Unfortunately the interview was changed to a phoner a few days before, however as I was only just recovering from the usual Christmas illness I got over my disappointment quite quickly and begun practicing how to say ‘Hi Ryan’ in my sexiest voice.
I did manage to keep my questions professional and related to Blue Valentine so keep reading to find out what Ryan Gosling first thought of the film script, playing house with Michelle Williams, the American rating system, and the undeniable talents of his on-screen daughter.
HeyUGuys: When did you first read the script, and what was your initial reaction to it?
Ryan Gosling: I was very impressed by it. I actually read it the day after I finished Half Nelson, the producer gave me the script, and so that was a good day. It wasn’t pretending to know anything, wasn’t pretending to know all the answers, it was asking questions and having been a product of divorce it really resonated with me. And also it also felt like a ‘who-dunnit’; you meet this beautiful couple at the beginning of the film and then you see that their love gets shot down in cold blood, and you spend the rest of the film retracing their footsteps finding out who the killer is. It was asking questions and not pretending to know the answers so that was exciting.
HeyUGuys: I heard that you tried not to rehearse much, and got to almost live in the house. Did you bicker about who bought the groceries and argue about paint samples for decorating and or was it all fun family time?
RG: Yes, all that. There were good days and bad days. The director had us living in the house during the day for a month getting into character, and we just functioned as a couple.
HeyUGuys: Faith, who plays your daughter Frankie, is absolutely wonderful. Did you and Michelle get any input into who was cast as your daughter? And did a bond develop very quickly between you all?
Derek asked us, yes. When he found Faith he was very excited and he sent us over her audition tape which consisted of making her two pigtails swing in opposite directions at the same time, and I don’t even think she said a word of dialogue. But we knew from her amazing ability to make her hair swinging in opposite directions at the same time she was very good!
HeyUGuys: One of the best scenes in the film is about hidden talents. Apart from goofy singing, do you have any?
No, I’m hiding them, I can’t tell you. I’m saving them for movies!
HeyUGuys: A focus point of the film is how young love can fade or disappear, if you could give any love advice to your younger self what would that be?
I would tell my younger self not to give or take any advice!
HeyUGuys: There are quite a lot of racy scenes in the film, how did you feel when the film was initially given its NC-17 rating?
Well I was excited about it initially because I thought it meant we’d made something effective. But then I realised what it meant to get an NC-17 rating and I was really discouraged. It means your film can’t play in major theatres and you can’t advertise it in newspapers or on television. If the MPAA gives your film an NC-17 rating their not making it so kids can’t see it, they’re making it so no one can see it. When it was reclassified as an R rating is was a huge relief for our film, but the problem still remains with the rating system.
HeyUGuys: You’ve worked on a mixture of independent and bigger budget films, what are the pro’s and con’s of each for you?
I think time is the major difference. When you work on a bigger film you have a lot more time which is always nice, but you always have more responsibility for the film to make back whatever it cost so that’s the downside. When you work on an independent film it doesn’t cost much money to make so you’re not as concerned about it financially, but you’re always in a rush. Blue Valentine took 12 years to get make but we shot it in a few months.
Thanks to Ryan for his time and the interview. Blue Valentine is released in the UK next Friday, 14th January and keep your eyes peeled for my review which will go live next week.