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November 9 2019
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Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise (1995).

Julie Delpy, actor and writer

The original script for the first film, Before Sunrise, was believe it or not kind of devoid of romance – even though Richard Linklater, the director, had based it on a woman he spent the night walking around Philadelphia with. It was a great blueprint, but it was even more cerebral and talky. He was keen to capture something very true, so wanted the two leads to be writers on the film as well – and he auditioned us about what we wanted to say. I talked about some stuff that ended up in the film, about God existing in the space between people.

So Richard, Ethan and I produced the script together, though Ethan and I weren’t credited for Before Sunrise. The process was totally collaborative: all three of us had to agree on ideas for scenes. That’s how we did Before Sunset and Before Midnight, too. If one of us hated something, it wouldn’t make the film. From the start, those guys wanted the balance of a proper female voice. The writing was still going on during the shoot in Vienna; for example, that’s when I wrote the scene in which my character Céline makes a mock phone call to a friend and announces she’s in love with Jesse.

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