Ryan Gosling talks about creating his own superhero in Drive

Exclusive: “All the good ones are taken anyway, so I had to create my own”

Total Film recently had a chat with Ryan Gosling, and we naturally took advantage of the opportunity to grill him about his new movie Drive.

The film, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, revved Cannes audiences into a frenzy when it was shown there this summer.

Gosling’s taciturn character, ‘Driver’, is a feat of underplaying. So how did he go about figuring him out?

“It was all about stripping it down. I’d just come from Blue Valentine, which I loved making, but there was so much dialogue and improvisation, and then we promoted it so heavily…

“I was tired of talking by that point, so on Drive we cut out all my dialogue. Also, it just didn’t feel right when Driver spoke. It just didn’t feel right.”

When we asked Gosling if he was as inspired by ‘80s cinema as Nicolas was, he told us:

“Both Nicolas and I felt that if Pretty In Pink had a head-smashing scene, it would be a masterpiece. The only thing missing from John Hughes’ movies was violence.

“I also thought a lot about Prince in Purple Rain, and Alain Delon in Le Samourai. In some way the character was an amalgamation of the all the heroes in all the movies that Nicolas had seen.

“He was kind of creating his own superhero, and that was what I was doing.  Because I’ve read so many superhero scripts and all the good ones are taken anyway, so I had to create my own.”

On the film’s stylised tone, Gosling told us: “We felt that if we made it like a fairytale it would feel more real. We thought of Driver as the knight, Carey [Mulligan] as the princess, Albert Brooks as the evil wizard, Ron Perlman as a dragon and LA as a fantasy land.

“We talked about how Driver’s life is his movies, his work is movies – he’s seen too many action films and become the star of his own movie.”

Drive opens on 23 September 2011 in the UK.

For more from Ryan Gosling, get the new issue of Total Film Magazine, out now.

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