Please don't mention the S-word to Ryan Gosling.
But I do anyways.
What does the new sexiest actor alive think of the whole "soul mate" idea? Ryan, 30, just smiles and wants to talk about who shares his heart these days. "Yeah, it's a dog whose name is George. Eleven years," he says of his mutt.
"He looks like Jim Henson made him. It's the longest relationship I've ever had in my life," he muses.
Ah, to be young, hot and have no time for romance (though he's very hush-hush on the status of his relationship with Eva Mendes). Gosling's star is rising with hits like this summer's Crazy, Stupid, Love, and now, a hot political film directed by another hottie named George Clooney. He also plays a mystery man behind the wheel in the cool fall flick, Drive, in which he romances an engaged Carrey Mulligan.
We talked to Ryan recently about his new role and how his life has changed dramatically in the last year:
Is is true that you consider yourself quirky looking?
I'm not that good looking. I think I'm a pretty weird-looking guy. Every role I got up until The Notebook was the weirdo, freak, psychopath, nerd, outsider character guy. Maybe things have changed a little bit.
Tell us about your character in The Ides of March. You play a conflicted communications director working for a presidential candidate, played by George Clooney, who also directed the film.
I play someone who really wants to affect change in this country and in the world. He believes he can help. He ends up working for a candidate who can effect policy and change, but it's a big dilemma for him to figure out what to do when he finds out some interesting facts about his candidate. I can't really say more except it's a morality tale.
What was it like to work with Clooney?
Life altering. Working with him was like watching a unicorn being born every single day. It's actually rare to work with a director who is as clear as George Clooney and really knows what he wants. He knew this film inside and out. He would talk you through the scenes and even hum what he thought the music would be like in the final cut.
But didn't he pull a few good pranks on you?
When the cameras rolled, he would give you this incredible direction. He would walk away from you when you were ready to do the scene. When he walked away, you'd realize he sprayed an Evian bottle on your crotch. He would expect you to do the scene with wet pants.
Sounds like fun.
George is not just about making a good film. It's about having a great experience making it.
Are you excited that Drive is such a hit? And are you a car guy?
I loved that this had a strong character at the center and a strong love story as well. As for the driving, cars weren't something I knew much about in real life. But it was fun. I was given the choice of any car I wanted for the film, so I picked an old 1973 Chevy Malibu. They rebuilt it for speed.
They didn't give me the suits. I wanted those suits, too! Now, I bet they're in some clothing warehouse. Who does that serve? They fit me really good! Now that I'm an actor, I need suits to go to premieres and do press, plus I like wearing them.
Is it tough on your life to be this busy?
It's actually great. I feel like this is a very creative period. I want to play everything under the sun.
How did you deal with the early rejection?
When you're a young actor, most people tell you on a daily basis that it's not possible or you can't do it. You hear that it will never happen for you. Get a day job. Nobody believes in you, except for a few people. You tune the others out. You numb yourself, if you're smart.
That's good life advice for anyone.
It's really the same for everyone. If you listen to other people in life, you really wouldn't ever do anything. You'd be too afraid to try. I just believe in the people who had belief in me when I was starting out. I've never changed and neither have they.
Do you think Ryan Gosling is "weird-looking"?
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