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Ryan Gosling: The Nice Guys shows how to fail at fatherhood

Published 19/05/2016

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe attend The Nice Guys premiere
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe attend The Nice Guys premiere

Ryan Gosling has said his part in The Nice Guys as inept private detective Holland March is a "what not to do" guide to fatherhood.

The actor, whose second daughter with the actress Eva Mendes was born last month, is on-screen father to Holly March, played by Angourie Rice.

Speaking at the film's UK premiere, he said: "It's basically a what not to do guide. It basically became more of a mother-son relationship than it really was father-daughter."

Holly tries to keep her father on the straight and narrow and stop him making a fool of himself.

But Gosling's character ends up in above his head as he teams up with hard-edged enforcer Jackson Healy, played by Russell Crowe.

The thriller-comedy, set in Los Angeles in 1977, sees the unlikely duo team up to investigate the apparent suicide of a young porn star.

Gladiator star Crowe and The Notebook's Gosling are better known as "straight" actors, but The Nice Guys sees them show off their comic skills.

Gosling said: "I think they cast us not because we're funny, but because we're not funny, and that's funny.

"W e're in such ridiculous situations in this movie, and it's so much fun, it's so silly, that I knew it would work because I know that Russell, he doesn't really do anything that doesn't work."

On working with Crowe, Gosling joked: " Try not to look him in the eye because he takes it as a sign of aggression."

But he added: "No, we were having a great time, we were having a laugh."

The two first meet in the movie when Crowe's character breaks Gosling's character's arm.

Crowe said: " Did I enjoy the unabashed violence of the character? It's all for the gags, mate.

"There's a certain brutality that comes with shooting a movie like this, because all of the stunts are actually physically shot.

"People are getting used to that CGI where the stunts and the explosions and stuff are more than 50% cartoon. They're just drawn.

"When, in this movie, if a car goes through a house, that was a car, and until recently that was a house. And that's why it's hitting people so hard.

"So that brutality is by design."

Director and co-writer Shane Black said the film's stars give The Nice Guys its "slick, grounded feel".

The movie was actually over 13 years in the making, as Black first wrote the script in 2001 with Anthony Bagarozzi.

It was unsuccessfully pitched multiple times, but Black tried again in 2014 - and Gosling said he was keen.

The Iron Man 3 director said: " We tried various ways to get versions of this film made, whether for film or TV, and thank god that we were unsuccessful up until now, because we found these two absolutely perfect guys, sent straight from heaven. And they just kill it."

He added: " This isn't exactly a comedy, you know. It's a thriller, it's a mystery, and there's comedy in it.

"So we wanted people who could give you that cool, that slick, grounded feel that comes from having a real heartfelt and organic friendship in a movie that is also funny."

The movie also sees him team up for the first time in a decade with producer Joel Silver.

Their partnership goes back 30 years, starting from the first Lethal Weapon movie, but they last worked together on 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Silver said: " Shane's a great talent and I'm just so proud of everything. This is the best film we ever did, I really think so."

Australian actress Rice first got to know her on-screen father Gosling when he invited her to his house before Halloween to carve pumpkins together.

The teenager said: " He's just a lovely guy, so nice to hang out with.

"It was just fantastic, having that lunch with him, because he's such a great guy and so down-to-earth as well."

The film has a 15 certificate, with the British Board of Film Classification citing "strong violence, sex references, strong language".

Rice said: " Both Ryan and Russell are hilarious and they're always cracking jokes, so I would just start giggling.

"While I was on set it was all pretty PG-rated, so after I left, that's when they filmed all the adult scenes."

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