Gallic Actor-Turned-Director Julie Delpy Stars Alongside Chris Rock in Her Latest Indie Hit
After an important art critic insults her work, Julie Delpy’s harried alter ego Marion has a meltdown at the opening of her photography show, in this exclusive clip from Two Days in New York. The sequel to her 2007 hit Two Days in Paris, the film sees Marion relocated to New York and living with new boyfriend Mingus, played by famed actor-comedian Chris Rock. The couple endure a fractious few days entertaining her dysfunctional family, who have traveled from Paris to meet her new beau. First discovered as an actress at the tender age of 14 by Jean-Luc Godard, and perhaps best known for her co-starring role with Ethan Hawke in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, the Los Angeles-based Delpy wrote the film in response to romantic comedies where the goal is the wedding. “They are already together—it’s not about seducing someone but how to keep the love going,” explains Delpy of her screenplay. Against a tapestry of confessional Woody Allen-esque narration, finger puppet shows, frenetic shots of New York, and a riot of music, Delpy explores the culture clash between her new love and eccentric family with her usual blend of sophomoric humor and discerning intellectualism. “I have the same obsessions as Woody Allen—sex, death, diseases,” admits Delpy. “We both played clarinets as kids. It probably affected the levels of oxygen to our brains so we became similar in some ways.” Here Delpy and Rock share their thoughts on what to do with two days in New York.
What would you do for two days in NYC?
Chris Rock: Central Park is beautiful, especially if you have kids. I like to rent a bike and cycle around the city. Museum-wise, I love MoMA. I saw the Cindy Sherman exhibit there most recently, and it blew me away. I love the city and it really embraced us when we were filming there…
Julie Delpy: The Guggenheim is a very interesting building and has really fantastic art.
You lived in New York for years. What made you relocate to LA?
JD: I was raised in the ground floor of an apartment building in Paris in the 15th arrondissement. It was so dark, gray and depressing—I was raised like a rat in sewage! I love being in sunlight and being surrounded by nature. I don’t care if people have fake everything in LA. I want sun and blue skies. That may sound silly, but it’s important to me!
Why set this film in NYC and not LA?
JD: I didn’t want the film to have anything to do with Hollywood, and so many movies set in LA seem to be about Hollywood and too “Hollywood.”
CR: Tarantino manages to do LA movies but not make them too Hollywood. And Nicolas Winding Refn managed as well in Drive. Paul Thomas Anderson does LA without Hollywood.
JD: I agree with Chris, but I really wanted the characters to be New Yorkers. I also didn’t want to shoot in my own city. But I guess it could have been set in LA and in the same world since there is so much art there now. So many young artists live there now because they have followed the money, and New York has also got so expensive.
Two Days in New York is released in the UK on May 18.