Julie Delpy wanted to attend the Chicago premiere of her latest film 2 Days in New York, Thursday night at the Music Box, part of Sundance USA 2012. But having already schlepped her three-year-old son to Utah, the filmmaker and actress wasn’t keen on traveling again with the toddler, so she did the next best thing. She beamed in for a Q&A via Skype.
Joining co-star and co-writer Alexia Landeau (who appeared live and in person the old-fashioned way), Delpy was giddy following the warm reception 2 Days received from the Music Box audience of 600+ moviegoers. At times earnest, at times goofy (any other mothers out there concerned about the size of their little boy’s penis? Non?), the French director-actress-screenwriter spent nearly a half-hour fielding questions from the enthusiastic crowd.
“It’s hell,” she said of directing an independent film. The comedy, which shot in New York City in the fall of 2010, shut down midway through production while waiting on additional financing. “I had a very sad Thanksgiving,” said Delpy.
The casting of Chris Rock, who plays her boyfriend in 2 Days, was pure intuition, said Delpy, who wrote the part specifically for the comedian. Rock joined a nearly all-French cast that includes Delpy’s real-life father. The language barrier, played for laughs in the film, wasn’t that far from the truth, according to Landeau. The elder Delpy speaks little English and Rock not a word of French; at times, Rock couldn’t tell whether his co-stars were acting in character or just talking amongst themselves.
Delpy, perhaps best known for her work opposite Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, has transitioned in recent years from working in front of the camera to behind the scenes as a director and writer. Asked whether she ever intends to re-focus on acting, Delpy responded, “I’d rather be John Huston than Marilyn Monroe.”