July 28th, 2011 09:15 EST
Renaissance Man Ryan Gosling
With his bedroom eyes, photo-shopped-looking abs, and quiet charm, hanging out with Ryan Gosling on a sweltering summer day makes a girl want to swoon -- and it isn`t from the heat!
With the old-time, movie star charm of a Cary Grant, or a more modern George Clooney, Gosling entices female fans to wish they could swap places on the movie screen with Emma Stone, his leading lady in the Warner Bros. romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid Love. The much-anticipated date night movie of the summer opens July 29.
Better known for his dramatic roles in Blue Valentine, The Notebook, The Believer and Half Nelson, his portrayal of Jacob Palmer, the eye-catcher, who has just the pick-up right line, demeanor, and wardrobe, to get his female prey.
Crazy, Stupid Love, is part drama and part romantic comedy with several twists, turns and surprises. It is about love, relationships, marriage, loss, and finding your soul mate and it approaches these tough subjects with great heart and without cliché.
Ryan`s co-stars say he was a delight to work with and funnier and wittier than they expected him to be.
Emma Stone, who plays, Hannah, the object of Jacob`s desire, said that Ryan is a real cut up "he`s just so much fun. He`s a real Renaissance man. He`s really open and up for anything. He is a great teammate. He`s a good partner."
"I met with Ryan and I found him to be extremely funny," says Steve Carell. We share our attitude toward comedy we want to have fun and be playful with it, but also make the character as real and as human as possible."
During this recent chat on a sweltering summer day in Manhattan, Gosling was wearing a brown Robin Power T-shirt and jeans. He was laid back, thoughtful, and extremely passionate about his work and his co-stars.
Tell me about your character Jacob in Crazy, Stupid Love.
RYAN GOSLING: He`s kind of a jackass, but also a knucklehead with a heart of gold, who has this sort of twisted wisdom he thinks he should pass on, to his schlubby new friend, Cal, (Steve Carell), who is going through a divorce from his high school sweetheart and getting back into the dating scene.
Everyone tells me you are the funniest guy in show business. Just sit down for three minutes and you will see how funny Ryan is. They say that you sing, bartend, do comedy, drama, improv, dirty dancing, and by the way you are an actor.
RG: It`s all going to be down hill after that.
Do you have a feeling that after so many dramatic roles that this is some kind of break through for you? Emma Stone and Steve Carell can`t stop talking about how clever and funny you are.
RG: I guess I was so boring before.
It`s a different side of you and also great role. So how did you pick this movie?
RG: I had just finished Blue Valentine and I had to go to the doctor for a physical and when I left he gave me a prescription and he wrote do a comedy.
RG: You will have to ask him. Although. I don`t know if he was a real doctor. He looked a lot like Steve Carell in a lab coat. [laughed]. And so when this film came around I just had to do it. I would have done anything to work with Steve. I was lucky that it such a great part, and great directors and a great cast, but it could have been anything. I just wanted to work with Steve.
Are you anything like your character, Jacob? Are you a stud?
RG: I`m probably more like Steve in real life. But those scenes were meant to be funny; I think that`s why they cast me in that part. It was not meant to be serious.
What do you think of this new opportunity for you?
RG: Look, here`s the thing. I wanted to work with Steve Carell. I love him. I think he`s the best. When I was a kid I moved to Los Angeles and I got a small part in a pilot called the Unbeliveables that Steve was in. We didn`t get to work together, but I just enamored with him and I would go to the set to watch him work.
What else do you remember about that?
RG: One time I went to the set and he was so funny that the boom guy threw his boom and just had a laughing fit in the corner. And it was the first time I had ever worked with somebody that was so good that it was a problem. He had to tone it down the humor " he was being too funny. I just became a huge fan and started watching him on the Daily Show and all of his movies. And I even love that animated movie he did Over the Hedge where he plays Hammy the Squirrel that loves energy drinks. [laughed]. I would have done anything with him.
What`s your take on your character, Jacob, and how he approaches women. How he changes, how did you identify with him or approach him?
RG: Well, I think that he`s like Bugs Bunny. Every time I make a movie I try to think about what levels of Bugs Bunny versus Daffy Duck is the character. It was one of my favorite dynamics as a kid and in this we were able to do it in its purest form. Jacob was Bugs and Cal was Daffy. And then they switch roles half way through.
Is there a deeper representation of Bugs Bunny-Daffy Duck and what they represent in the human psyche?
