Ryan Gosling on His Directorial Debut ‘Lost River’: It Is My Version of Dark ‘Goonies’

Ryan Gosling Lost River
Ben Shmikler/ABImages

“Hot Fuzz” director Edgar Wright interviewed Ryan Gosling following a Sunday afternoon screening of the Oscar-nominated actor’s directorial debut, “Lost River,” at the Sundance Sunset Cinema in West Hollywood.

The film — which stars Gosling’s “Drive” co-star Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), Iain De Caestecker (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Matt Smith (“Doctor Who”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”) and the first-time filmmaker’s partner Eva Mendes — received mostly negative reviews at its premiere at Cannes, including from Variety‘s Justin Chang, who called it a “risible slab of Detroit gothic.”

Gosling opened up about the process of making his first film, stating that his biggest surprise was the production timeline.

“I didn’t know it was going to take three years. You don’t know how to make a movie until you make one. As many as I’ve made as an actor, it doesn’t prepare you at all,” he admitted. “But that’s also the best part about it, the thing that I love the most. I got to spend this big chunk of time with this one thing. When you act, it’s amazing, but it’s a few months and that’s it. So the long game of it all was really a surprise to me, but in the end, it’s probably one of the best parts.”

The 34-year-old, who also wrote and produced the movie, said that when he first gave the script to the film’s composer, Johnny Jewel, he got a text back that read: “Dark ‘Goonies.’ Cool.” “And I didn’t realize it, but it’s true. It is my version of dark ‘Goonies,'” Gosling said.

Gosling also confided in “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn, telling him that he wasn’t sure if the $5 million he raised to make the film would be enough; “$5 million?” replied Refn. “You can make ‘Star Wars’ for $5 million!” Refn’s scolding gave Gosling the confidence to follow through with making the film. (“That’s bull sh–t by the way,” Wright jumped in at the Q&A, referring to Refn’s claim.)

Before he had even conceptualized a story, Gosling started gathering footage around Detroit. Later, he would write the script to accompany what inspiration he took from the Detroit landscape. Gosling said he then took the footage and the story idea to director Guillermo del Toro, who told him, “If you don’t direct it, I will.” Gosling said he “felt like the wizard had given me my sword and my shield and sent me off on my mission.”

“Lost River” is currently in limited release in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles.

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