Ryan Gosling is a man’s man of an actor, from his edgier roles in Half Nelson and Blue Valentine to making romantic movies like The Notebook and Crazy Stupid Love seem cool. Now he’s done an action movie and it’s getting more acclaim than anything else he’s done. Drive has been a festival darling from Cannes to LAFF to Toronto. Between LA and Toronto I got a few good questions in with Gosling. Wait ‘til you hear about his childhood playacting of Rambo.
CraveOnline: I’ve always wanted to see you do an action movie, but I wondered what kind of action movie Ryan Gosling would do. ‘Drive’ seemed like the kind of action movie you would do. Were you interested in the genre or have any trepidations about it?
Ryan Gosling: Well, okay. I always wanted to see a violent John Hughes movie. I always thought if Pretty in Pink had head smashing it would be perfect. So there’s that. Then on top of that, when I was a little kid, when I first saw First Blood, it put a spell on me and I thought I was Rambo. I even thought my face felt like Sylvester Stallone’s face when I touched it. Then I went to school the next day and put steak knives in my Fisher Price Houdini kit and I took them and I threw them at all the kids at recess. I got suspended rightfully so and I’m sorry. I’ve learned my lesson and I never did anything like that again but my parents said, “Look, this guy can’t watch movies, or violent movies anyways.” So they put me on a leash and I could only watch bible movies and National Geographic movies which are very violent. And black and white comedies, Abbott and Costello movies and all that. So I understand the effect that movies can have on you and the kind of spell they could cast on you. When I first read this script, I felt like well, this is a guy who’s just seen too many movies. He’s going around acting like he’s the hero of his own action movie. I wanted to explore that idea because I’ve been wanting to play a superhero but all the good ones are taken. I thought well, I could create my own potentially. That’s what we tried to do with Drive. A violent John Hughes movie meets a guy who’s confusing his own life for a movie.
What do you think the kid who sees ‘Drive’ is going to bring to school?
I guess a hammer. I hope he doesn’t. Don’t bring a hammer to school. Take it from me. It’s a bad idea.
If ‘Drive’ is a violent John Hughes movie, how do you describe the Thai boxing movie you’re doing with Nicolas Winding Refn?
Oh God, what is he calling it? I don’t know what we’re calling it yet. That’s the fun of working with Nicolas is that you discover it every day. That’s why he likes to work chronologically so the movie is evolving naturally.
How are you prepping for that?
Well, I guess I’m fighting soon. We start in January but I have another film to make beforehand so I haven’t really gotten started yet.
With ‘The Ides of March,’ what kind of spell does a political movie cast on you?
We were actually going for a film that could put you in a trance with Drive. With Ides I think it’s a very, very different film. I don’t know what kind of spell it puts you under.
I liked that description you kept using.
So what was the attraction to ‘Ides?’
You know, the cast. It’s just a lot of my favorite actors, an opportunity to work with them all at once. It’s hard to say no to.
Do you think you’ll do ‘Logan’s Run’ with Refn also?
We’re developing it.