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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

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire August 9, 2012 at 10:27AM

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.
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"2 Days in New York"
Magnolia Pictures "2 Days in New York"

How is "The Right Profile," the Joe Strummer biopic you're attached to direct, coming along?

I'm probably not going to do it. It's a weird situation. I said no to Film Four because I got scared. British press can be really tough. They were saying, "Julie Delpy, who does she think she is? A French director doing such a UK project?!" No matter if it's good, I was going to be trashed. So I said fuck it. If they want a British director to direct anything that has to do with Britain, then fine. I was really annoyed. Maybe it was one guy, but it got me very upset. I was like, I can't deal with this hate of French women [laughs].

The truth is he's such a British icon, that maybe yes, it should be a British director. But then I met the photographer, who's story it's based on, and he said I was the best person to do the film. Then I found out that Joe's daughter wanted me to do it, so now I'm all confused. I don't know if I'm doing it or not, I'm just confused. We'll see what happens.

I had great ideas for the cast. But I had the feeling that Film Four and some of the financiers didn't want me to do it, so I got scared of that. If a financier hires you to do the film and they're not 100 percent sure you're the right person for the project, they make your life hell. Then it's just such a struggle. I had that on "The Countess." The French finaciers didn't really believe in me.

Going on to another film you're actually confirmed to do: the follow up to "Before Sunset." When I interviewed Ethan Hawke earlier this year for "Woman in the Fifth," he let drop that you were gearing up to start shooting this summer.

We're writing it now.

"Everyone assumes I'm crazy! I'm so not crazy. I'm funny, but I'm not crazy."

How's that going?

Good. I mean Ethan is crazy, but he's a great writer. I'm saying that because I just found out he said that in an interview, that I'm crazy. It got me really angry [laughs]. It's so unfair because he doesn't understand that being a woman director is already such a complicated thing. Everyone assumed that women are crazy, so if you say that... I know what he means by saying I'm crazy -- that I'm a goofball and make the craziest jokes. But I'm everything from crazy. I directed four films in five years and I had a baby in that time too. If I was crazy, I would not have had a baby and made four films. Obviously I'm so not crazy. I'll direct him one day and he'll see how not crazy I am.

But it's annoying, because it's not very friendly to do that. I don't think he realized that it's not a very nice thing to do. Already I'm French, I'm a woman, I'm directing movies where I play the crazy character. Everyone assumes I'm crazy! I'm so not crazy. I'm funny, but I'm not crazy.

How has that affected your working relationship?

It's great. We're having a fun time. When I work with those guys [Richard Linklater and Hawke] we have a lot of laughs. We work a lot but we're also having a fun time.

You and Ethan put up quite the fight when you both weren't credited as co-writers on the script for "Before Sunrise." Is there any awkward tension between you and Linklater still to this day? Or is that all in the past?

It was a really stupid situation, because we went to Vienna and rewrote the entire film and threw away the original screenplay. Because of the Writer's Guild we couldn't do anything. But that's OK, because in the second film we got the credit. But yeah, it's fine.

I'm sure the Oscar nomination for the sequel helped.

Yeah it was fun. But the truth is when we started writing together on the second film, we just had so much fun. We could have not had the nomination and it would have been fine too. It was like the cherry on the cake, but the cake was already there [laughs].

That's probably why he said I'm crazy because when you get the three of us together I come up with the craziest ideas. I come up with the crazy jokes, and things that would never come out of the mouth of a woman [laughs]. I'm more of a guy than they are. I'll say the most crazy stuff. Even guys wouldn't dare to say the shit I say. I guess I'm crazy.

This article is related to: Interviews, Julie Delpy, 2 Days in New York, Features





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