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ARCHIVE - ENTERTAINMENT INTERVIEWS
Ryan Gosling Interviewed Ė FRACTURE
4/3/2007
Posted by
Frosty
     
In case you havenít noticed, Iím altering how I present the interviews I do here on Collider. Rather than making you read the entire thing and look for the golden nugget or two, Iím going to start every interview off with the highlight or highlights. Of course the interview can still be read in itís entirety and perhaps my highlights arenít your highlightsÖ

 

So while the interview with Ryan Gosling covers all the usual things, the highlight (for me) was when he answered about his upcoming project Lars and the Real Girl:

 

Yeah, itís this film that I did and it comes out in October, and itís about a man who falls in love with a doll, a sex doll. Itís really beautiful I think love story about their relationship, and in a way itís probably closer to The Notebook than anything Iíve done.

 

Anytime they make a movie about someone falling in love with a sex doll youíll get my attention.

 

But since he was there to talk about his role in Fracture, here is the studio provided synopsis:

Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling star in the dramatic thriller Fracture. When a meticulous structural engineer (Hopkins) is found innocent of the attempted murder of his wife (Embeth Davidtz), the young district attorney (Gosling) who is prosecuting him becomes a crusader for justice. Fracture is packed with twists and turns that weave in and out of the courtroom as the pair try to outwit each other.

 

Ryan talked about all the usual things Ė whatís it like to work with a hero (Anthony Hopkins), what are you working on next, whatís his process for finding future material, etcÖ If youíre a fan of Ryan youíll like the interview.

 

 

And even though I donít have enough time to transcribe the interview I did with Rosamund Pike, I wanted to offer it as an audio download here. You might recognize her as a former Bond girl and sheís also been in a Pride & Prejudice, Doom and The Libertine.

 

If youíd like to listen to the interview with Ryan click here. Itís an MP3 and easily put on a portable player.

 

Once again all interviews were done in roundtable form Ė meaning a few of us were in a room taking turns asking questions.

 

Fracture comes out on April 20th

 

 

 

So whoís more intimidating, Shareeka or Anthony?

 

Ohhh, hard choice.  Anthony is intimidating for different reasons than I thought.  Heís so good.  In a way, heís the warmest Ė I donít know if you met him Ė a really loving guy, and heís so prolific.  He paints, heís a composer, he directs and heís about to go direct a movie that he wrote when he was starring in this and heís still doing his paintings.  He never stops.  He sits there and heís doodling while heís talking to you.  Itís the most incredible doodle youíve ever seen.  He goes to his trailer for five minutes, he comes back and his hands are covered with paint and heís ready to shoot.  He just never stops Ė heís this creative force.  Thatís inspiring and intimidating at the same time. 

 

Does he stay in character in between shots or no, he just kind of pulls out of that?

 

Itís so easy for him at this point. 

 

I read where he barked like a dog? 

 

(laughs)  He did.  I donít know if I can explain it.  I donít think Anthony when things get too serious and he doesnít like when people start taking everything so seriously and Iím certainly a victim of that.  So if everything got a little too important, he would start barking.  And the thing about when he barks, itís like everything he does in his life, he does it great.  He sounds exactly like a dog.  You can just about tell the breed.

 

You stayed in character and is that something that for you, feels more comfortable staying like that?

 

I think about it too much.  As far as staying in character, I know a lot of actors talk about being in character and taking it home, but I donít think thatís how it feels it happens for me.  I think you are all of your characters in some way and you just turn up the parts of you that are then and you turn down the parts of you who arenít and itís just a tuning process really.

 

But this guy goes through an unusual arc because heís smug and arrogant and insufferable in the beginning and then 2/3 of the way in, heís really starting to unravel.

