Julie Delpy is a bit of a warrior.

The French filmmaker, actress and singer-songwriter is best known for starring opposite Ethan Hawke in the indie Before Sunrise trilogy, but she’s also fierce and outspoken opponent of the anti-feminist forces in her industry.

Delpy’s sixth feature as writer/director/star is Lolo, a French farce in which she stars as Violette, with Dany Boon and Vincent Lacoste. Boon plays her new love, Jean-Rene, a bit of a hick; Lacoste plays Lolo, her 19-year-old son, a bit of a sociopath. Nasty, needy Lolo is intent upon keeping his mother and Jean-Rene apart; Violette believes her son to be a sensitive genius, so it’s a comic disaster all around.

The movie is blackly funny and bawdy. When Delpy, 46, was at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote Lolo, she talked about how some male critics were taken aback at the sexual humour. Her movie, she says, made them angry.

“It shocks men. We’re living in a world where women are bought and sold,” she says, “and, like, women make a joke about a penis and the world stops.”

She laughs.

“It’s hilarious. Luckily, I surround myself with men who have no issues with this. My dad is more of a feminist than my mom was. Thank God there are men like that.”

Is it possible that some of those male critics have a false idea about Delpy from her role in the romantic Before Sunrise movies?

“If they only knew how those movies were written, in the room with Ethan [Hawke], Richard [Linklater, the director] and me, 90% of our conversation was about sex!” She laughs again.

“If they only knew how dirty our conversations were, and how that gets us to writing romantic stuff, they’d be very offended.”

One of the influences on Delpy’s creation of the movie Lolo is her own young son, Leo, from her relationship with German composer Marc Streitenfeld. She was inspired by her own tendency, says Delpy, to encourage her son, to think him brilliant, to give him confidence. “I think it’s good for the mom to think, ‘My kid is brilliant,’ because ultimately he’ll figure out maybe he isn’t, and confidence is so important to a child.

“And then I was thinking, ‘What if you go too far with that?’ How do you make a kid think he’s the centre of your universe, but not the centre of THE universe?" Delpy is talking about her movie, but adds as an afterthought, "My son said the other day, ‘Everybody is the centre of the universe, because of the Big Bang Theory, mom.’ He’s six years old.”

He understands her work, says the filmmaker, “And he loves movies. He’s just a bit disappointed I make comedies and not sci-fi.

“But I’ll get to sci-fi.”

Lolo opens in select cities this Friday.

Twitter: @LizBraunSun

LBraun@postmedia.com