If anyone deserves to make her own movie, it’s Julie Delpy. She’s worked with some of the best filmmakers in the world, including Jean-Luc Godard (Detective, 1985), Krzysztof Kieslowski (Trois Couleurs, 1993-’94), and Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, 1995, and Before Sunset, 2004). She’s one of the smartest, sexiest and most authentic actresses around. She’s been writing screenplays for more than 20 years, since she was 17. She co-wrote the screenplay for Before Sunset and got an Oscar nomination. She even swears like Quentin Tarantino. So why has it taken so long for her to make her first feature?
Her bittersweet, randy, rich 2 Days in Paris, in which she plays a Frenchwoman who visits her folks back home in Paris with her prickly American boyfriend, shows all the makings of a true auteur, not least of all because she wrote, directed, edited, composed the music, co-produced, and did the still photography. To top it off, her former boyfriend Adam Goldberg plays her boyfriend, her real-life parents play her parents, and her cat Max plays her on-screen cat, Jean-Luc.
Is the cat named Jean-Luc because he looks like the director?
No, but I always thought it was funny, and I could imagine Marion would call her cat Jean-Luc because she likes Godard films.
The cat is terrific, though he doesn’t have a lot to work with.
He is terrific.
You still have him?
Yeah, he’s on the bed right now.
But not Adam Goldberg. Working with an ex-boyfriend: tense?
The only danger is that when you’ve been with someone, they start to act like an ex-boyfriend. But we didn’t really have time for that stuff. We were shooting so fast. I mean, he’s Adam. I knew what to expect when he showed up in Paris. I knew there are certain things to handle that the French crew couldn’t believe. I could put up with that shit. But for me, it’s like a certain kind of behavior you know of, like certain actors in Hollywood that are used to being extremely pampered and suddenly they come to a French set and it’s not at all the same. But it wasn’t more than I expected.
So he’s a little spoiled?
No, just the usual pampered thing. He wanted a personal assistant, so we got him one. But he wasn’t so bad. We had one trailer for everybody. The producer had to pay for it. His children don’t have clothes for school this year. His wife was crying every day. I’m just laughing at some reviews that say, “Why did she do everything?” I almost want to tell them, “Hey, if I didn’t do the editing, there would be no movie,” because we had zero money. I sold everything I owned apart from my house, because if I sold my house I’d kill myself. I’ve been working on two films in the last four years, and I’ve made $60,000.
Yikes. So how much did the film cost?
Maybe 500, probably more like 400.