Ryan Gosling turns tough guy for thriller "Drive"

Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:24pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ryan Gosling may be one of Hollywood's hottest leading men and a heartthrob at that, but he doesn't shy away from tough-guy violence. In fact, he finds it suits him sometimes as in his newest film, "Drive."

In the film that opens in theaters on Friday, Gosling plays a Hollywood stuntman who becomes embroiled in a heist gone wrong. The high-octane thriller also has a John Hughes-inspired, sentimental young romance between Gosling and his co-star, Carey Mulligan.

"I always wanted to make a violent John Hughes movie. I love John Hughes movies, I love "Pretty in Pink" but I always thought if there were head-smashing in it, it'd be the perfect movie," Gosling told Reuters.

The 30 year-old actor was nominated for an Oscar in 2007's "Half Nelson" playing a drug-addicted school teacher, and he has won over critics, fans and Hollywood players with performances in a wide range of independent film dramas such as "Blue Valentine" and "Lars and the Real Girl."

Yet, Gosling said it was hard finding a filmmaker with a shared vision for the romantic thriller "Drive," until he ran into Dutch director Nicolas Winding Refn whose credits include the "Pusher" crime dramas and "Bronson," about prisoner who assumes the personality of movie action hero Charles Bronson.

In "Drive," Refn avoids Hollywood glitz and portrays a dark side to the City of Angels in this thriller.

"I saw Nicholas' work and I knew that he would have the same sensibility," said Gosling.

DRIVEN TO LOVE   Continued...

<p>Actor Alexander Ryan Gosling arrives at outside the gala premier of the movie Drive at the Ryerson Theatre, at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto September 10, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill</p>