Julie Delpy spends ’2 Days in New York’ and declares her independence – and that the French aren’t just baguettes and berets
Photo by Magnolia Pictures
Thelma Adams: How are you like Marion — and how do you differ?
Julie Delpy: My screen character is a bit more out of control than me. I'm more grounded and less crazy. I have my neuroses, but she's more confused, and more self-centered. I'm a very pragmatic person basically. It's fun to have this kind of alter ego. I did that a bit when I wrote "Before Sunset," a different part of me that isn't just like me. I'm fascinated by crazy people because I'm so not crazy: I know what's reality, what's me, and what's not me.
TA: How much of this movie was improvised?
JD: The film is actually very scripted. All my films are. Sometimes, I let people, like Adam Goldberg in "Two Days in Paris," improvise, like when he ordered that burger. Or when Chris is doing this conversation with a cardboard cutout of Obama — it's 80 percent written, and 20 percent improvised. But the best acting is when you feel like people are not acting.
TA: When the acting is transparent, and the writing seems natural?
JD: Yes. I just presented a film "Le Skylab," that film could not be more scripted. It's an affectation to seem like you just turn on the camera. I love feeling that if people watch my movie, they have the feeling that they are part of the scene, to give people the sense that they actually spent one hour and a half with these people. My goal is to make it feel like people are improvising and not acting. I love to feel like it's hyper real, like the camera just turned on.
TA: What directors influenced your style?
JD: Robert Altman had this naturalistic thing, and John Cassavetes, and Woody Allen in a more comedic way like "Husbands and Wives."
TA: Don't you find Allen misogynistic?
JD: I think Allen is more Pygmalion-obsessed than misogynistic. His body of work is just amazing. If I could get to a tenth of his career! When I think of people like Altman, there is a certain freedom to his movies. He was underrated at his time. His films are so naturalistic. People love to give prizes where you see the acting, the directing, the makeup — what movies are really about, for me, is capturing moments as well as entertainment.