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Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke Talk Boyhood, the Movie They Shot Over the Course of 12 Years

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Director Richard Linklater attends the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on December 2, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
Richard Linklater. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Richard Linklater, who’s been getting a lot of love this year for the Celine-and-Jesse Trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight), has finally finished another long-term project, a movie sometimes referred to as Boyhood. He’s been shooting it for some twelve years now with his Before star Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and newcomer Ellar Coltrane, who plays their son, a kid we’ll see age from 7 to 18. “It’s the ultimate collaboration,” Linklater told us at the IFP Gotham Awards, where he was receiving a career tribute Monday night. “It’s cool. I’m so happy with it. And I’m so happy to be done!” As for the title, he said, “I think we’re going to have another name. That’s always been kind of a working title, but it’s so much more than that. It’s boyhood, it’s parenthood, it’s everything.”

“It’s too special to articulate,” agreed Hawke, who was on hand for the tribute. “It’ll mean different things to different people, but if you say [what it means], it’ll just sound trivial.” A few select people have already gotten to see the finished film in a preliminary screening, despite the cast’s wish to keep it to themselves for a little longer. “It’s been our private secret for twelve years, and it’s going to be weird to share it,” Hawke said. “But it’s time. It’s finished. We’re ready.” More than ready, it sounds like, from Linklater’s description of Arquette’s performance: “She should get a fucking Oscar,” he told us. “She’s so good.”

Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke Talk Boyhood