It seems somewhat unnecessary to provide an introduction for Ryan Gosling. America’s Canadian Sweetheart has cultivated a resume over the years that makes him nearly impossible to avoid. In 2010 and 2011 alone he’s had leading turns in the independent drama “Blue Valentine,” the summer comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” this fall’s neo-noir/fairy tale, “Drive,” and premiering soon at TIFF, political drama “The Ides of March.” But during press rounds for “Drive,” the actor, whose slate of upcoming projects appears to grow on a daily basis, revealed that there is in fact a method to his madness, “There’s a lot of filmmakers that I want to work with before I make my own films,” he said, “and I’m getting a chance to work with them.”
Gosling -- who almost signed on to direct and star in a remake of an obscure 1980 Taylor Hackford film “The Idolmaker”earlier this year -- is clearly looking to step behind the camera and the actor isn’t shy about his intentions, admitting that in choosing roles, he's also assembling a sort of Fantasy Director League from whom to learn the ropes. Well, fantasy for the rest of us, as the sought after thesp undoubtedly has his pick of projects. “I wanted to work with George Clooney [on 'Ides'] because he’s an actor turned director and I wanted to see that in action, and I’m learning a lot from Nicholas [Winding Refn] and Derek [Cianfrance] ...I’m just basically trying to treat it as a film school for myself right now before I start making my own films -- not to undervalue the movies themselves, I want to see those movies so I’m making them -- but I’m also trying to get as much out of them as I can before I kind of transition out of this and into that.”
And if this is film school, it's possible he'll be attending Terrence Malick 101. Gosling's "Drive" director, Nicholas Winding Refn sparked rumors recently that the actor might be making an appearance in an upcoming project for the always-reclusive Malick. Possibly the untitled drama already set to star Christian Bale and Haley Bennett? We asked Gosling about it, but were met with a downcast glance and a smile. “Uh, I caaaaan’t... comment,” he said -- about as much as we were expecting; the mysterious filmmaker's work is always kept tight under wraps until its debut. “A chatty cathy that one,” joked Gosling in regards to Malick, but while he remained tight-lipped regarding the project, his response was not a flat "no"...
For certain though is that he will be continuing to collaborate with one of the most interesting directors working right now, Winding Refn, a man with a truly lustful approach to filmmaking, “I just feel like his films are so personal, and I know that for a fact because he only shoots what’s interesting to him," explained Gosling, "he fetish-izes his films, they literally turn him on and if they don’t, he’s not interested in it. He’s making these movies only for himself and so they feel personable. We share the same fantasy so we can take a film like “Drive” and it can be personal to both of us and have a very clear identity."
The two worked closely, along with screenwriter Hossein Amini, to develop their adaptation of the James Sallis novel, and it sounds as though they'll be taking a similar approach -- of infusing a distinct identity into the film -- to their up-coming "Logan’s Run" remake. “I don’t care about [remakes], but Nicholas does. And I came to him with [“Drive”] and I said 'I want to make this film' and he came to me with "Logan’s Run" and said 'now I want you to make this.'” And while Gosling has yet to see the 1976 version starring Michael York, he’s not sure how much this new take will be pulling from the original, “Sure, I’ll watch it ["Logan's Run"], I hear it’s great,” he laughed, “But it’s so different from our idea, we want to go back more to the book and also we have other ideas... that film was shot in a mall in the seventies, I can’t see how it will influence [ours]. I’ve been really enjoying the process of developing it, and we’re just focusing on that and making a movie that we want to see, like we did with “Drive.” So we’ll see how it turns out.”
And while it sounds like Gosling's directorial debut is quite a ways off, it will be interesting to see how his storytelling presence on screen translates to working behind the camera. With the list of who he’s taking notes from, however, we have little reason to doubt it will be worth checking out.