When Ryan Gosling revealed last week that he’s taking a break from acting, he explained that part of the reason is the danger of having too much freedom. “You fight for freedom and then you get it, and then you have enough rope to hang yourself,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s like trying to exercise some restraint because I do have so much freedom.” While promoting The Place Beyond the Pines, Gosling had an opportunity to reflect on the form this freedom took in the making of two upcoming films—and it sounds like the results will be unlike anything the actor has done before.
First up is Only God Forgives, the story of a gangster who travels to Thailand in order to avenge the murder of his brother. Director Nicolas Winding Refn and Gosling had a surprise success two years ago with Drive, which earned them the opportunity to make this relatively low budget crime film on their own terms. According to Gosling, this lack of supervision gave them a chance to push things further than they normally would. “It’s part of the same dream as Drive, but it’s more of a nightmare than a dream,” he told The Playlist. “We shot it in Thailand and no one was watching. So that’s what happens when you let Nicolas loose in Thailand. There’s no one around to put the reins on and he’s completely unleashed.”
Gosling also found himself in a position of unusual freedom while working with Terrence Malick on an untitled new film about the Austin music scene. According to Gosling, Malick has grown tired of writing detailed scripts—which he usually abandoned during production—so he now works without a script. While Gosling ultimately found this freedom somewhat unsettling, he claims that Malick is thriving in this context. “He’s cutting like five movies right now, one of which is about the creation of the universe that he’s been working on for the last fifteen years—but I’m not in that one I don’t think.”