Monday, July 15, 2013

Julie and Ethan, 2004

(I watched "Before Midnight" a few days ago. I'm really glad to see the old characters again. Here are my old exclusive interviews with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for PDI's Entertainment and Super sections. Time flies! I edited the Ethan one for length, by the way.)

Julie Delpy: I'm a very strong, independent woman
| November 02, 2004 |
Byline: Oliver M. Pulumbarit, Contributor

FRENCH actress Julie Delpy has appeared in a few Hollywood endeavors such as "Three Musketeers" and "An American Werewolf in Paris," but she has opted to do relatively smaller art house films that do the rounds in festivals all over the world.''

She has garnered acclaim for her roles in Krysztof Kieslowski's "White" ("Blanc") and Agnieska Holland's "Europa Europa," and continues to be involved in as many facets of her artistic career as she possibly can.

In a recent telephone interview with Inquirer Entertainment, she discussed her involvement in the Richard Linklater romantic film "Before Sunset," the sequel to the 1995 film "Before Sunrise," in which she starred with Ethan Hawke. The new movie explores the bittersweet reunion of two strangers who fell in love in the span of a day nine years ago.

This time around, Delpy, who is single in real life, shares co-writing duties with the director and her co-star. This shared responsibility has, she claims, helped the strong-willed character Celine become easier to relate to.

"We made it kind of a joke in the film that the single woman is living alone with her cat," says Delpy. "The work was to put it together. Basically, I wrote her so there's so much of myself in her. But I can never be an environmentalist. I never can understand, and stand, the corruption of the world's politics.

"Basically, I'm like Celine because I'm a very strong, independent woman," she adds. "I'm financially stable. But the truth is all my girlfriends can relate to her because I wrote her with them as inspiration, too."

Being reunited with Linklater and Hawke is a very comfortable experience, since the three of them have formed a sturdy rapport with their prior collaborations. The trio last worked together on the surreal animated flick "Waking Life" in 2001.

"We're such good friends," she offers. "That is just pure fun. We basically have fun filming. I loved working with those guys again."

And yes, she considers her talented co-star charming off-screen as well as on-screen, which made for a renewed working chemistry.

"Ethan's really a wonderful person, a very laid-back guy. I'm hanging out with him a lot lately in New York. He's a lovely guy. We laugh a lot!"

The tight, intricate script of "Before Sunset" didn't allow for any improvisation, she reveals. "There are no cuts a lot of the time. There can never be any improvisation, because if you're looking for words, they'll see that. We couldn't f-k around with it. There's timing to consider. We had to work really hard to make something mundane like dialogue really exciting."

Julie has lived in Los Angeles for over a decade now, as opposed to online information that she has lived in New York since 1990. But the 34-year-old actress, who spoke English fluently with nary a hint of any European accent, admits she did study film for a few years in New York. Performing and being involved in the creative process came naturally for her, because her childhood was deeply steeped in the arts.

"My parents are theater actors, so when I was 12, I put out my picture for auditions. Then, (director) Jean-Luc Godard hired me in France for "Detective." People started noticing and called. Directors from France, Spain, and from all over Europe wanted to work with me."

She has learned so much from these various filmmakers that she was inspired to make short films herself, including "Blah Blah Blah" in 1995 and "Looking for Jimmy" in 2002.

"I like directing," she claims. "I have trained at the New York University Film School. It's one step further than acting. I enjoy picking the locations and songs. Editing is the sum part; that's my favorite [in the whole process]. Directing isn't such a big step. It's like working with a bigger team than when you're acting."

Julie also surprises audiences with a soothing singing voice in "Before Sunset.” She has three songs included in the soundtrack. She has released a self-titled album that she has been promoting in Europe since early this year.

"It's soft pop-rock. I didn't expect to get signed. It's just very fulfilling. It's more immediate than when you write a script, [because] you have to wait for financing. I started writing my songs, picked up my guitar and started singing for my friends and myself. I guess it came from a need to express myself more. It's a more personal, intimate kind of quest."
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Super! Exclusive interview with Ethan Hawke

(Oct. 23, 2004 From Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Byline: Oliver M. Pulumbarit, Contributor

ETHAN Hawke has, slowly but surely, carved a name for himself as an actor's actor and an all-around creative person, and he shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. Almost 20 years in the business has allowed him to hone his thespic abilities, as well as other talents in related aspects of his career.

But make no mistake, the man is no dilettante. Ethan has received nominations from his peers at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as the Academy Awards for his portrayal of a rookie cop in 2001's "Training Day." He has authored best-selling books, appeared in theater and television, and directed a feature film. And his creativity has, once more, found an outlet in the new romantic movie "Before Sunset," the sequel to 1995's lauded "Before Sunrise."

Ethan recently talked about his extensive involvement in a phone interview, arranged by Warner Brothers, while in Toronto, Canada. He shared that he co-wrote the screenplay with friends and frequent collaborators, director Richard "Rick" Linklater and co-star Julie Delpy. He found it easy to do because he had worked four times with the director before, and twice with the US-based French actress.

"I think when you work with people over and over again, it helps with your confidence," the 34-year-old actor says. "You feel respected that way; you feel more creative. It feels like we're in a band together. I actually haven't been in a band but it probably feels that way. I like Rick. It's great to work with him and Julie again."

He relates that doing the sequel is a justified move, an effort that critics and audiences abroad have been raving about. "I'm crazy about it a lot. We wouldn't have signed up again if we weren't crazy about each other. It's been unlike any other film I ever made. It's a unique experience."

Ethan has been associated with the archetypal Gen-X slacker in "Reality Bites,” but the return of his character Jesse has allowed him to infuse maturity and a natural progression into him. "Jesse is one-third me, one-third Rick, and one-third Julie's fantasy man. I guess I learned a lot to collaborate, because it's been easy to work with them," he says.

And yes, sassy Julie Delpy emits radiant charisma on- and off-screen, which makes her a trusted friend and colleague. "Absolutely. Julie is remarkably breathtaking. She's bright, she's crazy and fun. She's a unique person... Well, everyone's a unique person, but she's special. She's one of my closest friends," he offers. 

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