Ryan Gosling, photobomb.
“As written, Ryan Gosling comes into this baptism, sits down in the middle of the pews with all the people, and is enraged that another man is baptizing his son. So I had 500 people from Schenectady show up in their Sunday finest. You had Eva Mendes, Mahershala Ali, and the baby: Everyone’s dressed to the nines. I had the camera in the back of the church, and I told Ryan, ‘Come in and find a place to sit.’ Ryan walks into the church, and he’s literally a marked man. He cannot fit in anywhere.”
“He moved over to the corner of the church, and I just panned with him as he sat down. Then I cut and moved my camera into a close-up. And I was shooting this close-up of him, and behind us, there was this baptism going on. I noticed Ryan wasn’t getting enraged as I had expected, but he was trembling. And I noticed that this well of emotion was building in him, this humiliation, this deep shame. And he started to break down on camera. As his friend, all I wanted to do was shut the camera off and give him a hug. Give him a napkin and wipe it off: It’s just pretend. But that’s what we were there for. You’re always trying to get to a place where the acting stops and behavior begins. That’s what these tattoos are for — actors are very much like athletes to me, I work with them on a very physical level. I feel like the physical level affects the psychological and the emotional.”
Ryan Gosling and Derek Cianfrance for the NY Times
On set: The Place Beyond the Pines.
Ryan has this incredible presence and charisma on-screen and in real life. He’s inherently interesting and cinematic, but he also makes everyone around him better. When I met Bradley, I saw that he had the same kind of charisma that Ryan has. But the thing that sold me on Bradley more than anything else was how hard he worked. After meeting with him a couple of times I went back to the script and reworked the character, because I knew Bradley could go deeper than I originally had in mind. I think the reason Pines works is because Ryan and Bradley are not only movie stars and great actors, but also compelling human beings. Each brings a different energy to the movie, creating a balance and also a dichotomy. - Derek Cianfrance
Cianfrance was adamant not to let production designers dig the hole for Ryan in the scene where Dean is burying his dog. Ryan dug it himself and an hour and a half later, “when he was done digging the hole, he broke down. And that was an unscripted scene, him crying at the table. He was actually so emotional and what he told me afterwards was that, that process tricked his body because his body was so exhausted and his body didn’t know that that wasn’t his dog. His body just buried his dog, and his body reacted in that way.”
Q: In The Place Beyond the Pines, you’re returning to work with Derek Cianfrance, who you worked with in Blue Valentine. Some have said this makes you his muse—like Scorsese and DiCaprio. How did that relationship develop? How does it change things on set?
Ryan Gosling: I wouldn’t say it’s a DiCaprio/Scorsese situation as much as a Joyce Kilmer/Tree situation. Or do you mean Muse the band? I can’t remember Derek ever mentioning them. Although, now that I think of it, he may have them on his workout mix. Either way, I work with Derek because I’m lucky to do so. I’ll be real surly when he finds a new muse. You hear me, Derek? That’s right, I’m talking to you and I’m rapidly getting more and more surly just thinking about it. [x]