While presenting her latest film “Lolo” at the New York Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, Julie Delpy spoke about “On The Verge,” a series she’s developing as a writer with a prominent U.S. streaming service.
Set in the U.S., the English-language comedy series will turn on a group of forty-something woman tackling singlehood and will depict their relationships with men. “We usually picture women in their forties at peace with themselves, but that’s not how they are in real life. I’d like to show them in a way that we haven’t seen them before — show how crude and crazy they can be when they talk about men, sex and relationships.”
The series, which is still at script stage, will mark Delpy’s first foray into TV drama.
In “Lolo,” in which she stars opposite Karin Viard and Dany Boon, Delpy also made a point to depict forty-something women with grown-up children getting back on the “singles’ market” after divorcing. Indeed, the pic includes meaty dialogue between Delpy and Viard chatting about men. “There are not enough films or TV series showing women from a woman’s perspective. We’re starting to see more and more feminine voices (in France for instance where about 25% of all movies produced are directed by women) but we’re not there yet.”
“Women have a different way of telling stories. In ‘Mustang,’ for instance, we understand that there is sexual abuse going on but Deniz Gamze Ergüven decided to suggest it in a subtle way rather than depict it bluntly; I think a male director would have showed it and he would have missed the point.”
Asked about whether she was inspired by American comedies such as Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck,” Delpy said she hadn’t seen it. Surprisingly, the filmmaker revealed she had Mervyn LeRoy’s horror thriller “The Bad Seed” in mind when she penned the movie which she wanted to be a dark comedy about a sociopath.
For the first time with “Lolo,” Delpy was looking to make a mainstream French comedy, which is why she chose to cast some of France’s biggest stars, notably Boon who’s best known for directing and starring in “Welcome the Sticks.” Viard, one of France’s most bankable actresses, also starred in Delpy’s previous film “Le Skylab.”
Delpy pointed out “Lolo,” which was produced by Michael Gentile’s Paris-based the Film, had a budget of approximately $7 million — her biggest budget so far.
Aside from “On The Verge,” Delpy said she is working on two English-language projects which she will direct in the U.S. and will star in one of them. She claimed it would likely be the last time she stars in her own movies as she finds it too exhausting to be on both sides of the camera.
Delpy is known for her work on “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight,” which she co-wrote with director Richard Linklater and co-star Ethan Hawke. She earned two Oscar nominations for “Before Midnight” and “Before Sunset.” Delpy’s French-language film credits include “Two Days in Paris,” “Two Days in New York” and “Le Skylab.”
“Lolo” screened at the Soho House in New York as part of the RDV with French Cinema in New York, a festival organized by UniFrance and the Film Society of the Lincoln Center. FilmRise will soon release the movie in the U.S.