One more shot at romance in 'Before Midnight'
In this Monday, May 20, 2013 photo, from left, actor and writer, Ethan Hawke, actress and writer, Julie Delpy and director and writer, Richard Linklater, from the film "Before Midnight," pose for a portrait in Los Angeles. This is the third drama film in the series of walking, talking European romances. The movie releases in the US on Friday, May 24, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The hardest segment to watch in "Before Midnight" — an extended, emotional hotel-room argument that comprises the film's final third — was actually the easiest to shoot, say co-stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater.
The third film in the series, following 1995's "Before Sunrise" and 2004's "Before Sunset," finds loquacious lovers Jesse and Celine married and enjoying an idyllic Greek holiday with their beautiful twin daughters. Jesse, the easygoing American, is a successful novelist. Celine, the fiery Frenchwoman, is occupied with environmental concerns. They have a lovely life but, like so many couples, are struggling to juggle marriage, parenthood and careers. On what is meant to be a much-needed date night, long-held resentments bubble to the surface in a lengthy quarrel that's a tour de force of writing and acting.
The trio, who once again co-wrote the script (their "Before Sunset" screenplay earned them an Oscar nomination), sat down with The Associated Press this week to discuss their writing process and the challenge of keeping romance alive in your 40s. As you can imagine after 18 years of friendship and collaboration, they bounced off each other easily and often finished the others' sentences:
AP: The ending of 'Before Sunset' is so perfect and that's such a hard thing to achieve, but it left audiences wanting to know more. When did you guys realize you wanted to come back and do another of these?
Linklater: We've all paid the price for that ending over the past nine years because people have always asked us, it begged the question, "Will we be seeing Jesse and Celine again?" ... People wanted to know in a way that they didn't want to know after the first movie.
Hawke: A couple years after we finished, I really started getting that sensation that you get when there's a project left undone. I think it's the perfect ending, and I love it, but it's like a call that wants an answer. ... I wanted to know what happened to them, too.
Linklater: (In) "Before Midnight," that's really THE subject — how relationships change, is it romantic. That was one thing hanging in our heads: Is this film romantic? What is romance at 41? How do you define romance?
In this Monday, May 20, 2013 photo, from left, director and writer, Richard Linklater, actress and writer, Julie Delpy and actor and writer, Ethan Hawke from the film "Before Midnight," pose for a portrait in Los Angeles. This is the third film in the drama series of walking, talking European romances. The movie releases in the US on Friday, May 24, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Delpy: Ohhh, love.