Exclusive 1:1 interviews with Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn from Only God Forgives
Ryan Gosling has returned to the crazy world of Nicolas Winding Refn with ONLY GOD FORGIVES, a hallucinatory film that takes the more offbeat elements of their first collaboration together, DRIVE, and just about triples them. Not unlike that first team-up, ONLY GOD FORGIVES sees Gosling playing a protagonist whose actions are dictated by the people and events around him. His character in this film, a drug dealer who works for his tyrannical mother (Kristin Scott Thomas), is a brooding anti-hero facing judgment at the hands of a detective of an almost equal amount of stillness. The film itself possesses a kind of unnerving quiet that is the stuff of nightmares.
Gosling himself is a very quiet man, with a natural, laid-back charisma that translates perfectly to the screen for these characters who seem too unnaturally controlled given the severe circumstances they find themselves in. In the video below, we talk about the relationship he has with Refn, the technique of inhabiting an almost robot-like character, and the challenge of interpreting just what the hell ONLY GOD FORGIVES is all about.
Nicolas Winding Refn is quite an interesting fellow. Calm, deliberate and laconic, he doesn’t necessarily strike you as the sort of fellow who would take fetishistic delight in bloody beatings and incestuous fairytales, but speak to him for a few minutes and you’ll discover that oh yes indeed this man revels in tales of violence, perversion, and horror.
Which is, of course, why it’s so much fun to talk to him. This is my second time interviewing the director - the first was for DRIVE - and here he’s just as fascinating as ever. His new film, ONLY GOD FORGIVES, is a bizarre, almost David Lynchian excursion into the nightmarish criminal underworld of Thailand, where a lonely drug pusher (Ryan Gosling) must face his reckoning in the form of a cop who dishes out punishment with a very sharp sword. It’s maybe the most “Refn” movie Mr. Refn has made yet, but the director can only be who he is, as you’ll see in the video below. PS: He may or may not name PRETTY WOMAN as one of his favorite films to watch in our interview.