I've got a fistful of "Gangster Squad" interviews to run in the next few days, and I thought we'd kick things off with Ryan Gosling. I know, I know… simmer down, ladies.
Gosling is at that strange place that actors find themselves sometimes where he's not really a box-office star by the standard definition. His presence in a film doesn't automatically open the film, but he's certainly as high profile as an actor can be. He's constantly photographed and magazines and tabloids spend a lot of column inches on him. He has a fairly dedicated fanbase that can be very vocal, and it certainly feels like he's one big hit away from fulfilling that full star potential.
I don't get the feeling any of that is terribly important to him, though.
When we sat down to talk on Saturday, he was my first interview of the day, and he always strikes me as a guy who knows how silly the press junket format can be, and he guards himself, using humor to make it an easy day and to also deflect anything too personal. He's good at making you feel at ease, and I would imagine that makes people feel like they can cross that line with him. It's an illusion, though, and I wanted to keep things light.
With a film like "Gangster Squad," half the fun comes from playing the period, dressing up in those clothes and mastering the slang and driving those cars. Gosling's a guy who seems to really revel in the preparation for the roles he plays, so that's where we started our conversation.
In addition, I wanted to talk to him about working with Emma Stone. This is his second film with her, and they have ridiculous chemistry together. He actually described it as a bit of a problem, though, and gave a great explanation of that thought.
Even if you don't end up digging "Gangster Squad," there's going to be a fair amount of Gosling to choose from in theaters this year. He's working with Derek Cianfrance again, director of one of his best films so far, "Blue Valentine," and I still regret missing their latest film, "A Place Beyond The Pines" at the Toronto Film Festival. He's also got a new film coming from his "Drive" director, Nicholas Winding Refn, called "Only God Forgives." Exciting projects that should make 2013 another exciting year for this talented actor.
"Gangster Squad" opens everywhere on Friday.