Ryan Gosling is best known for making the ladies swoon in the now universally-beloved romantic drama The Notebook. He has parlayed that role into an up-to-now exclusively drama-centered acting career Half Nelson, Lars And The Real Girl, All Good Things, Blue Valentine.
Now the 30 year-old Canadian hopes to conquer the world of the romantic comedy in the film Crazy, Stupid Love. Gosling plays Jacob Palmer, a player who takes on recent divorcee Cal Weaver, played by Steve Carell, as his wingman to get him back into the world of dating. He was asked what first drew him to the role.
“Steve Carell,” he simply replies, “I always wanted to work with him. I’m a huge fan. When I was a kid, I worked with him when I first moved to Los Angeles. I got a pilot and I had a small pilot and so did he. We didn’t get to actually work together, but he was so funny that I would go to set just to watch him work.”
“One time, the boom guy dropped the mike,” Ryan continues, “And we had a laughing tack in the corner and it was the first time I’d ever work with somebody that was so good that it was a problem, so I made a promise to myself that I would work with him, so when this came up, I had to do it.”
A scene was mentioned that involves Jacob slapping Cal and the fact that Steve Carell had said that he begged his co-star to slap him as hard as possible for that scene. We asked Ryan how true that was.
“Yeah, but he has a real loud face,” Gosling replies, “Just so you know, he made them sound harder than they already were.”
Gosling was asked what scenes were more embarrassing, the crotch scene or the scene where Jacob’s love interest Hanna, played by Emma Stone flies into him.
“Uh, well, both were equally as embarrassing,” Ryan replies, Emma didn’t trust that I wouldn’t drop her, no matter how many times I would prove to her that I wouldn’t. We had a stuntwoman come in and I probably lifted this woman ten times. And then after it was over and I never dropped her, but after ten times, you got to be tired.”
“[Emma said,]‘You’re going to drop me next. I can’t do it.,’” he adds, “So that was embarrassing. And then, of course, you can imagine why the naked scenes with Steve were embarrassing. But if you have to lose your comedic virginity, you have to lose it to Steve. He’s very gentle.”
Ryan was asked if he was anything like Jacob.
“No, but it’s sweet for anyone to even think so,” Gosling replies, “I’m more like Steve’s character probably in life.”
Gosling was asked if an accurate description of Jacob’s character is studly on the outside, but hurting on the inside.
“Oh, yeah,” he says.
It was also asked if Jacob’s cold apartment in the film matched his personality.
“Yeah, we all walked in and we were pretty impressed for fifteen minutes,” Ryan says of it, “Then we were like, ‘Get us out of here. This is the worst.’”
Ryan’s scenes as Jacob were compared to Phoebe Cates’s now classic emerging from the pool scene in the teen comedy Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
“Yeah, it was embarrassing,” Gosling says in reply, “It was meant to be funny, so that’s why they cast me in that part. This was not meant to be serious.”
Gosling also says he had reasons why he waited until now to make a comedy.
“I always wanted to make a comedy, but I didn’t,” he explains, “I guess I had to do it with the right people. John [Requa] and Glenn [Ficarra] are such great directors and I really like their movies. Steve, really more than anything, I knew that if I could get into [Steve’s head]…”
“I watched all of Steve’s movie,” Ryan continues, “I had anyway because I was a fan. But there’s one theme, which is that everybody’s funny when they are in a scene with him, so it’s not really an accident. And so is Emma Stone, so I was pretty well-covered.”
Ryan also believes that it was his co-stars Steve Carell and Emma Stone that helped make him funny.
“Yeah, they make what you’re doing funny,” Gosling says of them, “The way they do it makes it funny somehow.”
Gosling was asked if doing Crazy, Stupid Love challenged him.
“Well, I never made a film like this before,” Ryan says, “It was really out of my comfort zone, so I had to sort of give myself to the other actors and the directors and looking for direction and help.”
Ryan also talks about working with the film’s two directors, who were John Requa and Glenn Ficara, who have co-written Cats And Dogs, Bad Santa, The Bad News Bears, & I Love You, Phillip Morris together.
“Well, it’s kind of like working with the two old guys from The Muppet Show, I guess,” Gosling says of the experience, “They sit behind the monitor and heckle you all the time, but it’s also more efficient and more relaxed, I guess, because one handles the technical aspects and another handles the performers. You don’t get one man manning the helm kind of stressed-out atmosphere when one director does everything to handle it all.”
