Love that goes with the flow - Telegraph
Nine years after their first film, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are tense and I feel like I'm running a small nursery with someone I used to date. LOS ANGELES—“She looked down on me,” Ethan Hawke quipped when he recalled the first time he and Julie Delpy worked together in. HAWKE ROMANCING DELPY?ETHAN HAWKE has sparked speculation he's dating JULIE DELPY, after being spotted on a romantic date with the French.
He managed to keep something of the slice-of-life feel of his previous work, Slacker and Dazed and Confusedbut brought to it a new emotional focus. If this was a new direction for the director, for his leading actor it was, "a pivotal moment in my career".
Later, in a different room in the same Berlin hotel, Delpy describes the "pure creative energy" of their reunion.
She and Hawke co-wrote the sequel with Linklater. They worked on the story structure via e-mail in breaks between other commitments Linklater was directing the comedy School of Rock, a critical and box-office hit; Hawke was shooting the serial-killer film, Taking Lives in Montreal; and Delpy was touring with her rock band and recording a solo albumthen they locked themselves in a hotel room in Paris for four days and, Delpy says, "worked at the script like maniacs - like 15, 16 hours a day".
Ever since that first film, she maintains, the relationship between the three has been long-distance but intense and intuitive, "not even like brothers; but like weird triplets or something". Before Sunrise ended with Jesse and Celine promising to meet in six months' time. Celine turns up for the signing, part fascinated, part apprehensive and part guilty-conscienced - she never showed up for that second meeting. The undercurrent of resentment which this engenders is just one of the emotional motifs that emerges as the two walk around Paris, talking about sex, grandmothers and the environment, killing the four hours that remain before Jesse has to leave for the airport and the next leg of his book tour.
Linklater is obsessed with real-time cinema. He took this obsession to its logical extreme in Tape, an arthouse chamber piece that was the only movie in which Ethan Hawke played alongside his wife, Uma Thurman, after their marriage - the two met on the set of Gattaca in In Before Sunset, four hours of screen action are condensed into almost two hours' running time.
It was shot in just 15 days, with only a few hours each day available for filming. The film feels spontaneous but, according to Linklater, long hours of rewrites and rehearsal lie behind the apparently effortless dialogue: For Hawke, who switches regularly between screen and stage, the challenge was liberating: The first minute or so you're awkward, and then natural things happen. You know, you're walking and a leaf falls - nice accidents can happen.
I mean, I have friends who are still single, but even they don't ask themselves those kind of questions. They've evolved into something else. She has a three-year-old son with her boyfriend, Marc Streitenfelda composer. They live in LA, where we meet. She is scatty today, from errands, preoccupied by the size of a zit in the middle of her forehead and, after a brave stab at it, too full of vertigo to do the interview on the terrace at Chateau Marmont, with its steep drop over the balcony.
We take a seat inside. Two minutes into our conversation she pulls off her boot to inspect her sock. She has never been Hollywood, of course. Her breakthrough role was in Before Sunrisestill beloved by those who came of age in the 90s as the ur-indie movie. She and Ethan Hawke made a follow-up 10 years later, but Delpy has spent most of her time since then writing and directing. As an actor, she says, she has been fired by "every agency in town".
Which is hard to believe when you watch her latest film. It's a sequel to 2 Days In Paris and, like the first, it is written, directed by and stars Delpy. In the first movie, she and Adam Goldberg bickered their way around Paris, by turns appalled and charmed by each other's cultural differences.
In the follow-up, she is back in New York, a single mother who starts dating a single dad played by Chris Rock.
15 Facts About 'Before Sunrise' | Mental Floss
Both films are shrewd, unusual — her racist French relatives in this movie are spot on and just the right side of grotesque — and very funny. I have one small quibble. In one scene, Marion, played by Delpy in a pair of huge, hipster glasses, goes on a weepy jag about how old and unattractive she is, and how no one will ever want her.
I can't imagine anyone in the audience not thinking, give me a break, you're still Julie Delpy. I still feel I'd better stick with my boyfriend, because no one else is going to want me. When I had my kid, I gained a lot of weight — 60 pounds. And you feel somehow not pretty any more. You feel that your tits are to feed — I mean, it's a physical thing. I felt so insecure. When I wrote the screenplay, that scene totally resonated. I've never felt worse.
I mean, it's great to be a mum, but I felt devoid of my femininity. I felt like a cow. You feel that no one finds you attractive and you get very depressed. Even a year after the baby. She'd start crying on the bus and telling strangers she was having the worst time.
Love that goes with the flow
Or maybe they did — oh, that's Julie Delpy, fat and crying. Delpy's mother was diagnosed with cancer and died around the same time as Delpy gave birth. Looking back, she doesn't know how she got through it. Delpy with her father Albert Delpy and late mother Marie Pillet.
Murdo Macleod Glib as it sounds, she says, writing a comedy helped, not least because she cast her own father in it. Albert Delpy, a veteran French theatre actor, plays Marion's dad in both films. Seen through American eyes, he is gross in the traditional French style: Delpy drew heavily on her own father for this, not least in the scene in which he is shown trying to smuggle large amounts of meat and cheese through US customs.
He's never been caught but when he comes, I tell him, please don't bring anything. I have to tell him times. The first time he came, he had everything in the suitcase: Deep inside I'm protective of him, but on set I have to be firm.
He's an actor, he's worked all his life, but I'm his daughter, so when I give him directions, he doesn't always want to follow them. When I say to him, 'Dad, you have to do it, I'm the director,' he's like, 'Fuck you. They never had any money. Delpy calculates that she was eight before the family had their own bathroom. Before that, they would use the public toilets in the courtyard of their apartment block and once a week, go to the public baths.
In between, they washed at the sink. I knew we were eating a lot of pasta, but that's OK.
Not the end of the world. Healthier than steak every day. I had clothes from thrift shops, but that's OK, too. I was never angry with them. It just made me a little careful with my spending.
For a while, Delpy says, she was the uptight kid telling her parents to stop dancing in public. And she was mortified by some of their theatrical productions; her dad would be on stage in drag, pretending to change a — she fishes for the word — "feminine hygiene product". I mean, not disgusting disgusting, I mean pretty disgusting, but more like mad. He was the nicest dad on the planet, we had a lot of fun. I would be backstage all the time because they didn't have money to pay for a babysitter.
I was with them constantly. It was mad, but I had so much love. Delpy, too, would describe herself thus, even though she thinks the idea of free-spiritedness has been ruined by association with cults. Not with a crazy, extreme leftwing agenda, but anarchists in the right sense. Not free spirits in that everyone has sex with everyone.