Ryan Gosling will make his directorial debut next year with the fantasy “How to Catch a Monster” (which he also wrote), but in the meantime, he’s re-teaming with “Drive” auteur Nicolas Winding Refn for the crime thriller “Only God Forgives.”
Set in Bangkok, the film centers around drug smuggler Julian (played by Gosling), who is convinced by his mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) to avenge the death of his brother. It’s a dark, blood-tinged drama, to be sure, and much like Gosling and Refn’s previous collaboration, it finds the actor relying more upon his body language and facial expressions to convey emotion rather than lengthy lines of dialogue.
As Gosling explained to MTV News, this largely silent, stoic approach called to mind a certain video game.
“I feel like it reminded me of a video game, you know?” Gosling mused. “Like, you know, in a game like ’Grand Theft Auto.’ Like, if you don’t play the game, you can still, you can cause an accident. The extras in the game are still walking around in their little computer lives, and you can just follow them around.”
And much like, “Drive,” “Only God Forgives” will likely be a divisive film — you’ll either love it…or not. Regardless, Gosling said he was impressed that, with all of his options, Refn chose a follow-up project a bit more intimate than a summer blockbuster.
“You know, we’re pretty good friends,” Gosling said of Refn. “I know he had a lot of options after ’Drive,’ and there’s a lot of, you know, big names and budgets being thrown around, and he still sort of opted to go and make this, which was pretty small in comparison, very personal.”
As for his own directorial debut, which Gosling called “too fun” to make, don’t expect the 32-year-old to make any cameos. Or at least he doesn’t think he has any cameos. “I might have wandered into a shot somehow,” Gosling joked.
“Only God Forgives” opens July 19.