Ryan Gosling an ‘outsider’ no more, says ‘he’s weird-looking’
BY CINDY PEARLMAN October 2, 2011 5:24PM
Ryan Gosling (left) plays an aide to a presidential candidate (George Clooney, on poster) in “The Ides of March,” opening Friday.
Updated: May 9, 2012 9:51AM
He used to be a character actor. Now, he’s a Clooney.
Ryan Gosling is known as much as a heartthrob as is his co-star in the new film “The Ides of March.”
That’s news to Gosling, despite his lighter blonde hair and well-publicized six-pack.
“I’m not that good looking. I think I’m a pretty weird-looking guy,” he says. “Every role I got up until ‘The Notebook’ [in 2004] was the weirdo, freak, psychopath, nerd, outsider character guy.
“I think things have changed,” says the actor, who flashed abs this summer in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and controlled the wheel like Steve McQueen in the recent hit “Drive.”
The 30-year-old is even gossip column fodder and has been linked with Eva Mendes, from his upcoming film “The Gangster Squad.”
Ask Gosling about a soul mate, and all he’ll admit to is an 11-year relationship with his dog George.
In “The Ides of March,” he plays a conflicted communications director working for a presidential candidate (Clooney, who also directed the film).
“It’s a big dilemma for him to figure out what to do when he finds out some interesting facts about his candidate,” Gosling reveals. “I can’t really say more except it’s a morality tale.”
Clooney says that Gosling was his first choice for the role.
“The part requires intelligence in an actor, which Ryan brings to every role,” Clooney says. “I found working with Ryan was a delight. He just gives a tremendous performance.”
“I think he knocks it out of the park. He’s at the center of a hurricane in this film, and he carries everyone and every point of view on his shoulders.”
The famous director worked hard to get the film he wanted.
“He would talk you through the scenes and even hum what he thought the music would be like in the final cut,” Gosling says. “It was like talking through the movie in real time.
“Then when the cameras rolled, he would give you this incredible direction. He would walk away from you when you were ready to do the scene.”
Clooney did provide some of his trademark pranks.
“When George would walk away, you’d realize he sprayed an Evian bottle on your crotch,” says Gosling. “He would expect you to do the scene with wet pants.”
In “Drive,” Gosling steps on the gas as a loner named Driver who does film stunts as well as small heists for petty criminals. He falls hard for his married neighbor (Carey Mulligan) whose ex-con husband is suddenly sprung and lures Driver into a mission that goes awry.
“I wanted you to see what motivates this guy to make what are some really bad choices,” he says. “I also wanted the film to be dreamlike, but with a dream that turns into a nightmare.”
Gosling isn’t exactly a gearhead. “Cars weren’t something I knew much about in real life,” he admits. “But it was fun. I was given the choice of any car I wanted for the film, so I picked an old 1973 Chevy Malibu. They rebuilt it for speed.”
Gosling is taking this surge of fame with a grain of salt.
“It’s great that people are liking what I’m doing,” he says. “There is the praise, which is wonderful. But I think it’s risky to believe what other people are saying about you.
“What I believe in is the people who had a belief in me when I was starting out. I’ve never changed, and neither have they. And I’ll never forget who believed in me when nobody else did.”
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