Four hundred dollars? I could afford that.
No, four hundred thousand. That’s not very much. We had no budget for a lot of things in post-production. Like editing, or for music. I had to sing the ending song because it was a deal I made with the music company that if I sang on the ending song they would pay for the songs in the film.
Does it bug you that it’s taken 20 years for you to make a movie and you almost had to sell your house to do it?
My anger is quickly transformed into creative energy. Instead of getting angry and bitter, I kept writing more and more and more. That’s my only way of dealing with things. It’s never going to be easy for me. I know that. And people will try and stop me from making my films, and people will be offended by this film, I guarantee you. It’s not a safe movie.
You’ve had experience with some of the top directors of the past 20 years. what have you learned from them?
Kieslowski was very supportive when I decided to go to film school in New York. I spent about a year meeting him quite regularly, talking about writing screenplays and moviemaking and all that and how to make your films your own and no one else’s. Which is funny, because everyone’s comparing my film to Woody Allen’s. But I really didn’t mean to. I just am, unfortunately, neurotic, and I think it transpires throughout the film and comes out that way. I love Woody Allen; it’s not a bad compliment, but I know it’s going to backlash on me eventually.
Well, Kieslowski is the Woody Allen of Polish filmmakers.
Which is a very different sense of humor. And Richard Linklater, not in the directing so much, but the fact that he let me write so much of Before Sunset and a lot of Before Sunrise as well, made me realize that I could write — because I had written before but had always been rejected. The fact that my writing was validated in Before Sunset.
Women directors, then: they’re coming back?
I don’t know if they’re coming back or just finally making movies, period. There are very few women directors. It’s harder. I know that for a fact. My scripts weren’t that bad. So it’s not a question of the writing. It’s something else. If it’s being a woman, I don’t know.
Validated by an Oscar nomination, no less. And if you get nominated for 2 Days, who will you be wearing on the red carpet?
I have to lose like 40 pounds first to look like everyone else.