RG: Well, for instance, my mother was having a hard time at her job and she didn`t know what to do and neither did I, and I didn`t know what to tell her. So I just bought her the Warner Bros cartoons boxed set and I said if you are ever in a situation at work when you don`t know what to do, just be Bugs. Never be Daffy and she got promoted.
Tell me about working with Emma Stone.
RG: I knew that this movie was going to be good when Emma Stone signed on. The whole film hinges on her character and my character has to give it all up for her, so that has to make sense. You show me someone who wouldn`t give it all up for Emma Stone and I will show you a liar.
Is the trickiest part the scene with her where you are just trying to bang her, to use that term that she uses in the movie, and I understand that a lot of that is improvised. That`s a tricky thing to show him succumbing to her in a believable way. Was that an issue for you creatively to make that believable?
RG: It was until I met Emma. I just feel; she`s just some sort of acting equivalent of a unicorn. I never worked with anyone like her; I had never met anyone like her. So I felt, tome the dynamic made sense when she was cast.
Jacob seems almost amused by her. He sees that she is nervous and crazed at this moment, so it`s not his usual role of picking up women, since she is throwing herself at him. It`s kind of a little reversal. So that seems to be the trick of having the relationship go in a completely different way. They don`t even sleep together the first night.
RG: I agree.
What made you think of that for the Dirty Dancing lift for this movie?
RG: When ever I have a few too many drinks and I go dancing with my friends who always end up trying to do that lift on the dance floor. [Laughed].
The locker room where you are standing there naked in front of him and he`s just totally floored about it and that goes on for a while. They said that`s also something you came up with.
RG: Oh, really. Okay. Sure. We had a two-week period where we met and just came up with a whole bunch of ideas. Then [the screenwriter writer] Dan wrote them out and it was really nice to involved in the process in that way.
Now when you slap Steve around quite a bit, were those slaps for real?
RG: Yeah. But he has a really loud face. Just so you know, he made them sound harder than they were.
Talk about the Dirty Dancing lift.
RG: The Dirty Dancing thing was funny because Emma wanted to do it and then she had no faith in me and was sure I was going to drop her.
She explained why. She broke her arms when she was seven years old.
RG: Oh, yeah.
You don`t believe her. That`s a lie.
RG: I think it`s true. But that was then and this is now. There were mats and couch, but as soon as I got her off the ground her whole body turned into a bag of rats. [Laughed]. It was trying to wrangle a bag of rats, which was impossible. So she said, "show me you can do it with a stunt person.` So this stuntwoman came in and I did it 10 times in a row. Never dropped her. When it was over Emma looked at me and said, "after 10 times you have got to be tired " I`m definitely not getting up there now.`
You just had a great triumph at the Cannes Film Festival with The Driver, which is coming out next in September. That is a totally flipped kind of character, a cool action guy?
RG: It`s kind of a violent John Hughes movie. Like Pretty in Pink with head smashing.
What else is coming up for you?
RG: Gangster Squad. It`s a `50s gangster picture. Josh Brolin is the lead, and Sean Penn plays Mickey Cohen. It`s just a great cast. Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie. Just a lot of really great actors. And I`m really looking forward to it. We start that in the fall.
Is it true that you`re doing Logan`s Run?
RG: Well, we`re developing Logan`s Run. We`re just sort of creating the world right now. Then we`ll try to figure out what kind of story could take place in that world. The original was shot in a mall.
RG: Yeah. But we`ll try and do it our own way. And maybe even go back to the book.
And what is Dead Man`s Bones all about?
RG: It`s a music project that I have with my friend, Zach Shields. We started off making a play about zombies, ghosts and monsters who are lonely, and looking for love. But it turned out that it was going to be the most expensive play of all time! And nobody would make it. So we thought we`d make it into a movie. And it was equally expensive, and nobody would make that! So we said, oh we`ll make it into a record. Because records are cheap. And now suddenly we`re a band! Which was never the plan, but that`s what it is.
And what do you play?
RG: It`s just the two of us, kind of an Everly Brothers thing. We try and play everything ourselves. Not very well! And our first record was, `Never Let The Lack Of Talent Get You Down`!
Speaking of which, acting must be the ultimate aphrodisiac. Women probably go nuts when you show up anywhere.
RG: Not really. I don`t want to disappoint you, but no. It`s not really like that. I`d like to keep your fantasy alive! But it`s not.
Have you paid attention to real life Jacob`s in action, the guys who know how to pick up women so well? Seeing them work a room?
RG: I`ve never seen that. I don`t think that guy exists.