PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - Back in 2007, actress Julie Delpy brought to theaters a comical love story, “2 Days in Paris,” that she also wrote and directed, starring Adam Goldberg as her on screen boyfriend in a romance set in the City of Light.
The movie earned positive reviews, and roughly five years later, she has returned with “2 Days in New York,” only this time her character Marion has replaced Goldberg with a new beau, played by comedian Chris Rock. The two are living together in the Big Apple when her family, including a father who hardly showers and an oversexed sister, come to visit.
The amusing farce premiered on Wednesday at the Sundance Film Festival to a warm reception. And Delpy, who directed, co-wrote and stars in the film, sat down with Rock to talk about it, writing the role specifically for Rock and how it was better that he really didn’t understand French when they were filming.
Q. Chris, why did you want to work with Julie? You can do any films you like?
Rock: “Really? Tom Cruise can do whatever he likes.”
Delpy: “Not anymore.”
Rock: “Maybe Shia LaBeouf can? I just liked the script and that is all I need. I don’t get into, you know how people are like, ‘I see myself as a brand and does this help my brand’ and all that nonsense. If I am in a good movie, it will be good for me. I thought the story was really good. I thought the script was great and I trusted Julie and that was enough for me. I don’t think I asked her another question. I had seen her other films. I loved her other films. You know, character stuff, not ‘movie’ stuff.,”
Q. Julie how did you end up casting Chris?
Delpy: “When I decided to make a sequel to the film I wanted him to be my new boyfriend. And I called his agent, who I happened to know, because I have been fired from every agency in town. Actually ICM fired me when I was writing “Sunset” (“Before Sunset”), because they thought I was crazy to write a sequel. They thought I was wasting my time and I was crazy. They said, ‘why are your wasting your time?’ But, it’s OK I am not even mad with the guy that fired me, I am actually friends with him. Anyway, so I called his agent, who wasn’t the guy that fired me, I knew him way before that, and basically and I said, ‘I want to write a film for Chris and me, the sequel to ‘2 days in Paris.’’... an hour later he called me back and said, ‘Go For It.’”
Q. Chris, how was it working with Julie’s real-life father? (French actor Albert Delpy) Any strange odors, as joked about in the film.
Rock: “No no he smelled like baby powder, he was great.”
Delpy: “He didn’t know what was going on between me and my father. It played favorably to have Chris not really understanding what was going on in French. It was better to keep it like that. If the film sometimes seems mayhem, like the dinner scene, it is really built that way.”
“I have always been fascinated by language and being a foreigner in America and having traveled many places. I think with human beings, there is a lot of misunderstanding already, especially in relationships but it gets even more when there is language issues.”
Q. Julie, you have worked with your father before, how are you similar and different?
Delpy: “My dad is more crazy than me, I am much more square than he is and more organized and much less crazy than he is.”
Q. You often get compared in style to Woody Allen and you say you admire him with other directors. What do you still learn from Allen today?
Delpy: “I want to have his career. If I have his career I will be very very happy and very very lucky.”
“I also love Robert Altman, I love how he created interaction between characters and this feeling that everything is totally natural and normal.”
Rock: “I was going to be in his last movie, and then he died. I don’t know why he did that to me.”
Q. Julie the comedy was sort of old school farce, playing on cultural differences, but also felt modern. Were you aiming for that tone or style?
Delpy: “I don’t really think about what I am going for in terms of the comedy, I am only thinking about what makes me laugh and what pleases me when I am writing ... I like when the cameras moves a lot and it is very lively because I like this feel of urgency and mayhem.”
Q. Are you more out of place in France or America?
Delpy: “I am still treated as a French person, but sometimes people are resentful that I love it in the US,. It’s a French thing you know, but most of the time I am included in being this French person that has moved. ... It is unclear to them what I am doing and what I am aiming for. They are a bit surprised and they kind of hate that because they love to put people in boxes. But I think that is here, too.”
Reporting By Christine Kearney; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte