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Ryan Gosling: Gorgeous, sweet... and a bit of a bad boy

Jenna Milly is a screenwriter. She co-created the TBS microseries "Gillian in Georgia." She earned her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLAs School of Theater, Film and Television. She...

Gosling "drives" us wild

In person, Ryan Gosling is every bit the sweet bad boy he plays on-screen. Here, our writer talks about her close encounter with the hunky Drive star and what it's like to breathe the same air as one of the hottest guys in Hollywood.

Violence is his thing

Gosling "drives" us wild

"I've always had a fantasy about robbing banks, but I'm scared of jail."

Someone asked him about his childhood. Good, maybe we'd find the answer, or at least get a sense of where he gets his sense of defiance.

"When I was a kid and I first saw First Blood," he said, "It put a spell on me, and I thought I was Rambo. I went to school the next day with my Fisher-Price Houdini Kit filled with steak knives and I threw it at all the kids at recess," he explained, not proud, but not ashamed either. "And I got suspended. As I should have been. I learned my lesson and I'm sorry." God, he's humble. Or just gorgeous. Couldn't decide, but loved that story. What was happening to me?

"My parents put a leash on me and said, 'This kid can't watch movies because… they put a spell on him.' So, I could only watch Bible movies and National Geographic movies, and Abbott and Costello movies. Meanwhile, all those movies are kind of violent, so it didn't really work, but I see what they were going for."

Was it me or was that the cutest thing you've ever heard? He threw knives on the playground. Wait, what am I saying? Maybe he just wanted to be a hero like Rambo and didn't know how to get the point across. He'd done quite a few heroic things in his adult life. He wasn't all bad-boy.

In August, a video of him breaking up a street fight in New York went viral and ladies swooned everywhere with thoughts of Gosling defending their honor. When asked if he thought of himself as a hero in relation to the fight, he said, "No, that was stupid."

The strong, silent type

So, he's a violent-thinking, physically non-violent guy who is modest and charming? Sounds perfect. Wonder what his co-star Carey Mulligan thought of all this. I finally had the nerve to ask him a question. What did he think about working with his sexy co-star on the set of Drive? "She was my partner in crime," he said. "She secretly didn't want to talk, either."

What he is referring to here is that the film is very sparse on dialogue, a classic Western style. How did Gosling work like that? He explained, "We would come to set in the morning and Nick [the director] would be like, 'What do you want to say?' and Carey would say, 'Well, I don't want to say this.' And I'd say, 'Well, I don't want to say that,' and she'd say, 'I don't want to say this,' and I'd say, 'I don't want to say that,' until we weren't saying anything. And Nick said, 'OK, great. Let's shoot it."

The strong silent type, too? Is he reading a book on qualities that turn women to jelly? Perhaps, or maybe the bad-boy persona is just a phase? When asked, Gosling didn't seem to think so.

He didn't even see the trend until one of the reporters pointed it out. Drive was just one of his recent forays into stunt movies. The Place Beyond the Pines, a film about a motorcycle stunt driver who becomes a thief, is Gosling's next film. So, when asked if there was a daredevil theme developing, he laughed. "Well, I guess I see what you mean," he said.

His fantasy = Robbing banks

"I've always had a fantasy about robbing banks, but I'm scared of jail," he continued. Everyone laughed. This was a joke, right? No, no joke. "I've had this fantasy that I would get on a motorcycle, and I would drive to the back of a U-Haul parked around the corner and they'd be looking for this guy on a motorcycle, not a guy in a U-Haul. And, I told this to the director, and he said, 'You've got to be kidding me. I just wrote a script about that.' So, I had to do that. Now there's a theme I guess, but I wasn't aware of it at the time," he said.

A hot guy robbing banks to pay for his kids? Yep, American women are pretty much going to love that, too.

By then, it was time for the interview to end. The studio rep stood up and said, "Thank you." But Gosling wanted to make sure we got all our questions answered.

Ryan gives us the middle finger... sort of

That's when one of the reporters asked him to sign a promotional "driver's glove" the studio had given us for the film. He said, "Yes," of course and took the time to wait for the nervous reporter to remove the packaging. Then, he put the glove – oh, to touch that glove! -- on his hand and signed his name, very thoughtfully, on the middle finger.

He laughed as if he never does anything ironic. Everyone else laughed nervously, too. But by then, I stopped trying to figure out what it was about Ryan Gosling that made everyone so nervous, men and women, alike. I accepted that he just has that affect on people. He's not snobby or preoccupied (I can't tell you how many A-list actors sit at press conferences on their Blackberries or iPhones, texting and not paying attention).

Ryan Gosling is an old-fashioned hero. He's an instigator. He's an intellectual. He's a lover, and he's an artist. He is responsible for his actions. He makes no excuses for himself. He breaks up a fight, but he apologizes for it. He throws knives at people at school, but he knows it's wrong.

Ryan Gosling isn't just an Adonis when it comes to his looks; he's surprisingly human. Maybe that makes him the perfect man? Good looking, mysterious, sexy and just plain nice. What do you think, ladies? Is it possible to roll everything into one 6'1" adorable hunk? In Ryan Gosling, I'm gonna guess it is.

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