 

Yeah, thatís why I liked him because first of all, he reminds me of agents I met Ė youíre not really sure if theyíre faking their accents or not, you canít really know where theyíre coming from.  And heís supposed to be the good guy in the movie, but heís not really that good.  Heís not a good guy.  Heís not bad and as long as heís not bad, thatís good enough for him.  Doing the right thing is kind of a pain in the ass.  Itís not in his nature to be heroic, or to be good or to do the right thing.  He leans more towards the narcissistic, self-serving, selfish side of things.  And he never really quite changes.  Heís just put in a position where if he lets this woman for a promotion, heís officially going to be someone he doesnít want to be so he actively not be that person, but heís constantly doing the bare minimum.  I found that interesting in this genre to have a character like that whoís not virtuous.

 

Was it hard to get your mind around this character?  I know Rosamund said she found it very hard to even understand her character.  Did you find it hard to get into this character and his wants and needs? 

 

Well, itís ambition.  I have my ambitions as well and can transpose it onto his, but different, but I could see if you stay in this town long enough, how you can turn into that, you know.  I struggle with that as well.

 

I read you were living in a tent when you read this script? 

 

Itís a long story and I donít want to bore you with it.  I did spend a lot of time in a tent at one point at which point I read this script. 

 

Youíve got to tell us why you were living in a tent.

 

Honestly, itís too long a story.  Maybe Iíll tell you one day.

 

Youíve obviously gone from big movie, to small movie Ė Half Nelson, again, was phenomenal.  Is that the kind of movie you like or do you like these big movies with major studios?  Which is more comfortable for you? 

 

I like all kinds of movies.  I love movies.  I like this genre of movie although I donít think Iíve seen a lot of good ones lately and I always wanted to try and make one.  And I thought you couldnít have had a better partner than Anthony Hopkins, you know, so for me at this point in my career, it was a really big opportunity to work with Anthony.  Heís a master and to watch a master work I felt was really important.  And with Half Nelson, I like making movies like that and probably will always go back to that.  I think itís easier to make a better movie when theyíre smaller just because you have less people watching so when you go and make a big movie, you have to feel like you have a good team.  Like Greg made Primal Fear and Anthony is Anthony and you have David Strathairn and Rosamund and Cliff Curtis and all these great actors and itís good because you think, itís possible.  I try not to discriminate against budget because thereís so little good material out there anyway that if I focus myself on one world, Iíll never work, so I have to do the best with whatís out there no matter if itís big or small.

 

Iíd like to know when you first met Anthony, what was that like, and when you first actually rehearsed with him.  It says in here you almost consider him a hero of yours and I just wondered, is that hard to even just look at him and pretend heís somebody else? 

 

Yeah it is.  I mean I did more acting in trying to pretend that I wasnít enjoying what Anthony was doing.  (laugh).  Itís hard to be in scenes with him and youíre sitting there and heís being so good but you just want to watch him as if he was in a movie and then you have to remind yourself Ďno youíre in this film too.í  I would laugh at stuff he was doing and go ha ha, great!  But not great, youíre a bad guy.  So that was hard and I found that really difficult plus I was taking acting notes at the same time.  I was trying to break down why heís so great and thought if I could be there on set, and could watch it happen, Iíd be able to figure it out, but itís just that heís great, thereís no real secret to it.

 

Did you discover his weak spot?  I mean, the film is about finding a chink Ė that fracture in the armor? 

 

I didnít.

 

Oh, I was going to ask if there was a characteristic or two that you had not known and that you got out of him, but thatís kind of the same thing.

 

One thing that I did learn is that a lot of people when they make movies, the actors act like itís their journey and that everyone is on the set to facilitate their journey and the whole thing is set up that way Ė they ask if you want anything, what you need and everyone is there to help you so you feel that everyone is there for you.  Tony has this great way of making everyone feel like weíre making this movie together, this is a collaboration, heís very inclusive, heís not really private or precious with his processÖhe puts it out on the table and anyone can pick it up and try like a Rubikís cube, try and work it out.  And I think that, for me, it was great.  At this point in my career to see somebody work like that.

 

Heís very laid back.  Many a time, heís told reporters that well, I learn my lines, I go to work, I speak then and I go home. 

 

Yeah well heís a genius so itís probably true. 

 

Getting back to your career choices, how many so-called mainstream big films have you been offered that youíve turned down? 

 

I feel lucky that I have a healthy mix of both of what I get offered.  I try and create situations for myself where I have as many options as possible because I never know how Iím going to feel at that time and what Iím going to need to do so I donít want to be limited. 

 

If itís a Jerry Bruckheimer extravaganza versus a Half Nelson, truthfully, where would you go?

 

I donít know.  What Jerry Bruckheimer extravaganza are you talking about?  Are we talking about Top Gun?

 

Oh you always wanted to be Tom Cruise. 

 

I did a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, Remember The Titans, and I liked that movie.  It was a football movie.

 

Did you do any legal research at all or did you think you didnít need to know that to play this guy?

 

I did the normal things.  I went to courts and watched trials, met with lawyers, met with some lawyers, and this is really interesting, who had been involved with these really high profile cases where we all know that they did it, and we know that they did it, and they defended them anyway.  And just trying to understand that, how one justifies that. 

 

Were you trying to figure out at the same time your character was trying to figure out how you could figure outÖ

 

What youíre saying?  (laughs)

 

When you were reading the script, were you trying to figure out what your character was trying to figure if he did it? 

 

Iím confused.  I mean there are so many twists and turns in this movie that I just tried to, and it was hard because you sort of have to as a storyteller, a part of you has to know whatís happening, when.  You have to kind of map it out a little bit in a movie like this.  But again, I donít really know because Iíve never done a film like this and I donít feel like Iíve mastered it at all.  Itís totally different from anything that Iíve done because itís so plot driven.  And everything else Iíve done, itís not.  Thereís so much more room in it for other things and this is just about this journey that the characters are on and these twists and turns.  Basically Anthony puts a ring in his nose and pulls him around for 2 hours.  So I tried to just let that happen.     

 

Are there other courtroom dramas that youíve really enjoyed in the past?

 

Yeah, I like the genre. I think itís interesting, I also think that the real thing is interesting as well, if you watch Court TV or something, itís like natural theatre. I like the fact that a lot of them are kind of bad actors; if they were better they might not be lawyers, they might be actors.

 

Do you watch a lot of the Judge Judy Ė

 

Yeah, I love that show. My dog loves Judge Joe Brown for some reason, I donít know why but every time he comes on he really relaxes.

 

Whatís your process of getting scripts, does your agent filter out stuff, are you reading scripts every day? How involved are you in the process?

 

I try to read everything, it doesnít matter how big or small it is. I have a lot of people helping me too, people whose taste I really trust. Like Iíve been working with one woman since I was 14 and she just really knows the kind of thing that Iím going to dig. Also there are so little good things out there that itís not hard to sift through. They stand out like a sore thumb. Something like Half Nelson comes around its really obvious, because youíre not reading anything like that.

 

Can you tell us something about Lars and the Real Girl?

 

Yeah, itís this film that I did and it comes out in October, and itís about a man who falls in love with a doll, a sex doll. Itís really beautiful I think love story about their relationship, and in a way itís probably closer to The Notebook than anything Iíve done.

 

Continued on the next page ---------------->

||SPLIT||

 

Have you found since your Oscar nomination that youíre getting different types of scripts, more scripts Ė has it changed your life at all?

 

It has, you know, I get asked that question more often. I think thereís a lot more opportunities now than there was, but I think also with those opportunities comes a certain responsibility to do the most with those opportunities. I mean, in a way itís like when you only have one option when youíre starting out, itís easy because you take that option. But when you have a lot of them you really have to make sure that that option is going to give you more opportunities or take you in the direction that you want to go.

 

You donít have to answer exactly where, but do you live in downtown L.A.?

 

Yeah.


