She began acting at the age of 14 when she was discovered by Jean-Luc Godard who cast her in 1985’s Détective. Two years later, she received a César Award Nomination for Most Promising Actress. She won international acclaim after starring in the 1990 film Europa Europa. She then became a staple of the 1990s independent film movement with major roles in significant pics like director Richard Linklater’s 1995 Before Sunrise. So when a thesp of the caliber of Julie Delpy tells me today that she’s leaving that profession, it’s a watershed moment in indie film. Granted, acting for the French-born actress, writer, director, and singer-songwriter is only one part of her multi-pronged career. She was even nominated for an Adapted Screenplay Oscar for co-writing 2004’s Before Sunset, the sequel to Before Sunrise. But she told me tonight a day after the Sundance premiere of her comedy 2 Days In New York, one of the 30 or so films where she has acted and/or written and/or directed, “I think I’m done with acting. Before, I just acted in movies with people I knew. Now I don’t want to pursue acting. I will pursue writing and directing.”
Delpy also thinks NY is likely the end of this film series which began in 2007 with 2 Days In Paris, so there will be no third installment set in LA or Tokyo. (“I’m not a James Bond girl.”) She says she wants to try new genres including a thriller. Like her previous Paris, Delpy turned to Europe for the bulk of her financing for the film she directed, co-wrote, and co-stars. But she says a breakdown in a piece of financing halted the start of shooting two weeks before it was scheduled to begin, and then filming stopped again four weeks in. “I’ve already worked with money restrictions in filmmaking and it’s manageable,” she says. “The only thing you can’t manage is death. But everything else is nothing.” French sales company Rezo is handling worldwide rights for 2 Days In New York and picked Sundance for its premiere. She hopes to equal the box office success of Paris which made almost $4.5M domestic and almost $20M worldwide. But like that film, Delpy’s latest comes to Sundance without a distributor. So did all the other titles in the festival’s Premieres section this year. As with Paris, French sales company Rezo is handling worldwide rights to the NY version.
In 2 Days In New York, Delpy plays a French photographer whose film journalist boyfriend is played by Chris Rock. The couple live in NY with their children from previous relationships. The story revolves around a 2-day visit by Marion’s family including her sexpot sister and her eccentric boyfriend. Again, Delpy’s real-life father, theatre director Albert Delpy, plays her dad, whose antics as the stereotype of a boorish Frenchman left audiences laughing in Park City.