Fate, sin, consequences, redemption... are a few of the words that have been used in the run-up to "The Place Beyond The Pines" to capture the thematic undercurrents of the generation spanning saga. These are touchstones in the film and Ryan Gosling sets it all in motion. He co-stars alongside the excellent ensemble Derek Cianfrance has pulled together -- Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Ben Mendelsohn and Ray Liotta -- in the film that follows two men and their sons, and how they collide and come together across decades.
It seems like you're developing that kind of trust and relationship with a few other filmmakers as well.
I love… history is important to me, I've been with my agent since I was sixteen and my manager since I was fourteen. I kind of thrive on it. I'm excited to be at a point in my career where I've developed that with filmmakers. I'm certainly not anxious to let that go I feel like I thrive on it and it makes me better in a lot of ways.
...you spend most of a film tiptoeing around people's process and being polite and trying not to be misunderstood. You just waste a lot of time trying to be polite and it's nice going to in to make the picture and have that trust and also as an actor not feel like you have to throw everything in the kitchen sink into the performance because you don't know what’s going to make the edit. With someone that you trust, you're trusting that they'll tell the story and you don't have to. You can be a part of the scene and not feel like the focus of it.
Do you think you're going to work with Derek again?
I dunno, we'll see if he has me back. Of course. I hope that we make many films together.
I think at one point he said he wanted to do a musical with you when you had your band.
I don't know what he's got up his sleeve, we'll see.
Speaking of sleeves. Working with Derek, Terry and Nicolas, was it helpful to see how other people work to see how you could do it?
You know, I've been to the best film school you can go to. Between Derek, Nicolas and Terry Malick it's been a great education.
If you had to describe those three an their differences, how would you describe these three?
Well they're all very different, they couldn't be more different but they are all the same in the sense that they are fans of film but they don't try and emulate other filmmakers, they fiercely their own people, they don't know how to be anyone else. And I think that's why they make such distinct films and so the thing to be learned from that is there's nowhere to hide as a director. You are completely exposed when you write and direct a film. It directly reflects you and you have to be willing to accept what that is when it's finished.
Which Malick one are you in? I know he's doing two at the same time.
He's doing more than two. He's cutting like five movies right now, one of which is about the creation of the universe that he's been working on for the last fifteen years but I'm not in that one I don't think.
You’re in the rock n’ roll one.
I'm in the music one. [Michael] Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Val Kilmer, Patty Smith, Robert Plant, Johnny Rotten, the Black Lips
... every day was unlike anything.
[I ask Gosling about the screenplay and he says there is none] Really? But he usually writes one regardless.
Yeah, I think he used to have to write them and now I think they're onto the fact that he doesn't use them anyway so they're not requiring them.
What can we expect from your directorial debut?
You know, I guess if I've learned anything from these guys I've worked with it's that you are always making the film, it's always evolving and it's not finished until it's, until you lock picture, so I'm not sure what it will be.
What's the basic idea?
I feel like it's probably better we talk about it when it's done because I don't want to lie to you and tell you it's going to be something that it's not because it could change and I think I hope that you still want to talk when it's over and I'd want to talk to you about it.
People are very excited for your next Nicolas Winding Refn collaboration, “Only God Forgives.”
It's very extreme.
How does it compare to “Drive”?
It's part of the same dream, but it's probably more of a nightmare than a dream. But it's more extreme and we shot it in Thailand and no one was watching so that's what happens when you let Nic loose in Thailand there's no one around to put the reins on and he's completely unleashed.
“The Place Beyond The Pines” is in limited release now and it opens wide on April 12th.