Living It Up in La La Land
Words by Jan Janssen Interview and selected images courtesy of Viva Press
The actor taps into Hollywood’s musical roots to dance and sing his way through a romantic film that looks to be the top favourite in this year’s Oscar Awards. QH asks him about that experience, how it is to work with Emma Stone, and what it’s like to be a dad.
TORONTO – Ryan Gosling is probably less impressed with himself than any movie star in the business. In person, he is distinctly matter-of-fact when it comes to discussing his work and he greets you with a charming nonchalance and shy smile. Apart from the fact that he is ridiculously handsome, you might never guess that he is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.
Another giveaway might be the scores of screaming female fans who lined the red carpet at the premiere of his new movie and were blessed when the obliging and ever-affable Gosling spent a half-hour taking selfies with them.
The Canadian actor revisits his musical roots in La La Land, the sensational new musical directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) and co-starring Emma Stone. The film resurrects the magic of a long lost Hollywood genre and transforms Gosling and Stone into a post-modern Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.
As a 12-year-old, Gosling sang and danced alongside future musical superstars Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. But having later made his mark as an actor, he never imagined he would be asked to display his old soft shoe technique again, much less participate in oldstyle Hollywood musical numbers.
“I was pretty nervous about doing a musical because it’s been a long time since I did anything like that,” Gosling says. “As a kid, I used to sing ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ at weddings. When you’re eight years old, it was a huge deal to earn $20 doing that.
“Also, on The Mickey Mouse Club we were doing ‘90s hip hop numbers and that’s very different from the complicated tap (dance) routines and waltzes we do in La La Land. But fortunately I had very patient and very talented coaches who were very, very good and helped prepare me. It was also great to have Emma as a partner – she makes everything seem so effortless.”
Gosling plays Sebastian, a cynical jazz pianist on his way up in Hollywood who becomes romantically intertwined with Mia (Stone), an aspiring actress and barista who maintains an indomitable faith in herself despite repeated rejection.
Touted as a favourite to dominate the Oscars, La La Land has already earned multiple Golden Globe nominations including those for Best Picture (musical or comedy) as well as individual acting nominations for both Gosling and Stone, who first endeared themselves to audiences in Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011).
The 35-year-old Gosling lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend of the past three years, fellow actor Eva Mendes, 41, and their daughters, Esmeralda, 2, and toddler Amada, born April 29 last year.
He recently completed work on Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s original 1982 sci-fi cult classic, directed by Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario).
To know more RYAN QH MARCH 2017