BEFORE SUNSET star Julie Delpy is delighted audiences are enjoying the romantic sequel as much as she loved filming it.

The French actress, 34, has been overwhelmed by the critics' response to the follow-up to 1995 film Before Sunrise which saw her character CELINE fall in love with an American called JESSE - played by ETHAN HAWKE - during an evening the two strangers spend in Vienna, Austria.

Delpy says, "We had such a wonderful time writing and shooting the film that we were almost surprised that people have liked it so much.

"When you enjoy doing something so much it is almost like you are going to pay the price for having a good time... but it is not happening that way so far."

Delpy - who co-wrote the follow-up with Hawke and director RICHARD LINKLATER - says she spent "two to three years developing Celine's character.

"The kind of power you have over characters (as a writer) means we have in our hands the future of these people that exist in the imagination.

"It is very exciting to have this power... it is the power of creating things and I love writing for that reason."

23/07/2004 17:37