The summer 2013 movie season is now upon us with a barrage of sequels being released like Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness. But there is one sequel in particular which many movie fans are eagerly awaiting even if it doesn’t have the budget of a summer blockbuster, and that’s Before Midnight. The third in a series of movies that began in 1995 with Before Sunrise, it reunites filmmaker Richard Linklater with actors and co-writers Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy who reprise their roles of Jesse and Celine.
Taking place nine years after the events of Before Sunset, we find that Jesse and Celine are now a couple and are vacationing in Greece with their twin daughters. Now in their 40s, both of them are facing some difficult decisions in life as Jesse considers a movie back to the United States to be closer to his son who now lives with his ex-wife, and Celine is at a career crossroads as she contemplates taking a job in government. After spending all those years together, both of them begin to wonder if they still love one another as much as they did when they first met.
We caught up with Linklater, Hawke and Delpy at the Before Midnight press conference which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, and it was a thrill to be in the presence of this trio who has given us some of the most genuinely romantic movies we could ever hope to watch.
Check out what they had to say below.
We Got This Covered: The dilemma for the couple this time out is whether to move to the United States or stay in Paris and they are unsure of what to do. Has that ever been a similar situation that any of you have had to deal with?
Ethan Hawke: Well part of the idea of the movie is that it’s very easy to look at a romantic relationship when there’s an obvious bad guy; one person is an alcoholic or one person is abusive, etc. But what if you were to take two well-meaning people who actually love each other and want the best for each other? It’s still hard, and could we paint that portrait? Anybody who’s been a long-term relationship, whether it feels as dramatic as Chicago or Paris, you run into whether or not your lives are still growing on the same road, or does one need to change the road to keep growing?
Julie Delpy: Yea, that’s what it’s about. They still have to make compromises and they all feel like, who’s making the most compromise? What compromise might jeopardize their relationship and their love? It’s all about finding the right road, and the road is this small for it not to fall apart. When you have a long-term relationship it’s always like you have to make choices. Actually their relationship starts with a choice that Jesse makes which is to follow his heart but that comes with consequences, and the film starts with the consequences of that choice. We find them in a situation where they have to make a choice again.
Richard Linklater: It’s age-appropriate for where they find themselves in life. In the first movie for instance they’re unattached. You see how easily they can get off a train and go home a day later. You had that looseness, and we learned they both actually moved around a lot over the years when they were single and unattached. But now they’re together and you see how difficult that is to maneuver through life with one other person and be on the exact same track. It’s tough.
We Got This Covered: One of the great things about these films is they end with the audience thinking about what will happen to Jesse and Celine next. In between making these films, do you ever think about where Jesse and Celine are going and where they will be at next? And at the end of this film, where do you think they will go from here?
Ethan Hawke: I remember once being at a deli and trying to shop and having a bunch of kids with me and trying to talk on the phone, and having this thought of “I wonder if this happens to Jesse.” While nothing like that happened in the script, over the period of years you collect a few of those moments. There’s a certain tone and a mood and a theme to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and sometimes life pops up and it logs in there as something.
Julie Delpy: We have to think about their backstory every time we start to write one line of the screenplay. You can’t start writing the second screenplay or the third screenplay without knowing everything that happened in between. When we get back into working on those films, it’s a tremendous amount of homework of figuring out what happened in those nine years, but we have the luxury of time.
Continue reading on the next page…