It took 'Before Midnight’s' Julie Delpy three films to get equal pay with Ethan Hawke

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight

Richard Linklater’s Before movies are rightfully regarded as one of the best trilogies in the history of movies.

1995’s Before Sunrise, 2004’s Before Sunset, and 2013’s Before Midnight primarily excel and connect with audiences because of the heart and passion that its leading stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy equally bring to the films as Jesse and Celine.

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Which makes it all the more depressing that Delpy has now revealed the huge pay disparity between the pair on the first two Before films.

During a recent interview with Variety Delpy revealed that she was paid “about a 10th” of what Hawke made for Before Sunrise. Then for Before Sunset she was given half of Hawke’s pay, which is all the more distressing when you consider that her and Hawke are credited as co-writers on the film with Linklater.

Ethan Hawke (L), Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater pose backstage after accepting the "Hollywood Screenwriter Award" at the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California October 21, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

When she was approached to work on Before Midnight, though, Delpy told Linklater and Hawke, “Listen guys, if I am not paid the same, I am not doing it.” A deal was reached, and in the end Delpy, Hawke and Linklater all received an Academy Award nomination for writing the romantic drama.

The critical acclaim that has greeted Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, as well as the fact that all three films have grossed just under £36.5 million ($45 million) combined, after costing just £6.6 million ($8.2 million) to make, means that a fourth film has long been rumoured.

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But Delpy doesn’t seem interested, explaining that she doesn’t think the “industry is ready to hear a 50-year-old woman expressing herself.”

“I think it’s all cute before that… It’s a very tough business, and it’s fine because I’m tough as hell, but it’s a cruel business,” she continued.

“I think we’re done now. But we went back to it every nine years. It was an interesting study of a 20-year-old falling in love, a 30-year-old falling in love again and then at early 40’s how to sustain that love. It’s really about the relationship.”