Ryan Gosling

Passionate moments with actor Ryan Gosling

Hard-Core heartthrob
Passionate moments with actor Ryan Gosling

Ryan Up front
Ryan Gosling
Born: London, Ont., Nov. 12, 1980
Disney fan: was in The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera
High-profile love: rumoured to have dated Sandra Bullock in 2002; currently rumoured to be dating fellow Canuck and Notebook co-star Rachel McAdams.
Lip shtick: won the 2005 MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss for The Notebook with Rachel McAdams
Up next: Half Nelson, a film about a school teacher’s relationship with his student, and Fracture with Anthony Hopkins
Still in the works: Che, a biopic on the revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Dagmar Dunlevy: Has your recent success and fame prompted you to buy a house yet?
Ryan Gosling: No. The only things I own are a motorcycle, a truck and a dog. That’s it. And I’d like to keep it that way for a while. I like to be free to move around. But it’s been a really special year for me. I spent time in Darfur and in the refugee camps in Chad and had an experience that was a defining one for me. I also went to Biloxi, Miss., to help [with] hurricane relief. I was working on rebuilding a Buddhist temple.

DD: You’re being heralded as one of the finest actors of your generation. Do you think it has to do with the films you choose?
RG: It’s funny that you’ve stated that like it’s a fact, which is nice, but I don’t know that that’s true. I do choose my roles carefully. Acting is really tiring emotionally. I have to really care about the film in order to put any kind of time and any of my life into it.

DD: You obviously research and study a character before you decide to take it on and have to use a lot of your imagination when mapping out any role, but how else have you been able to capture the complicated people you’ve portrayed?
RG: I live in downtown Los Angeles, in an area where, essentially, the majority of people are schizophrenic or on the street or in a kind of state. I deal with complex people on a daily basis.

cont’d next page>

DD: Some people speculate that you actually live a lonely life. Is there any truth to that?
RG: I feel like I’ve been blessed with great people in my life who understand that I have to spend time alone in order to recharge. I’m somebody who recharges when alone. I spend my energy when I’m with people, but I have to go back and be alone to plug in again. The people in my life understand that. I feel I’m managing to find a nice balance.

DD: You’ve worked with some really fine actors. Is it true you’ve also become close friends with your Stay costar Ewan McGregor?
RG: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Ewan’s. He’s always making interesting choices and mixing it up, which keeps it interesting for him and the audience. He’s so talented. What I am really impressed by, besides his talent, is the kind of person he is and the kind of family life he’s managed to secure for himself. He’s a great dad. He’s got great kids—and you don’t see that very often. So watching how he balances being a good father, husband and a great actor is a real treat.

DD: You’re a big music fan. Do you also play an instrument?
RG: I do play guitar. I play every day, actually. It’s just something that I do for myself. My father’s a musician and I picked it up from him.

DD: Are you still very close to your sister Mandi Gosling?
RG: Yes. And she’s basically how I got The Mickey Mouse Club. She went to audition for it and was too old [Ryan is four years younger]. And since I was there, I ended up doing it to show off for her—and getting it! Everything started happening from there.

DD: With regards to the Che Guevara film project you are working on, what kind of prep have you done so far?
RG: I play a character named Benigno and Benicio Del Toro plays Che. My character, Benigno, was the head of the vanguard in Bolivia with Che. The real Benigno is still alive, lives in Paris and has written a few books about Che. Benicio and I met him and had many conversations with him about the film.

cont’d next page>


DD: After making Stay—a film that explores a possible afterlife—have you ever wondered what your famous last words will be?
RG: Everyone always has this idea of what it’s going to be like when you meet death—what you’ll say, what you’ll think, feel and how it will manifest. I’ve had an almost-death experience happen to me twice. Once, I was on a plane when it started going down and the masks dropped and everyone was crying and screaming. We thought that was it! I was eating a steak. My reaction to the crash was: Finish the steak! I started stuffing my face. People were crying and I wanted to die on a full stomach. It’s silly! [Laughing] The second time I was broadsided by one of those L.A. car chases. I was pulling into the middle of a main street and this car came right at me. Right before the car almost hit me, as it was coming toward me, my last words were accidente—“accident” in Spanish. I don’t know why I said that. That would have been my last words. Ridiculous! So I have no idea. I’m sure I’ll do something ridiculous.

DD: What drew you to working on Stay in the first place?
RG: I wanted to work with [director] Marc Forster because I’ve been a big fan of his ever since I saw his film Monster’s Ball. He’s got a really special way of directing. It’s like he’s building the shot around you and then taking it down almost without your noticing, so you just keep doing it, trying to find it as he moves around you. The crew is also moving around you, but they never really invade the scene. Somehow, he manages to do it almost secretly. It does help, I think. He [doesn’t get bogged down] with the technical stuff that starts to take priority in other films. This is amazing to me. I also feel he’s empowering the viewer in this movie because there’s no right answer. Once he told me that, once I knew that was the plan, then I could go from there, too. It was [liberating] because I didn’t have any emotional beats that I had to hit. There was nothing required of me but to experiment. I enjoyed the confusion.

DD: How does Marc Forster work with actors? Did you enjoy his directing process?
RG: It was freeing for me. I think we’re all just paint. He’s the painter and we’re the paint and it was our job to play a colour. What was also clear was that Marc wasn’t going to try to trick anyone. Stay isn’t a movie about pulling a rabbit out of a hat at the end. He gives you all the answers in the beginning.

DD: What’s your opinion on big-budget movies versus art-house films?
RG: I don’t believe in artistic integrity. I don’t have any. As soon as I started getting paid to do this, I left that at the door. So I’m not worried about compromising that. I’m from a working-class background and I remember it was a big deal to go to the movies. You had a lot of choices and you picked one. If it wasn’t good, it was depressing. The ride home was depressing. You didn’t know when the next time you were going to see a movie was. So I want to make good movies. That’s what it’s about for me. I want to give people their money’s worth.

DD: How important is money when it comes to choosing films to work on?
RG: I have a great mom. When I came to L.A. to be an actor, she said, “Whatever you do, don’t ever make a decision for money. You’ll regret it because you’ll spend the money and it’ll be gone and you’ll regret what you’ve done and that will still be around.” I’ve taken that advice. Actors do get paid well, even when we’re doing independent film.

back to first page>