Richard Linklater Exclusive: Before Midnight Interview

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Richard Linklater talks re-teaming with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight. The Dazed and Confused director teases that this trio of him, Hawke and Delpy is always his favorite.

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Before Midnight
Richard Linklater
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Interviewer: After having 3 of these films now, and it is just so adored by audiences. What do you think it is about Ethan and Julie that they've so clicked with people for so many years now? Richard: I don't know. I think that accumulation of time, seeing them grow up, people . . . if you're anywhere near their age, it becomes special to see these parallel figures in your life just get a little older and the life accumulate in their world. They're pretty relatable, I think. They're not extraordinary. They're not superheroes, they're real people, that's what we're trying to depict, the reality that's not. I guess they're just not that outside the norms of anyone else at their age. Interviewer: It's also these 3 movies are taking you to various locales; one, just individually, and then two, as a director. Do you have a favorite spot to film? Richard: Of these 3? No. They're all really special. I have such great memories of all of them. The most recent is the most present, of course. Greece was very unique and very different. The others were these old European cities, Paris and Vienna. It's something about the coast of the Mediterranean, they're in Greece and [inaudible: 01:23]. It was beautiful in a whole ancient way. It was really special. Interviewer: One of the first things that struck me about this movie is the two daughters sitting in the backseat. One, were they really sleeping? Richard: No. Interviewer: Two, where did you find them and their ability to be able to be so on? It's amazing. Richard: I'm glad you appreciate that. People always talk about . . . I said, "There's 4 actors in that scene . . ." Interviewer: That's right. Richard: ". . . and those girls aren't asleep." They are waiting to hear their line, they're faking being asleep, they shift around. It's a real performance. I'm glad you noticed that because that's really hard, especially for a young actor who's barely 8-years- old, I think, to have that kind of patience. I have daughters that age, and they could never have done that. They would've been looking at the . . . 3 minutes; it would be so tough to keep your eyes shut. Those girls, they were really polite, quiet and calm; very rare for kids that age. Beautiful, they looked like little Julie Delpys. Interviewer: Yeah, they're little angels. To me, there's so many great lines, such a dialogue-heavy movie. I still love "Where's my apple?" It just kills me every time I think about it. Speaking of the writing, this is a real collaborative effort with the 3 of you. Richard: Yeah, thoroughly. Interviewer: What is it like writing with those two? Richard: Fun. It's crazy. We sit in a room and we just throw out everything. We're such friends now and comrades, we just talk about everything; politics, philosophy, literature, just anything, art. We just sit around and talk about anything and tell crazy stories. It's up to the other two, if anyone's doing anything, just go, "That' kind of funny." Julie will say something crazy and Ethan will go, "That should be in the movie. Not all that, but that part." The person who says it is like, "Really, that? I wasn't . . . I was just telling the story." It's like, "No, no. Let's . . ." We're sort of working and sort of goofing. Everything is fodder, potentially, to find its way in here. Ultimately, it's a really exacting process. We drop probably 95% of the ideas that come forward, that they don't really fit in the movie. Interviewer: You as the man behind the film, it's been on people's radars for some time now. It's just about to hit theatres. How are you feeling? Are you excited and eager for these people to get their hands on it? Richard: This film stands alone. Enough time's gone on now, I think I'd be excited if a 23-year-old wanders in to see this and then discovers there's two earlier films. This stands on its own, too. I think it's a bonus if you happen to be of an age where you have seen the others. It's not really necessary. Interviewer: Right.

Before Midnight Review

Before Midnight reunites Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy two decades after they first met on that fateful train in Before Sunrise. It also...

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