Ryan Gosling on Fame and Fighting Gangsters

By ABC News

Jan 11, 2013 8:30am

ABC News’ Jen Pereira:

While Ryan Gosling has gone on to critical acclaim and blockbuster movie roles since his days starring alongside Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera in Disney’s ’90s hit “The Mickey Mouse Club,” those days were like living a dream too.

“When I was 12, working at Disneyland was the greatest job you could have,” Gosling told “Good Morning America” special correspondent Cameron Mathison.

Now, at age 32, and as he prepares for the release of his newest movie, “Gangster Squad,” out this Friday, Gosling must face the real world of fame, including an intense interest in his personal life and rumored love, actress Eva Mendes.

“You just have to get used to guys hiding in the bushes,” he told Mathison.  “That’s the adjustment of being followed and all that stuff.  They just kind of keep on keeping on.”

“I kind of did it to myself to a certain degree,” Gosling said of the fame that has grown with each of his movies.  “It’s  like my friend’s grandmother, when she cooks a lobster she soaks it in vodka first, gets it a little drunk and then she puts in the water and she slowly turns up the heat so we never kind of knew what was coming.  I think in that analogy I’m both the lobster and the old lady.”

Gosling’s star is about to shine even brighter as he takes on one of his most intense roles to date, portraying Sgt. Jerry Wooters, a crusading Los Angeles cop trying to take down legendary gangster Mickey Cohen, portrayed in the film by Oscar-winner Sean Penn.  The film is based on the true story of how Wooters, along with Sgt. John O’Meara, played by Josh Brolin, finally ended Cohen’s reign after World War II.

Gosling met with Wooters’ family prior to filming to learn more about the real-life man, whom he says was actually different than the man he plays on the screen.

“The man that this character is based on was much braver and cooler than how I play him. He was a much braver, cooler man than me,” Gosling said.  “He was an incredible man and the story of these people, they were just so brave, it was such an interesting time and really I think a lot of the reason Los Angeles is the way it is today can be attributed to these guys.”

What drew Gosling to the role?  “Dick Tracy was one of my favorite movies and I collected all of the Burger King cups and I was kind of obsessed with it and that was my entrance into the gangster picture,” he said.

The film contains all of the rough-and-tumble, gun and fistfight scenes you would expect of a gangster period piece, so much so that the director, Ruben Fleischer, had to scale it back.  The movie was delayed from its original premiere date after the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting last July in which 12 people were killed.

Fleischer also cut an entire scene from the movie in the massacre’s wake, Gosling confirmed.

“There was a sequence in the film where, it was kind of like the climax of the movie,” he said.  “There was a big shootout at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and it’s during this John Wayne film, “Red River,” and it was cut out because of the Aurora events out of sensitivity.”

“I was really proud of him because it really was the best sequence it he movie and without question the day it happened he wouldn’t even dream of keeping it in,” Gosling said of his director.  “We went back and shot a scene that I think is great but there was something about that scene that was very sort of cinematic and I was really proud of him that he was so egoless in the process.”

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