“I love acting and I still want to do it, but I’ve such an instinct for directing, it’s something that comes naturally to me. It’s why I’m here on this planet.” Julie Delpy
One of the most popular French actresses of her generation, Julie Delpy, known for her blonde, delicate beauty and talent, is best-remembered by most Americans and highly-appreciated for her starring turn as French student Celine, opposite Ethan Hawke’s American tourist, in director Richard Linklater’s one-night-in-Vienna romance Before Sunrise (1995) and its continuation, the Oscar-nominated film for Best Adapted Screenplay, Before Sunset (2004, also worked as a co-writer). For her magnificent performance, the appealing actress won a 2005 Empire Film award. As a writer, she was garnered with Academy Award and Independent Spirit nominations.
During her presence in the cinematic industry, Delpy has established a triumphant acting career in both Hollywood and European movies with more than thirty projects under her belt. She was seen in such films as Detective (1985), Leos Carax’s Bad Blood (1986), La Passion Béatrice (1987), the acclaimed Europa, Europa (1990), Three Colors Trilogy (1993-94) and Killing Zoe (1994). Her more recent and forthcoming credits include Alan Rudolph’s Investigating Sex (2001), Beginner’s Luck (2001), the comedy-drama Broken Flowers (2005), the George Gargurevich-written fantasy 3 & 3 (2005), The Legend of Lucy Keyes (2006), The Hoax (2006), The Air I Breathe (2006) and Bathory (2007, also serves as director and writer).
Off screen, Julie Delpy was chosen as one of People Magazine’s “25 Most Beautiful” in 1995. A citizen of the United States and France, Delpy speaks fluent French, English and Italian, as well as some Spanish and German. On a more private note, she is single.
“Too many women throw themselves into romance because they’re afraid of being single, then start making compromises and losing their identity. I won’t do that.” Julie Delpy
Childhood and Family:
“I’m an adaptable nomad. I love Paris. I’ve been living in Los Angeles and New York since 1990. I love London, too. My roots are inside of me.” Julie Delpy
Daughter to celebrity parents Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, who were actors in both feature films and the avant-garde alternative theater, Julie Delpy was born on December 21, 1969, in Paris, France. As a child, she made her stage debut with her parents and soon developed a passion to become a film director. To fulfill her childhood dreams, Julie attended a summer directing course at New York University. She also studied acting with New York’s Actors Studio.
Born and raised in France, Julie frequently flew to New York and eventually relocated there in 1990. Having been a naturalized United States citizen since 2001 (she also maintains her French citizenship), Julie is now a resident of Los Angeles. During her off time, she enjoys cooking, painting, dancing, singing and playing chess. Additionally, she loves sewing and making her own clothes.
Julie Delpy appeared on stage for the first time when she was 5 and made her feature film acting debut before her tenth birthday with the 1978 drama Guerres civiles en France. By the time she was 14, Delpy had impressed director Jean-Luc Godard who later cast her as a wise young girl in his crime/drama Detective (1985), a performance that became Delpy’s turning point. She further enhanced her career with a fine supporting part as Lise in Leos Carax’s Bad Blood (1986) and, in 1987, she was cast in the starring role in the Bertrand Tavernier-helmed La Passion Béatrice, portraying the title character of a 14th Century victim of incest and rape. Delpy made her English-language film debut with a cameo appearance in Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear (1987). She rounded out the decade by picking up the small role of a nun, the Virgin Mary and a temptress in The Dark Night, a drama written and directed by Carlos Sauras.
Delpy moved to the United States in 1990. Her worldwide breakthrough arrived in the early ‘90s when Delpy was cast in the starring role of Leni in Agnieska Holland’s acclaimed Europa, Europa. After the success, the actress next costarred with Sam Shepard in Volker Schlondorff’s Voyager (1991), played Fryda in Warszawa. Année 5703 (1992), teamed up with director-writer Krystof Kieslowski for Three Colors Trilogy, played small roles in Blue (1993) and Red (1994) and a had a starring role in White (1994). Her American film debut came in 1993 when director Stephen Herek cast her as lover Constance in a film adaptation of The Three Musketeers. She gave another notable performance in the following year with a starring turn as a benevolent Parisian prostitute, Zoe, in Roger Avary’s Killing Zoe, opposite Eric Stoltz.
By the mid 1990s, Delpy’s rising popularity in Hollywood had been solidified following her excessively attractive portrayal of a French student named Celine, who has a one day romance with a young American tourist (Ethan Hawke) she meets on a train, in Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise. The role garnered her positive feedback, and as for the film, the romance earned lustrous reviews and was hailed as one of the most fascinating films of the independent film movement of the decade. Also in 1995, the aspiring filmmaker made her directorial debut with the12-minute short Blah Blah Blah, a comical view about two sexually bothered girls, which she also acted and wrote. The film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995 and earned strong reviews from critics.
Lured by the victory, she was tapped to star in the 1997 Hollywood film An American Werewolf in Paris, portraying victim Serafine Pigot. The horror movie, unfortunately, was commonly considered a disappointment by critics. Delpy was next seen in small and quirky films like L.A. Without a Map (1998) and But I’m a Cheerleader (1999). Despite the failure, she scored well on the small screen in the late 1990s. Her first opportunity came with the made-for-TV movie Crime and Punishment (1998) and then the ABC sitcom pilot True Love (1999), where she was paired with Adam Goldberg as a New York duo who drives one another crazy. She also portrayed American Barbara Branden in the Showtime TV-movie The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Entering the new millennium, the international actress continued her work in film by playing the small role of Lill in the American film Sand (2000) and co-staring opposite Dermot Mulroney, Robin Tunney and Neve Campbell in Alan Rudolph’s Investigating Sex (2001). She then appeared alongside Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Brandon Quintin Adams and Tami Roman in MacArthur Park (2001), provided the voice for the Celine character in the animated Waking Life (2001) and starred in the drama/comedy Beginner’s Luck (2001), with Steven Berkoff. She also revisited the small screen with the recurring role of Nicole in NBC’s medical drama “ER” (2001). The subsequent years, she had roles in such films as CinéMagique (2002), Villa des roses (2002), Looking for Jimmy (2002, also served as a director and writer) and Notting Hill Anxiety Festival (2003).
Delpy again attracted attention in 2004 when she rejoined Ethan Hawke and director Richard Linklater for the second installment of the 1995 critically acclaimed Indie film Before Sunrise, Before Sunset (2004). Reprising the Celine role, which is reunited with Hawke’s Jesse nine years after their first meeting, Delpy was so impressive that she was handed a 2005 Empire Film award for Best Actress. Aside from her outstanding acting, she was widely praised as one of the films’ writers, wherein her fine contribution brought Delpy nominations at the Independent Spirit awards for Best Screenplay and Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay.
After starring with Luke Goss and Alec Newman in the TV miniseries “Frankenstein” (2004), she returned to film with the co-starring role, opposite Bill Murray, in the comedy-drama Broken Flowers (2005) and costarred with Kathy Bates in the George Gargurevich-written fantasy 3 & 3 (2005). She recently played the lead role in director John Stimpson’s thriller The Legend of Lucy Keyes (2006). She will soon be seen in Lasse Hallström’s The Hoax (2006) and star opposite Kevin Bacon in The Air I Breathe (2006). In 2007, she will take on triple duty as actor, director and writer for Bathory, a film scheduled to re-team Deply with Ethan Hawke.
- Empire Film: Best Actress, Before Sunset, 2005