Ryan Gosling, the director and writer of Lost River, at the 67th Cannes international film festival.
"I’ve always been surprised at how many opportunities I’ve gotten out of the things I really believed in, versus the things I thought I should be doing. I’ve had actors that I really respect tell me, ‘You’ve gotta surf-and-turf it in this town. One for them and one for you.’ That’s not true. It’s really three for them and one for you. And not only that—if you do three for them, you’ve set a precedent. Any way you point yourself is where you’re gonna go. If you point yourself in that direction, it’s hard to ever come back. Being an actor is like being a cat burglar. You try to get in and out without being noticed. As soon as you get famous, it’s like you’ve got a marching band with you every time you walk out of the house. And it’s harder to make people believe you as a character. And your work goes downhill.”
Gosling’s estimable charisma registered even in films that didn’t exactly hang a light on it, and because his performances were marvels of unselfconscious animal instinct and fine-tuned craft—to the point that you usually didn’t know where the animal ended and the fine-tuning began—his little movies still got attention, and Gosling got attention in them. He’s conducted himself the way you conduct yourself in Hollywood if all you’re after is, at most, a small but noble patch of cult-actor grass to tend, a place in the heart of critics and video-store clerks, a good seat at the Independent Spirit Awards. And yet despite his best efforts, he’s becoming a movie star. (x)
Cannes was the first time I was ever kissed by another man in public. I will never forget that. And I’m sure that everyone else was very very very jealous. x
"Lost River" photocall during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2014 in Cannes, France.
Ryan Gosling: Before shooting, Nicolas asked me how I wanted to play the scene. “Do you want to laugh? Or do you prefer to cry?” I suggested that, to see from where he was born, Julian could open his mother’s stomach and remove her uterus. Without thinking, Nicolas answered, “Ok, cool!” A few minutes later, he returned from the butcher and brought some bowels of a pig to be the uterus. It so happened that my family was visiting me on the set that day. It probably wasn’t the best time for that but things worked out that way. So here I am with (the character’s entrails) in my hands and my mother is sitting behind the camera monitor and watching everything. But after I did the scene, I saw my mother with a big smile on her face, giving me a “thumbs up”. I guess she was proud of her son! (Laughs)
"This film was, in a lot ways, a gift from the directors I’ve been working with over the last few years. I’ve gone between acting in films completely based in reality with Derek Cianfrance to the fevered dreams of Nicolas Winding Refn. I think I’ve vacillated between these two extremes because my own sensibilities as a filmmaker lay somewhere in-between.
It’s not until I had the opportunity to work on The Ides of March that I was introduced to Detroit, a place that is currently living on the border of those two realities. Although I was only there for a few days I couldn’t help but be affected by the city. It was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. There were forty miles of abandoned neighborhoods and, within pockets of those neighborhoods, there were parents trying to raise their children on streets where houses were being burned and torn down around them. Detroit was the birthplace of the Model T, Motown and the middle class. It was, at one time, a postcard for the American Dream but now, for the families in these neighborhoods, the dream has become a nightmare.
Having said that, there is still a lot of hope there. There is something very inspiring about the consciousness in Detroit. What it once was and will be again is still very much alive. I knew I had to make something there. I kept returning over the following year, trying to document some of these neighborhoods before they were torn down or destroyed and I began to think of a story that took place not in Detroit, but in Lost River, an imagined city with an imagined past. As the elements of the story began to emerge; a family losing their home, a mysterious secret beneath the surface, I drew from the 80’s family fantasy films that I grew up with and filtered them through the sensibilities about film I’ve acquired since. With that, Lost River began to take shape for me in the form of a dark fairy tale with the city itself as the damsel in distress and the characters as broken pieces of a dream, trying to put themselves back together.” - Ryan Gosling.
First images from Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, “Lost River”.
Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn on the set of “Only God Forgives”
Refn: Most fight scenes usually consist of stunt men or stand-ins fighting or you shoot it in a way where you can hide the illusion of punches and it’s more about sound. But I wanted to do everything in wide shots. You see everything in its full size, nothing is hidden. Ryan was green, blue, black, yellow all over his body afterwards. It was aching because he took some massive punches. He had to fall onto the cement floor, that’s a massive hit and he had to do that again and again and again.
Were there any insurance problems in beating up Ryan?
Refn: I don’t think we told the insurance company what we were doing.
Ryan Gosling, photographed by Art Streiber for New York Magazine, December 13, 2010.
Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling, and Nicolas’s wife Liv Corfixen at the Hua Hin International Film Festival
“It was very expensive for us paying off the cops, because we needed the security, especially because we were firing guns at the closing time. I didn’t have the money basically to hire all the extra help that was needed. I was contacted by Hua Hin Film Festival and they asked, would Ryan and I go to red carpet, and like, appear at the festival. And they said, “We’ll pay you.” I think it was 20 thousand dollars. And I went, “Well, how about we turn that twenty into a hundred?” And they were like, “Do you promise to show up?” “We will show up for sure!” So we agreed on that. We came up to Hua Hin and then they’re taking 10% because of taxes, which was just kind of ironic, cause all cash, but alright, we had to sign a slip. But then we had 90 thousand dollars. I was like, ” I’ve never counted [wishpers] 90 thousand dollars. What even it feels like?” And I said, “I wanna count it!” So I was sitting in a hotel room in Hua Hin, counting 90 thousand dollars to pay off the cops [laughs] at first to be able to shoot." - Nicolas Winding Refn's commentary on Only God Forgives.