Winner of Seven Bests! LA LA LAND Ryan Gosling Interview

Posted on January 09 2017 by Editor

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Winner of Seven Bests! LA LA LAND Ryan Gosling Interview

Last night’s Golden Globe Awards presented seven of it’s trophies to Lionsgate’s modern day musical “La La Land” staring Ryan Gosling, who won the Golden Globe for “Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy” and Emma Stone who won the award for “Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy” had previously worked together on three other films before this one.

“La La Land” also won Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Director, Best Screen Play – Motion Picture, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song.

La La Land movie poster Golden Globes won

Ryan Gosling plays “Sebastian”, a Los Angeles jazz piano player in “La La Land”. The movie itself is a nice homage to great musicals from the ’50s and ’60s with a nostalgic feel. The opening musical and dance sequence is set in the modern-day Urban city of Los Angeles, but could have very well been straight out of a 1952 musical film.

La La Land Ryan Gosling Golden Globe

Pictured: Ryan Gosling wins Golden Globe for “La La Land”.

Staying true to old-time tradition, “La La Land” was shot on film in CinemaScope, Technicolor by cinematographer Linus Sandgren (“American Hustle”). And it shows! Nailing the true colors and look of traditional musicals could only be achieved by using film. Some of the benefits include such vivid scenes reminiscing the likes of “West Side Story” when Mia (Emma Stone) is contemplating on going out on the town with her roommates. Another scene which served the old-time dance musicals well was when Sebastian walks Mia to her car after a party. They sing and dance in the street lights and moon light upon a bluff over-looking the city lights of Los Angeles

La La Land, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, bluffs

Ryan Gosling discussed this particular scene and more after a recent screening in Los Angeles of “La La Land.” He also answered audience questions about the film.

Gosling, who with co-star Emma Stone, contributed a lot to the making of the film stated that they wanted to maintain the innocence of the early films. The scene on the bluff was inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They found a way to put their own spin on it. The scene was shot over the course of two nights. With seven takes per night. But, only five of those had the light the director, Damien Chazelle, was looking for.

Ryan Gosling got his acting start on “The Mickey Mouse Club” with other current stars Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera. “Disney instilled a good work ethic so to speak” said Gosling. Some audience laughter followed. He continued by saying the actors matched with the work ethic and he’s surprised that not more cast-mates from the Mickey Mouse Club didn’t become famous.

At the time he was approached for the role of Sebastian for “La La Land” by Chazelle, Gosling had been doing research on Busby Berkeley, a Hollywood movie director and musical choreographer from the 1930’s. Consequently, Gosling was watching a lot of old musicals when Chazelle asked to meet with him regarding “La La Land”. Chazelle asked Gosling if he still dances. Six months later, Gosling said he got an email from Chazelle offering him the role.

Gosling said his first impression was that he knew “La La Land” was something he’d be lucky to be part of.

On the scale and tone of the film, Gosling stated that he didn’t worry about the scale of the film being bigger than what Chazelle had tackled previously because Chazelle had “La La Land” already shot in his head.

Gosling revealed that in keeping with the tone of the film, he and Emma Stone kept a rhythm in their scenes. Even though the music died down, there’s still a rhythm in the dialogue, and there was improvisation.

La La Land, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Golden Globes

Pictured: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone both won Golden Globes for “La La Land”.

They rehearsed for three months. Chazelle calls his stars co-writers since they wrote some of it. During the interview, Gosling quoted actor Warren Beatty who said “casting is re-writing.” Gosling explained that the characters that Chazelle had written were much younger. Ryan’s character was younger, more optimistic having just moved to L.A. The script was changed to where Sebastian only yearns to own a jazz club. Gosling feels that meeting Mia and falling in love with her saved Sebastian from becoming a bad version of himself.

Some of Gosling’s own audition stories were used in the movie for Mia who’s an aspiring actress. He said he really experienced a casting director taking a lunch order over the phone while he was auditioning doing a crying scene.

For his role as Sebastian, Gosling had to learn how to play the piano since he had not played before. “I always wanted to play piano. I never sat down and applied myself. This was the opportunity to do that.” He took advantage of taking three months to learn piano for “La La Land.” There was a hand double on standby just in case, but he was never used. Because the scenes required such long unedited takes, there weren’t many opportunities to use a hand-double.

This movie marked the acting debut of famous artist John Legend who played Gosling’s old time musician friend whom Sebastian later joins his band. Was Gosling nervous about playing in front of John Legend (who is a talented piano player)? Gosling answered that Chazelle gave Legend a guitar to play. Legend doesn’t know guitar. Gosling notes, the motivational speech that Legend’s character gives Sebastian in the film was mostly improv.

Gosling remembers the most unexpected moment on the movie set happened during the last day of filming at Angel’s Flight in downtown Los Angeles were production encountered a nude flash mob. However, the one thing he was most surprised by while making “La La Land”, Gosling said was how a musical “galvanized everyone in every department” of the movie. “It unified everyone in a way I’ve never experienced.” Gosling complimented Chazelle in that he created a film that brings people together. The two will be working again together on an upcoming project.

Gosling will be portraying famous astronaut Neil Armstrong who was one of the first men to walk on the moon. Gosling is currently doing research on Neil Armstrong. It won’t be his first portrayal of a real person. Gosling also portrayed accused murderer Robert Durst in “All Good Things.”

Gosling stated that Chazelle doesn’t make films for himself. He’s still very close to what made him fall in love with films, and makes things that other people want to see. It’s a great balance of the conscious of the audience and making something very personal.

Update: “La La Land” is nominated for 14 Academy Awards this year.


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