I hadn't noticed when he entered. How is that possible, you ask? Well, sometimes you're waiting 10 minutes, 30 or even several hours, before the actors show up.
So, about this time, the other journalists were buzzing about the movie while I was doodling on my junket notes. That's a packet of information-- cast bios, production notes, film history – the studio publicists spend hours compiling into a 40-plus page handbook, of which I was too nervous to read. (Sorry, guy or gal who compiled the junket notes!)
Instead, I was drawing on the cover page like a high school freshman waiting for the hottest guy in school to talk to me. It never ends, ladies, not even when you're old and you pretend you don't care if anyone talks to you anymore.
I was tracing the letters D-R-I-V-E over the logo on my junket packet when someone said, "I like your addition to the Drive font." I looked up. It was him. Ryan Gosling. He had entered the 1:25 p.m. roundtable session at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, where I sat with five other journalists around a table waiting for him to arrive. It was almost 2:30. He was less than one hour late. Impressive. And, it was most likely because he's a nice guy.
So, why so nervous? I interviewed celebrities before, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Sandra Bullock, to name a few. Usually, celebrities are easy to talk to, and there's no awkwardness. So why was speaking to Ryan Gosling making me sweat like I'd just run a marathon? His bad-boy image, perhaps? He's known for his controversial roles.
A drug-addicted inner city teacher in Half Nelson (2006), a neo-Nazi in The Believer (2001), and now Drive, the story of a mysterious stunt driver who runs a getaway car service at night. Those were kind of edgy roles, and then, he is in The Notebook, the 2004 romantically sweeping love story starring Rachel McAdams. Maybe that was what was making me so nervous.
I have always wanted to see a violent John Hughes movie."
"How much of your own stunt driving do you do in the movie?" one reporter asked. Clearly, I was in no state to ask the first question. Gosling answered modestly. "The really cool stuff I didn't do. The really cool stuff is J. Fry." He wasn't afraid to give credit where it was due. "He's about as good as it gets," he said of the stunt driver. Was that it, though? Driving fast. That's what attracted him to the film and every woman in America to him?
The validity of his bad-boy status was clearly a question that was not only mine. "Is driving fast what attracted you to this film?" another reporter asked. Thank God she got the question out. "I have always wanted to see a violent John Hughes movie," he said. "I always thought… if Pretty in Pink had a head smashing in it, it would be perfect."
OK, that's a tough pill to swallow. Whose head would be smashed? Not Blane's, I hope. Maybe Steff. OK, I can see that. I guess Gosling was mixing genres, and that's just part of his genius. Head smashing and all. But isn't that what an artist does -- shock people? Am I making excuses for him, or is he actually thoughtful, bold and beautiful? Looking across the table, I still hadn't gotten the answer to my question: What is it about Ryan Gosling that makes him so attractive?
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