By Christopher A. Pape
Alexia Landeau, of 2 Days in Paris and Marie Antoinette fame, has just co-written and starred in a new movie aptly named, 2 Days in New York, a sequel to the Paris hit. As a New Yorker with French roots, she is able to move between both worlds seamlessly and does so in both movies.
She sat down with us to discuss being a New Yorker, her life as a movie star and a mother and her new upcoming projects; the whole time she was playful, intelligent, charming and exquisite. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed speaking with her; I’m looking forward to meeting her at our big soirée in November.
Resident (R): So tell me about your new shows?
Alexia Landeau (AL): It’s a new movie called Days of New York, starring Chris Rock and Julie Delpy coming out August 10th. It’s a sequel to Two Days in Paris, which was about a couple in France; an American dealing with a French family. This was his girlfriend’s family, so you see all the cultural clashes. And so this is the converse- a French family coming to New York. Most of the comedy derives from Chris Rock trying to make sense of the father, sister and sister’s boyfriend. He is seeing her girlfriend in a new light as she is reverting back to her old French ways and, of course, she acts a bit differently with her family. So this movie looks closely at how you mesh who you are as a daughter and sister with who you are as a wife and mother.
R: I know you’re an actress as well as a writer but do you think people see u as a writer or actress?
AL: More as an actress because that is what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years and the writing thing has only happened in last two years since I co-wrote this movie. Now I’m getting some writing gigs; I’ve written some stuff that’s going into production.
R: And you were born in France?
AL: No I was born in New York to a French father and I grew up in France and stayed there until I came to college here.
R: What do you think it means to be a New Yorker?
AL: It means that you’re incredibly used to external stimulus; that you’re very adaptable. I believe when you live in New York you can live anywhere, so I feel it’s your best passport to a life anywhere else, if you can make it here then you can make sense of your life anywhere else.
R: And you live in LA now?
AL: No I live in Brooklyn. I lived in LA for seven years then moved back last September. I missed New York, it’s hard being away for long.
R: What do like about Brooklyn?
AL: I have a child now, a three year old, so I felt like making him leave LA, which has so much space compared to the East Coast, but I felt in Brooklyn there would be some more space than Manhattan. I was nervous coming back with a child because I was used to going out a lot while I was there as a single woman, so I felt Brooklyn was best solution to that.
R: And how has he acclimatized to that? Is he doing well?
AL: Yeah he loves it, it’s beautiful. I was nervous about the winter but it was not too bad at all, I warned my family and then the winter came and I looked a fool.
R: So how do you make it in LA?
AL: My gosh, I’m not sure I know that! The key to keeping your sanity is to have a really strong social system. It’s such an isolating city; I think the importance of having a strong social base is the key to keeping sane. I love LA but I think LA is just really alienating. Actors don’t want to leave because it is the heart of acting business.
R: On another note, you must have been proud that movie opened in Sundance and Tribecca.
AL: Yes, Sundance was first time we all saw it, which was exciting in front of such a big audience. Sundance is an acquisition market so there was that worry of whether we could sell it or not, so the whole sort of creative experience got mitigated a bit by business concerns. In Tribecca, however, they already bought the movie and the response in Tribecca was tremendous, so we weren’t worrying while we watched it. Co-writing the movie is really rewarding; as an actor you just see how you do scene by scene, but it’s something else when you know the whole thing was helped to be written by you.
R: Who has been your favorite actor to work with?
AL: I think Julie Delpy because we wrote movies together and we’ve become good friends, I think she is the most collaborative. A couple of years ago we worked together and it was great so I’m looking forward to the next one.
R: Anything new that you’re working on?
AL: I am doing stints as an actress; I’m working on a feature on this actress who is 37 and getting aged out of business and how she is trying to ‘overcome’ that. It’s about this whole idea in LA, that if you are past 25 you are suddenly considered old. The movie deals with this. Just because of the age she is being treated a certain way so I think it’s interesting to look at this. •