When I think of Ryan Gosling, my mind naturally darts to The Notebook - not because I have some sort of estrogen-wired theatrical hard-on for chick flicks (I don't), but because I met him on the set of that movie.
I answered an open call listed in the Charleston City Paper, and though I had to pass up the opportunity to be cast as Nurse due to a work conflict, I was later granted the meaty roles of Moviegoer, Soldier's Girlfriend, and my pièce de résistance, Swing Dancer.
Yes, Swing Dancer.
You had no idea that I could swing dance?
Oh...that's because I CAN'T.
I was on set one day, preparing to channel the inner-workings of Carnival Girl's soul, when the casting director started pointing at me, then walked over to me, followed by director Nick Cassavetes.
Casting Director: We like your look. Can you shag*?
Dumb Me: No.
Nick Cassavetes: Well, can you swing dance?
Quickly Wisened Up Me: YES!
* If you're not familiar, shag is a type of dance popular in the Carolinas (esp. mid-century), popularized by the most awesome Phoebe Cates vehicle of the same name
And so I found myself wearing half-size too small shoes from the 40's, working with an impatient choreographer who assumed I actually knew how to swing dance when I said "Yes" to Nick Cassavetes.
One day, we were rehearsing some very important background dancing for a carnival scene in which the Ryan Gosling character dangles off of a Ferris wheel, trying to get the Rachel McAdams character to take him up on his offer of a date. In between scenes, Ryan planted himself at the side of the stage and worked his way through a cup of ramen noodles.
Shy Stupid "Oh, wow, he's so cute" Me: Oh, ramen noodles! Yum!
Ryan Gosling: Yeah, they're pretty good.
SS"OWHSC"M: Man, I just LOOOOOVE ramen noodles!
RG: Right. It sounds like it. You can get some in the catering tent if you're hungry.
And then I walked away, mortified by the exchange that had just occurred.
I saw Ryan oot and aboot once at a photo show here in L.A., and my gut reaction was, "OH SHIT, that's the guy I orgasmed over ramen noodles to." Then I remembered that I was probably one iota of one speck of his memory, and I slunk away.
Long story short, I'm thinking about Ryan Gosling because he has a band, Dead Man's Bones, with Zach Shields, and they posted a new video just this week, and it's pretty great.
On a visual level, the vid totally appeals to my undying desire that Alfred Hitchcock rise from the Great Beyond and continue making cheeky, yet haunting noir (dream setting: Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery). I keep hoping for a starring role when this film is made, but sadly, ole Hitch probably hasn't seen my epic turn in The Notebook, and also, he's still dead.
On a musical level, the song is a lo-fi, funereal barge of beauty that morphs into a tambourined clap-along folk barbershop revival, then transitions back into a raw tape-rolling, wind blowing twilight lament.
AND it features the children's choir from the Silverlake Music Conservatory. Five outta five stars for this alone.
WATCH: "NAME IN STONE"
DEAD MAN'S BONES - "NAME IN STONE" from biz3 publicity on Vimeo.