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Julie Delpy

A director tried it on when I was only 13

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in the 1995 film Before Sunrise. Gabriella Brandenstein/Castle Rock/Detour/Kobal/Shutterstock

Julie Delpy “tripped for 48 hours” on her first visit to Los Angeles in 1988. The Before Sunrise star, now 51, smoked something dodgy, then jumped out of the second-floor window of the Chateau Marmont hotel. She wound up in hospital with a broken rib. “I never did drugs after that,” she tells Marc Maron on his podcast, WTF. “It scared the hell out of me.”

Delpy’s parents were bohemian actors who “didn’t care about money”. She grew up in Paris with no bathroom; her family washed in the kitchen sink and their toilet was a hole in the courtyard. “It’s actually not traumatic at all,” she says. Her parents were “extremely happy”, and her grandmother looked after her while they partied. She went to risqué productions and remembers seeing an actor’s “balls” on stage when she was eight. “It’s funny for a kid.”

Delpy followed her parents into acting. When she was just 13, a director made advances during an audition – so she threw something in his face and stormed out. After that, she says, “I had the reputation of being a bit of a bitch”. At 14 she was discovered by the art-house director Jean-Luc Godard, who was “very kind”. Now she fears that, as an older woman, she’ll be overlooked: that’s the subject of her new Netflix series, On the Verge. “I’m not a cute puppy any more, so I might be put to sleep.”