As movieheads know, Ryan Gosling was initially set to star as the father in Peter Jackson‘s “The Lovely Bones.” However, when the actor showed up 60 pounds overweight and not quite looking like his normally hunky self, he and the director butted heads leading to the actor’s very public removal from the project with everyone citing “creative differences” as the problem. Both Gosling and Jackson have more or less skirted the incident in subsequent interviews….until now.
Speaking with THR, Gosling revealed quite simply that the differences were, well, creative. “We had a different idea of how the character should look,” Gosling said. “I really believed he should be 210 pounds.”
Gosling gained the weight thanks to a diet of drinking melted Häagen-Dazs, and the situation only compounded itself as Jackson was apparently unavailable to meet with the actors one-on-one. “We didn’t talk very much during the preproduction process, which was the problem,” Gosling said. “It was a huge movie, and there’s so many things to deal with, and he couldn’t deal with the actors individually. I just showed up on set, and I had gotten it wrong.”
Mark Wahlberg eventually came aboard to replace Gosling and as the actor succinctly notes, “Then I was fat and unemployed.”
Of course, whether it was Gosling or Wahlberg (who were both a wrong fit for the part, frankly), that was the least of the film’s many problems; “The Lovely Bones” turned out to be a complete misfire from top to bottom.
Anyway, that’s Gosling’s version of events but producer Fran Walsh‘s memory is a bit more forgiving. “Ryan came to us two or three times and said, ‘I’m not the right person for this role. I’m too young,”‘ she recalled. “And we said, ‘No, no, no. We can age you up. We can thin your hair.’ We were very keen.”
“It wasn’t until we were in preproduction and we had the cast there that it became increasingly clear: He was so uncomfortable moving forward, and we began to feel he was not right. It was our blindness, the desire to make it work no matter what,” Walsh said.
Well everyone has since moved onward and upward, and it will be an anecdote in the lore of the film. But if anything, the image of an ice cream-stained, chubby, Gosling waiting for his phone to ring makes us giggle.