July Delpy has revealed she refused to come back for Before Midnight until she was paid the same amount as Ethan Hawke – and believe me, you’re in for a shock when you find out how much she made on Before Sunrise.
In an interview with Variety’s Guy Lodge at the Zurich Film Festival, Delpy explained just how bad her salary was in comparison to Hawke’s.
“You know it’s funny. I spent my life being criticized for criticizing the fact there wasn’t enough women [in this industry].”
“I was very outspoken all my life and it gave me the reputation of being a pain in the ass. I was raised by two feminists. I think of equality as something that should be a complete normal thing. I am completely behind #MeToo, Time’s Up, and all this.
“Everyone is talking about equality and we need to help women, but as a woman you know you’re being paid less as a writer, as a director, as an actress. On the Before movies, the first movie I think I was paid maybe a tenth of what Ethan was paid. The second movie I was paid half. The third movie I said if I’m not paid the same I’m not doing it.”
A tenth?! That is actually ridiculous.
Delpy and Hawke starred in 1995’s Before Sunrise, 2004’s Before Sunset and 2013’s Before Midnight, and no doubt you’re reconsidering just how ‘romantic’ those movies are now…
Since Before Midnight’s release six years ago, fans have been waiting for news the actors and writer/director Richard Linklater will collaborate for a fourth time.
However, in 2017, Hawke told The Independent he thought that Before Midnight made Jesse and Celine’s story feel complete, but didn’t rule out doing another one.
“If it were to continue it would change shape,” Hawke said, “It would be something else. Julie, Rick and I might work together again, we might revisit those characters but it’ll need a new burst of energy. I don’t know what it is. We’re not allowed to think about it until five years after – that’s how we’ve done it every time. So we’re gonna meet five years after the release of Before Midnight, talk about it and see where we wind up.”
Five years after the film’s release was last year, but we have yet to hear any updates on a fourth Before movie.
Linklater, however, has addressed Delpy’s comments about equal pay, telling IndieWire, “Gender pay inequality is a huge issue in our society and every employer and lawmaker should be doing everything they possibly can to correct flagrant examples of discrimination that should have been resolved a generation or two ago.”
He added that “nobody was getting paid much at all” on the Before movies as they had such low budgets, saying Hawke was actually taking pay cuts to be involved in the project.
“Salaries are negotiated by agents behind the scenes on behalf of their clients, and Ethan Hawke did get paid a little more than Julie Delpy on the first two of these films,” Linklater writes.
“No one involved in the productions considered this an injustice in 1994 because Julie was just getting established in the U.S. while Ethan was one of the biggest stars in his age range, getting offered seemingly every project in the industry. It’s likely the trilogy would not exist if Ethan didn’t choose to come to Vienna that summer and work for a fraction of what he could have been making on another project.”
He interestingly added that there were no demands on Julie’s end for Before Midnight because “she was never offered anything less”.
“I don’t doubt that Julie was determined to receive equal pay for Before Midnight, I just want to be clear that she did not have to negotiate or demand it and that she was never offered anything less.”
He finished by saying, “How the industry compensates artists is always vulgar and not based on actual WORTH – we all know that. Life isn’t fair, and neither is Hollywood, but it seems that while the most glaring examples of gender pay inequality exist in the more commercial undertakings, it’s up to everyone to do everything they can to demand transparency and this long-overdue equality at whatever level they find themselves.”