Gosling claims that his seemingly perfect abs he sports in Crazy, Stupid Love are not really his.
“No, it was just photoshopped” Ryan said, “It’s like James Cameron invented this program called Avatar and you just wear a motion-capture suit and suddenly, you have abs. It’s pretty neat.”
Ryan talks about the experience with love in the film that he did identify with.
“Well, I think that I could identify with Jonah Bobo’s story, being in unrequited love with your babysitter, that sort of thing,” Gosling says, “I thought I could relate to that.”
Gosling was asked what kind of film he’d want to do next after having done his first comedy.
“Well, I would just like to keep working with these people,” Ryan says, “I hope we could like to do that again, work with Steve and Emma and all the actors and directors, which we are looking for something. I hope we can find something. I only made one comedy.”
“I had a great time on this one, but picking roles is sort of like when a song comes on and you got to dance,” he adds, “You don’t know why you have to dance, so it’s a hard thing to explain and it’s always changing. I’d like to do more. Again, I’d like to work with Steve, work with Emma, work with these directors. I’d like to work with Julianne [Moore], I only got to do one scene with her. I’d like to work with Marisa [Tomei], didn’t get to do anything with her.”
Ryan was asked if he enjoyed playing Jacob, who is a character not very different from the typical Hollywood playboys.
“Yeah, it was funny to play that kind of part,” Gosling says, “But the truth is I wanted to work with Steve and when I heard that there was a role where you got a lot of scenes together, I was in. And I read the script and realized the part I was and I was really happy because it was a funny role, but the main draw is I wanted to work with Steve.”
“I just basically tried to follow all those rules that those men’s magazines give you,” he continues, “Like always how you’re supposed to dress, all those exercises that you’re supposed to do, and all the things that you’re supposed to say, and just follow the letter of the law, so I tried to keep and adhere to that. I read the book The Game. I like to call it “The Lame” or the TV show The Pick-Up Artist. I watched that show.”
Gosling was asked if he thought it was more charming to not have game.
“Well, what I like about the film is the general philosophy between, even though Jacob’s like essentially a knucklehead, but the heart of it, he’s saying, don’t use lame pick-up line,” Ryan says, “Don’t use lame bar banter. Just talk to them as you would talk to one of your friends and just talk to them. So I thought that if there was any wisdom, that sounds like good advice.”
Ryan also talked about working with Emma Stone and how central her character was to the film.
“The whole movie really depends on who plays that character because everything kind of hinges on her in many ways,” Gosling says, “And certainly from my character, he sees this person in a bar and give it all up for her and has to be, as soon as Emma walked in the room, I knew it was going to be good.”
Gosling shared with us some of the other projects he has going, including a period crime drama which reunites him with Stone called The Gangster Squad, which is set for release sometime in 2013.
“It’s a fifties gangster picture and Josh Brolin is the lead and Sean Penn plays Mickey Cohen and it’s just a great cast,” Ryan reveals, “Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, just a lot of really great actors. I’m looking forward to it. We start in the fall.”
Gosling also mentions working with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance again in a film also set for release in 2013.
“We start a film called A Place Beyond The Pines,” Ryan says, “We shoot that in Schenectady and Bradley Cooper is in that film and Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn from Animal Kingdom.”
Another Ryan is set to work on that will come out next year is a remake of the 1976 science-fiction thriller Logan’s Run.
“Well, we’re developing Logan’s Run, which is sort of creating the world right now,” Gosling says, “Then, we’ll try to figure out what kind of story would take place in that world. The original film] was great. It was also shot in the mall. A lot of it was shot in the mall, which was kind of cool, but we’ll try to do it in our own way and maybe go back to the book.”
Finally, Gosling talks about a project he has also developed called Dead Man’s Bones.
“It’s a music project that I have with my friend Zach Shields,” he says of it, “We started out wanting to make a play, sort of this Robert Wilson-meets-elementary-school-play about zombies and ghosts and monsters that are lonely and looking for love. And we wanted kids to sing it, but it turned out it was going to be the most expensive play of all time and nobody would make it.”
“So we thought, oh, we’ll make it into a movie, and that was equally as expensive and no one would make that,” Ryan adds, “So we thought, oh, we’ll make it into a record because records are cheap. And now, suddenly, we’re a band, which was never the plan, but that’s what it is. It’s just the two of us, so we’re trying for an Everly Brothers kind of thing. We try and play everything, not very well. Our first record was called Never Let A Lack Of Talent Get You Down.”