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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. 

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Ryan Gosling, photographed by Art Streiber for New York Magazine, December 13, 2010.

Feb 18 @ 1:57 AM
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Feb 17 @ 12:54 AM
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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.

Jan 06 @ 12:01 AM
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A lot of those scenes [in ‘Pines’] were all done in one take. There’s the scene where he’s riding away and he speeds through an intersection and almost gets clipped—that was [Ryan Gosling], right?

Cianfrance: Yeah… There were certain scenes I couldn’t hide a stunt double on, and in that scene he had to rob a bank, jump on his motorcycle, and blow through an intersection with 36 cars. It is terrifying, and he had to do it 22 times before he got it right. When I get nervous I chew my shirt, and that day I was so scared for him that I chewed a giant hole in my shirt by the end of that day. I wanted the film to be dangerous, but I also didn’t want to kill Ryan Gosling! No way. But between every take I asked him if he could do it, and he said he could. Ryan had eight weeks of training from Rick Miller, who was Ryan’s stunt double. When we first started production, Rick said Ryan was at a three out of 10. Rick thought he could get him to a three and a half, maybe a four. He said, “Look, this is like if you want to be in the NBA—you have to start shooting hoops from the time you’re six years old.” I said, “Well, we only have eight weeks, so do what you can.” The day before production I asked Rick where Ryan got to, and he said he got to a seven. To me, that speaks to the magic of Ryan Gosling and his ability to do things that normal people like me could never do.

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Dec 22 @ 2:23 AM
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Carey Mulligan on real violence in Drive [x]

Dec 11 @ 8:04 PM
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[Drive] is a portrayal of masculinity in crisis. What does it mean to be a Man? Gosling’s Driver is a man apart from himself, confusedly trying to find some outlet for his identity through his conception of masculinity (i.e. power and violence). Consider the shocking, sudden instance of the Driver striking Christina Hendricks’ character and looming over her on the hotel bed. His masculinity, this sense of male domination, is a regulation of his vast internal disarray. The robbery had just gone monumentally to hell and this is how he manifests and curtails his panic; Mickey Spillane style. And there is no doubt, it is the archetype of the Masculine Hero that the Driver attempts to embody. Remember that brief moment of the Driver and Benicio watching an offscreen TV and the Driver asking Benicio, How do you know he’s a bad guy? Benicio replying, He’s a shark. Driver saying, A shark can’t be a good guy?

Returning to that hotel scene, there is something rather poignant I’d like to point out. After the brief but awful carnage has subsided—in the film’s first real ‘Action’ scene—the Driver emerges from the shadowy bathroom into light, his face marred with rained blood. He has entered a new form, a new self. Maybe all those recurrent bloodstains hearken back to this initial, gruesome ambiguous baptism. He has entered another zone of self, and will continue to go further, in pursuit of this sense of affirmation attained through his violent expression of being a rightful Male Hero Who Gets Revenge (the action star). One of the most poignant and telling moments in regards to the film’s concern with archetypal maleness is when the Driver tells Mulligan’s Irene that she can have the robbery money and they could run away together, and in a moment that plays truly pathetically, so that he could “take care of her”. He is hopelessly confused, suffocating in the notions of what he thinks he is supposed to do and be. Shortly after, it’s then a helpless, childlike sense of shame attendant upon his face as turns around to look at Mulligan after killing the hitman. There is a slight strain of sexual shame in the image here—his agitated sweating visage, all strained and heaving—the nakedness of the thing, the dumb primality. This is the fruit of his struggle for a meaningful sense of self. It is an extension of that charged, nervous ambiguity we saw in the hotel bathroom. (x)

Dec 11 @ 1:20 AM
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+ 2184 Notes

Ryan Gosling keeps you waiting… and waiting… and waiting. The best way to describe his acting style in recent years is that of calculated patience. That patience was not always there. When given his first opportunity at a meaty lead role as a Jewish Neo-Nazi (you read that correctly) in “The Believer”, there was no time to waste on long pauses and heavy stares. His character had a constant energy that never seemed to break. Unwilling to squander his first shot at the acting career he desperately wanted, Gosling didn’t let a moment on the screen pass without exercising what he could do. He was young and hungry and it showed.

Fast forward to 12 years later and the man who holds back almost every emotion in “Only God Forgives” is a very different person. Now, Ryan Gosling keeps you waiting. Best described as a jack-in-the-box, but instead of turning a crank we have the movie reel spinning through the projector. You know something is coming, you know the toy is in the box and it’s about to burst out, but he lets the anticipation build. He lets you see it in his eyes, only his eyes, as he pauses before he speaks or bites back on words entirely. Because language is limited but your imagination is limitless. He gives you the space to make up your own mind about the men he portrays, instead of making their every motivation crystal clear. And then the release comes as it is expected to, but because it had been kept from you for so long, the anxiety has reached a breaking point and he hits you exactly where he wants to. Right in the gut. That kind of patience, the unwillingness to perform like a ceaseless clapping monkey for your entertainment, has sometimes been described as the absence of any sort of acting at all. Instead of what it is, which is restraint. The restraint to only provide what the story and the character need in that moment, rather than sucking the air out of every scene and wanting to one-up your colleagues. Too often we reward bombastic, overly expressive performances rather than the performances that are simply about wearing the skin of the character and navigating them through the world the film creates.

Restraint and patience; these are the signs of a confident, intelligent and grounded actor who doesn’t seek to prove anything to an audience, a critic or an Academy. He’s not ambitious about his career, he’s passed on multi-million dollar franchises and commercial brands, and he has no ego to satisfy. Instead he has one simple goal. Ryan Gosling wants us to remember his characters and the stories they tell.

Nov 12 @ 4:46 PM
+ 198 Notes

She said to kill them all.

Oct 31 @ 8:10 PM
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Oct 19 @ 9:06 PM
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Driver is exactly my kind of movie character, with the sort of dilemma that I think is inherently cinematic. His dilemma is that he doesn’t belong to the day or the night. He’s caught between two worlds, he doesn’t know which one to belong to, and he ends up transforming himself into what he was meant to be, which is a hero, which he wasn’t aware of.

Oct 04 @ 1:30 AM
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Sep 18 @ 10:54 PM
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I don’t have wheels on my car. That’s one thing you should know about me.