So far, 2011 is turning out to be a big year for Ryan Gosling. He has already starred in one of the summer's big romantic comedies, Crazy, Stupid, Love; he made headlines for arbitrating during a Manhattan street fight, which was fortuitously captured on camera phone; he has the starring role in George Clooney's presidential thriller, The Ides of March, which opened the Toronto Film Festival; and now, Drive, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, is hitting theaters, accompanied by some stellar reviews of Gosling's understated performance. In an exclusive interview, Gosling described the film, about a Hollywood stunt driver who gets mixed up in criminal activity, as much less macho than you might think — which is precisely what Gosling's many, adoring female fans want to hear.

When asked about the dual nature of his character, known simply as "Driver," and how he can be both so restrained and so violent, Gosling revealed that the film was meant to marry a colorful, campy vibe with a dose of strong violence. "We were watching Pretty in Pink, and we agreed that if there was head-smashing in it, it would be the perfect film," he said. "Lack of violence was keeping 16 Candles from being a masterpiece."

Gosling went on to explain that macho action films, for him, have become a tired genre, but could be revamped with a supply of femininity. "I just think there’s enough of … this frat-guy mentality. Posturing and secret handshakes — it’s just been done," he said. "I thought it would be nice to make this movie with a bit of a femininity to it. Like for instance the female praying mantis eats the male praying mantis after they’re done mating. And she does it because the protein ensures the health of the newly fertilized eggs. So what’s more brutal than that?"

But those wishing Drive to provide action-packed car chases, who might be turned away by touchy-feely girl stuff, ought not to fret. The film is not all hair-braiding and toenail-painting; it's got some action that Gosling and the filmmakers worked hard to pull off. Gosling, still a tough guy, described the frustration of not getting to jump in and do the stunts without the correct timing and safety precautions. "I had actually learned how to do the stunts, so I just wanted to do them, but you have to set up rigs and lights," he said, before elaborating on the crash course he took to become Driver. "The process of learning how to drive was pretty exciting. Working with the stunt coordinator, Darrin Prescott, in this church parking lot, and there’d be a new Camaro or a new Mustang, and we would just do stunts until it started smoking or catch on fire. And then some tow-truck would take it away, and then we’d go home, and wait till they found us a new car."

Watch the trailer for Drive here:


  • antonioberryman
    antonioberryman on

    Hmm…more femininity in an action movie? That's an interesting concept.

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