Below is an excerpt from a Hollywood Reporter Q&A with actress/director Julie Delpy about her knew film "2 Days in New York" in which she co-stars with Chris Rock.
THR: With a white woman and a black man, there could have been a real racial comedy aspect to it, but there wasn’t really.
Delpy: Well I didn’t want it to be. I wanted it to be not the issue of their relationship. Yes, they have the character of Manu that is dumb, racist but not mean, kind of dumb racist, like without even knowing it. Not hating black people, but wanting to be black, thinking every black person is cool, that every black person smokes pot. The worst kind of guy, but at the same time, not even mean, just a loser. Which I think is funnier because it’s this kind of caricature of the racist, hates black people. He’s not that, he’s just a dumb guy. Which is much more fun. And I wanted to keep it that way.
And I was like, okay, we’re not in 1962, I’m not going to make a mix couple where, that’s the subject matter of the film. It’s like now, you make a movie where the woman is 40 and the guy is 37, and the film is going to be about an old lady dating a young man. It’s so tiring, I can’t even watch movies like that anymore. It’s so on-the-nose, it’s keep people in that bullshit. And I think that’s why Chris liked the script, because he was like, it’s not about that. That’s not the movie. Their problems have nothing to do with interracial. Intercultural, maybe. And that’s what I told him. This is a movie, it’s a man and a woman, that’s the problem. Men, women. That’s enough of a problem!
And if Chris had not done it, I don’t think I would have had a black actor. I would have changed it entirely. It would have been a whole other thing. I would have gone totally different, I don’t know who because I never brought my mind to it.Has anyone seen this movie? A good friend of mine saw it in Paris and told me via email that he thought it was "really offensive." I haven't had a chance to interrogate his thoughts about it in person though.
If there's anyone out there in the ITYC Radio-land who has seen it, I'd love to hear what you made of the film. Share your impressions in the comments section.