Sep 10, 2011

INTERVIEW: Ryan Gosling

“If I’m still acting at 46 I’ll be surprised,” says Ryan Gosling in his soft Brooklyn accent, which sometimes makes him sound like he is chewing a small potato. We are sat on a park bench in a park in New York’s East Village. It is a hot day. Around us, the bums and winos occasionally breaking into spirited bouts of cursing, sometimes at one another, at other times themselves. Gosling is neither noticed nor bothered, protected by a force field of perfect grooming. Dressed in a v-necked shirt and pants, loafers, his ankles as evenly tanned as his gym-toned shoulders, he looks casual but immaculate, an expensive version of himself, an object lesson in the Los Angelino art of maximising one’s resources — Gosling 2.0., Gosling in excelsis, Gosling at 30. “How many characters can you play?” he asks, pushing back on the bench. “I don’t know how longer you can really do it for. I’ve been acting since I was 12. If I was just starting now, maybe. But now I’m 30. I do this for ten more years I’ll be shocked.” It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Hollywood has met its match in his slim, courteous form: the talent has learnt to play the game better than anyone. The smirk that seems permanently lodged in the corner of his mouth, no matter the role, should perhaps have tipped us off to Gosling's game-plan. His performances in both Drive and Crazy Stupid Love announce a new phase in his career, one in which the unimpeachably scuffed texture of his recent performances — so redolent of Rumblefish-era Mickey Rourke — peel back to reveal the chrome gleam of the movie-star waiting underneath. He's like Rourke without the urge towards self-crucifixion. His seduction of Hollywood is complete. The seducers have been seduced. “They’ve always wanted him for this kind of part,” says Glenn Ficarra, half of the directing duo behind Crazy Stupid Love. “But he really took his time. He’s a smart guy as well as beign a smart actor. He really thought about the success of The Notebook and where he could have gone and I think he really felt he needed to live life and get his street cred in order. He did not want flash in the pan success. He wanted to do it in his own time. Someone really prominent in Hollywood came up to us and said good work guys you’ve finally made Ryan a star. And we said no, no. Ryan decided to be a star and we were lucky enough to get him. He’s his own man. He came to us. We just said action and cut.”
from my interview with Ryan Gosling in The Daily Telegraph

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