10 things you need to know about Richard Linklater

We bring you the facts about the director of BOYHOOD…

This week, a film that was 12 years in the making is released in Irish cinemas. The film is BOYHOOD, directed by Richard Linklater. The film was shot over 12 years, and follows the life of a boy called Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows from child to young adult. We gathered together the facts about Richard Linklater, the man behind the project, to celebrate the release of the film.

1. Day to Day
Until BOYHOOD, Linklater was known for setting his films within a 24-hour period. The BEFORE… Trilogy, SLACKER and DAZED AND CONFUSED all take place in one day.

2. Influence
Kevin Smith has said that Linklater’s film SLACKER made him want to become a director. Like many of Linklater’s films, CLERKS – Smith’s debut – takes place in one day.

3. Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out
Linklater dropped out of college to work on an oil rig. When he returned home, he realised he wanted to become a filmmaker after repeated visits to a repertory theatre in Houston.

4. Drive On
Linklater, while primarily known as a director, has also worked as an actor; he lent his voice to the Tour Bus Driver in BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD DO AMERICA, played a ‘Cool Spy’ in SPY KIDS and a John Wayne Enthusiast’ in THE HOTTEST STATE.

5. Art Imitating Life
The idea for BEFORE SUNRISE came from a night Richard Linklater spent walking around Philadelphia with a women he met, named Amy. Unlike the characters in the film, Linklater and Amy stayed in touch for a while, until contact was lost. Linklater never heard from her again and it was not until many years after BEFORE SUNRISE was released that he found out that Amy had died in a traffic accident a few years after they had met.

In 2008, Jack Black revealed that a sequel to SCHOOL OF ROCK was being considered. Linklater and writer Mike White were set to return, but plans fell through. Black still holds out hope however, saying in 2012 ‘Never say never’. Meanwhile, in 2013, Andrew Lloyd Webber bought the right to turn the film into a stage show.

7. Cruelty Free
Linklater has been a vegetarian since he was in his early 20s, and describes his journey to vegetarianism as similar to Amber’s in FAST FOOD NATION: ‘I had the impression that if you didn’t eat meat, you would just blow up and die. Vegetarians were fools. Then I got older, and realised how the meat and chicken industries seemed like a big cost for the environment. But then the health costs are the next rung.’

8. Me & Zac Efron
Linklater cast Zac Efron in his first role after HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2, as a teenager cast in a play directed by Orson Welles. In ME & ORSON WELLES, Welles was played by unknown English actor Christian McKay, whom Linklater fought to have in the role.

9. The Linklater Redemption
Linklater’s recent film BERNIE is about a man sentenced to life in prison for the death of a wealthy widow. The film is based on a true story. The real Bernie Tiede was released from prison earlier this year when his sentence was changed to time served. On his release, Tiede lived in the garage apartment at Linklater’s home.

10. Coming up next…
Linklater is set to direct LARRY’S KIDNEY, an adaptation of Daniel Asa Rose’s touching comic memoir. The film will reunite THE CAMPAIGN stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.

BOYHOOD is released in Irish cinemas on July 11th

Words: Brogen Hayes