I saw a thing with you before the Oscars where you were taking some reporter around Ė do you just dig the old buildings or the feeling of downtown?

 

Yeah, Iíve lived all over. I think itís interesting to watch a city develop. Iíve been involved or been able to watch this kind of  Ďgentrification.í And I love and hate it, I think itís kind of fascinating thing to be a part of and to watch happen.

 

What other things do you have coming up? Are you filming something right now?

 

Iím not, I have a film that Iím working on myself, other than that, just looking.

 

Whatís the film youíre working on?

 

I wrote a film that Iím going to try and direct, hopefully by the end of the year.

 

Is there a title?

 

Yeah, itís called The Lordís Resistance and itís about the Lordís Resistance Army in Northern Uganda and the conflict in the north, the 20 year conflict, and the war affected children and child soldiers.

 

Did you write it yourself?

 

Yeah.

 

How much research did you do? How long did it take you?

 

It took me Ė itís been a couple of years process, and I just was there a month ago doing some more research, shooting some B rolls, getting ready, obviously as you can imagine itís a hard film to put together.

 

And studios love this kind of film.

 

Yeah, right, everyoneís banging down my door.

 

It is such a different direction for you, is that something that youíve always wanted to do?

 

Direct?

 

Direct something like that, so serious, rather than something, not lighter, but not Ė

 

It just felt like Ė itís not like Iíve always wanted to direct something, I just heard this story and I was in Darfur, well the Darfur refugee camps in Chad about two years ago, and I was shooting a little piece of a documentary and I think like anybody that goes to Africa, that experience doesnít leave you, especially those kids, and I started to learn about child soldiers and then this phenomenon of night commuters in Uganda, and the more I learned about it the more I couldnít believe it, and I felt like it was some kind of Grimm Brothers story or something.

 

They kidnap the kids, donít they?

 

Yeah, 30,000 kids in the last 20 years. 1.5 million people misplaced from their homes. Itís one of the bloodiest conflicts in Africaís history and theyíre famous for them. And itís still going on, and has been going on in plain view of everybody and itís involving children, children fighting children and children killing their own parents, little girls being made sex slaves and itís gruesome, and I just heard that story and I thought that it was something that I wanted to try and tell.

 

Would you shoot it there? You go there, isnít it dangerous?

 

It is, but the time that I went there were peace talks, so I think it was a safe visit as it had been in 20 years

 

Do you play an active role in things like Darfur?

 

Not really, Iím not involved with any specific Ė

 

Not like Clooney

 

No, not like Clooney, I just have a personal interest.

 

This director uses more cameras and does less takes, is that right?

 

I donít know about less takes, but he does more cameras.

 

Was his style a little different for you, did you like or dislike it?

 

Itís different, I like to try new things, so for me it was a whole different world to come into, itís a big movie, lots of cameras, all this stuff, and it was interesting to try find a way to navigate through that. Gregís really like a kid, heís still excited about making movies, he sits in front of the monitor like this all the time, and heís thrilled to be there and itís really fun to be around that kind of energy.

 

Was there any adlibbing Ė when Anthony Hopkins goes like with the tie Ė

 

First of all, you never know what Anthonyís going to do. He doesnít, is he behind me?

 

That was funny when you did (the tie bit) back to him at the end.

 

That was something that was in the script, but there are lots of things that werenít. Also Anthony, just like every time he does a take he does it completely different, he says the lines but itís amazing how many takes on one line that he can have.

 

Give us a question for your fellow cast members that they might not be expecting. Something that would get a nice little reaction out of them.

 

Ask them if they had a weak spot, what would it be.

 

Donít you have a restaurant?

 

I do, yeah. Have you been there?

 

Yeah, it was very good.

 

If you liked it, itís getting better. Oh yeah.

 

You might as well plug it

 

Itís called Tagine. Itís on Robertson and Wilshire. 132 North Robertson, itís a Moroccan restaurant.