Julie Delpy: On film, feminism and war

In real life, Julie Delpy seems a lot like the sexy, chatty, smart, meandering philosophical character she plays in “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset” and in her new movie, “2 Days in Paris,” which she also produced, wrote and directed.

“There is a little bit of me, somewhat,” she says, in Celine, from the “Before” films, and Marion, in the recent release. “I’m similar in that I’m a New York woman in the 21st century raised by a feminist mother and a feminist father.”

She’s pleased when people tell her that they think “2 Days,” which opened this week, is a feminist film.

Recently in San Francisco to promote the movie, sitting in a hotel suite, she goes off: “Being a feminist is good. Feminism is good for men. It’s kind of horrible that men have to go to war, they can’t cry …”

At the same time, “2 Days” has a grittiness that’s not evident in the more romantic “Before” movies, in which she appeared with Ethan Hawke. In “2 Days,” she stars as a French woman living in New York who has an American boyfriend (Adam Goldberg). The wacky comedy follows their adventures and misadventures when they stop into visit her family (her real parents Marie Pillet and Albert Delpy play her parents) on the way back from a European vacation.

“Guys like the film,” she says, mostly describing the edginess of the dialogue. “It doesn’t come to me to write something cute.” She cites journal writer Anais Nin as an influence.

Yet Delpy, who was at the top of her class at New York University film school, isn’t only interested in relationship films. If she had her way, it would be easier for her to get financing to make a movie aboutsomething else, even war. Right now, she says, she’s preparing a movie set in the 17th century.

“I do read more history than fiction,” she says. “Though I love some novels, it’s hard for me to read fiction.”

Is there anything she can’t do? The woman who admittedly feels extraordinarily lucky to have been raised by movie-loving parents who encouraged her individuality and creativity, is quick to list a few items: “I’m bad at flying; I’m bad at cleaning; I’m bad at sorting out papers — I don’t know what ‘legal’ means.”

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