respective children from prior relationships. When her family decide to pay a visit from France, their cozy domestic partnership is put to the test.

Below Delpy dishes on the status of the third entry in the "Before Sunrise" series, dicusses her reasons for penning a sequel to "2 Days in Paris," and gets the fact straight on whether she's directing a Joe Strummer biopic or not.

"2 Days in New York" Magnolia Pictures
Paris was like the third main character in "2 Days in Paris." All the conflict seemed to arise from the surroundings. This time around, the setting doesn't figure so prominently in the story. It just more happens to be where the couple live.

Yeah, it's a little bit less of a city taking over. It's not a fish out of water story as much. It's more about the invaders bringing the mayhem. Paris is more stressful than New York. It is. New York is much more tourist friendly. You don't have the same interraction with people. Cab drivers don't talk to you in Paris. I feel that New York is a more friendly city. But I'm also Parisian, so everytime I go back there I can be aware of how rude people can be. I'm horrified sometimes. For example in "2 Days in Paris," all the taxi scenes...during the period I was making the film, I literally had taxis who were doing what they do in the film.

What made you want revisit the character of Marion?

Because she's quite annoying and I like annoying characters. But seriously, she's an endearing and obnoxious person. I kind of like those characters in movies in general. I wanted to see something further in her life, like having a kid. How someone who is so unstable as Marion, could handle having a child, being in a new relationship, and having lost a parent. I just wanted to play with her a little more. I thought "2 Days in Paris" was such a tiny window in the life of Marion. I wanted to go a little further.

"I like annoying characters."
Is this a character you see yourself revisiting down the road?

I don't know. I don't think of sequels right after the first one comes out. It usually takes me a year. Even then I'm not sure. I have so many other projects I'm writing and other characters that are also really annoying [laughs]. Looking forward to more neurotic characters but in a different way.

Did you initially start writing and directing to create acting opportunities for yourself that weren't coming your way?

It's true that I was not offered comedies or anything like that. It was very limited. But me becoming a director had nothing to do with me not getting what I wanted as an actress. It's totally seperate. I've always wanted to be a director. When I first started in this business, I became an actress because it was easy, I was pretty. People started hiring me like Godard. But even Godard, when I first met him, I said, "You don't have to hire me as an actress. I can just come to the set, bring you coffee and watch how you work. That's what I'm more interested in."

I've always pursued directing. I wrote my first screenplay when I was 16. I wanted to direct it, but no one would give me money; I was too young. It's always been my goal.

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