These days, Ryan Gosling is coming to define “Indiewood”. His brand of subtle gestures and billboard bankability is rapidly making him an icon of the not-quite-mainstream (we’ll let his Mouseketeer days slide), while the indie-convert Bradley Cooper is similarly redefining himself in the wake of “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Together, they have headlined the major indie project, “The Place Beyond the Pines,” which premiered last year in Toronto to wide admiration. Gosling is back in “Drive” mode as a stunt motorcyclist-turned-bank robber, who must provide for the obligatory love-interest-with-dependent-child (Eva Mendes), while dodging the law (Cooper). With release set for March 29th, its grungy promo materials are filtering through in the form of new UK posters and some suitably brooding stills via MTV.
A Rolling Stone feature goes behind the scenes with director Derek Cianfrance, who earned his arthouse stripes with 2011’s thundering “Blue Valentine” – also a Gosling affair. In a candid on-set photoshoot, Cianfrance talks heroes, villains and filming in Schenectady, the natural home for a picture titled in reference to the city. On his protégé, Gosling, the director reveals a casual collaborative relationship: “Ryan called me a few months before we started shooting and said, ‘Hey D, how about the most tattoos in movie history?’ He was all about his tattoos and he was like, ‘Face tattoos are the coolest. I’m going to have a dagger and it’s going to be dripping blood.’”
“I write from a place of vulnerability and fear”, says Cianfrance, and given his track record with these themes in the past, he’s probably onto a winner.