Ryan Gosling has a very good way of distracting his mom when she’s watching one of his racy movies.
At Sunday’s Sundance premiere of “Blue Valentine,” in which Ryan gets frisky with Michelle Williams several times, Gosling brought his mom, Donna,’as his date. They sat together through the very heavy, beautifully wrought romantic drama about a couple’s courtship and dissolution. But what happened when the clothes came off on screen?
“I gave her an iPod to wear,” Ryan told me at the afterparty. “Every time there was something I thought she shouldn’t watch, I pressed play.” Mom laughed at the story. Ryan is a good kid. She didn’t want to see that stuff either.Still, she’s proud of him. Glowing. He’s already had an Oscar nomination and won an Indie Spirit Award, for “Half Nelson” and had lots of praise for his performance in ‘”Lars and the Real Girl.” He’s absolutely astounding in “Blue Valentine,” proving that he’s able to carry a major drama. He’s literally in every scene, in a movie that cuts back and forth in time.
Michelle Williams is also very good in “Blue Valentine,” matching Gosling scene for scene. It’s a tough movie. First director Derek Cianfrance filmed the couple from their courtship to wedding. Then they took three weeks off before filming their tense, slow break-up.
At one point, filming moved to New York’s Manhattan Bridge. Gosling and Williams were told to improvise a scene as the cameras rolled. “She had a secret, and David told me I had to get it out of her. I didn’t even know what it was. But we couldn’t leave the bridge until it came out,” Ryan told me.
Williams wouldn’t tell him. “We filmed for four hours,” she told me. To finally get it out of her, Gosling started climbing up the side over the top of the barrier. It’s real, there’s no stunt double. His mom turned a few colors as he told me this story last night. “Jamie Patricof, our producer, was like, ‘Oh my god,’” said Gosling. It was only when he had one leg over the side that Williams blurted out the secret.
“It was one take!” Gosling said.
Williams laughed. “I almost sent him over.”
Now distributors will have to decide if a heavy, real-life drama is right for them. One thing’s for certain, whichever company picks up “Blue Valentine,” it will get major awards attention next fall. It’s that good. (It’s also long, a Sundance tradition — hopefully Cianfrance will cut 10 minutes for the final print.)
And what was on the iPod? “Grizzly Bear,” Ryan said, the same Brooklyn indie rock group used for this movie’s soundtrack’and for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Jack’Goes Boating.”
“We thought’we’d’keep the same’vibe as the movie.”