The Anguish of Long-Term Love; Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy Might Be the Most Credible Romantic Actors in Hollywood. as Their Third Movie before Midnight Hits the Big Screen, Susan Griffin Finds out How It Feels to Be Reliving the Love Two Decades on Big Screen

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

The Anguish of Long-Term Love; Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy Might Be the Most Credible Romantic Actors in Hollywood. as Their Third Movie before Midnight Hits the Big Screen, Susan Griffin Finds out How It Feels to Be Reliving the Love Two Decades on Big Screen


Byline: Susan Griffin

EVEN if the idea of a romantic movie usually leaves you feeling cold, if not a little nauseous, don't dismiss Before Midnight. It's about as far from a cliched romance as you can get.

As one of its stars, Ethan Hawke, put it: "Most romances seem to have either a female agenda, where the guys are all dopes, or a masculine idea of what romantic love is supposed to look like, with Eva Mendes crawling across the floor in a bikini.

"What's so wonderful about this movie is it's kind of 'genderless'. It's fun to make a romantic movie that I'm not ashamed to ask my male friends to go see," laughs the Nineties heart-throb, who, at 42, still boasts a boyish quality.

His co-star Julie Delpy agrees. "It was our goal when we did this, that it's neither macho or feminist or man-hating," says the 43-year-old French actress, looking chic in a black dress.

While it can be watched as a standalone movie, Before Midnight is actually the third in a series of films about Jesse and Celine, two characters who met in 1995's When I see people that are too Before Sunrise. In that movie, the two twentysomethings perfect together, there's something really weird began chatting on a train, and impulsively disembark to spend a day and night exploring Vienna. It ended with the expectation they'd meet up six months later but, as the 2004 sequel revealed, that rendezvous never materialised.

In Before Sunset, Celine unexpectedly showed up at a Paris bookstore when Jesse was promoting his novel inspired by their night in Vienna. Though both in relationships, they walked the streets of Paris rediscovering each other, realising their bond was as enthralling as ever.

Now it's nine years on, and Jesse, a successful author, and Celine, an environmentalist, are facing all the complexities of maintaining a long-term relationship together.

"Often in married life, it's either some kind of cornball, whitewash thing where everybody's OK, or it's heavy drama - alcohol, stress, they secretly hate each other," notes Hawke, a Texan native, who has four children - two from his first marriage to Uma Thurman and two with his present wife and his children's former nanny, Ryan.

Before Midnight opens with the Paris-based pair enjoying the summer at a writers' retreat in Greece. But while the landscape may be serene, the state of their relationship is far from it.

"Their relationship started with a choice that Jesse made - to follow his heart," says Delpy, who has a child with the composer Marc Streitenfeld. …

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