Ryan Gosling Talks about Malick, Directing and That Oscar Flub

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 26, 2017 | Go to article overview

Ryan Gosling Talks about Malick, Directing and That Oscar Flub


Byline: Jake Coyle Associated Press

Even amid the chaotic melee on the Dolby Theatre stage during the infamous best-picture Oscar flub, Ryan Gosling was typically unflappable. While most reacted with shock and confusion, there was the "La La Land" star -- cool and bemused -- chuckling on the side of the stage.

"What can you say?" Gosling said in a phone interview. "I was very happy for 'Moonlight' at the same time. It's such a wonderful film."

It takes a lot to rattle Gosling. But making Terrence Malick's largely improvised "Song to Song," the 36-year-old actor grants, was like working "without a net." Gosling stars in the film alongside Michael Fassbender and Rooney Mara. It's broadly speaking a love triangle set against the music scene of Austin, Texas, but plot describes only so much in a Malick movie.

Gosling is currently readying for another film with "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle, in which he'll play astronaut Neil Armstrong. And he stars in this fall's sci-fi sequel "Blade Runner 2049." But his experience on "Song to Song," shot all the way back in 2012, is still powerful for him.

Q. How did Malick approach you?

A. It was just: Would you be interested in working without a script? I said sure. A little more than a year later, he asked me to come out to Austin. They were doing some kind of preliminary shooting at one of the music fests out there. The idea was that he wanted to try to cause what he called "collisions" between a narrative film and this music scene in Austin, to take these scenes into real environments that you couldn't control and see what happened.

Q. What was the atmosphere like while shooting in Austin during a festival?

A. My job was to try to encourage passers-by on the street -- nonactors, musicians, people in the crowd -- to come into the world of the movie and take the scene where they wanted to take it and to try to keep in the world in the movie. …

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