"As written, Ryan Gosling comes into this baptism, sits down in the middle of the pews with all the people, and is enraged that another man is baptizing his son. So I had 500 people from Schenectady show up in their Sunday finest. You had Eva Mendes, Mahershala Ali, and the baby: Everyone’s dressed to the nines. I had the camera in the back of the church, and I told Ryan, ‘Come in and find a place to sit.’ Ryan walks into the church, and he’s literally a marked man. He cannot fit in anywhere."

"He moved over to the corner of the church, and I just panned with him as he sat down. Then I cut and moved my camera into a close-up. And I was shooting this close-up of him, and behind us, there was this baptism going on. I noticed Ryan wasn’t getting enraged as I had expected, but he was trembling. And I noticed that this well of emotion was building in him, this humiliation, this deep shame. And he started to break down on camera. As his friend, all I wanted to do was shut the camera off and give him a hug. Give him a napkin and wipe it off: It’s just pretend. But that’s what we were there for. You’re always trying to get to a place where the acting stops and behavior begins. That’s what these tattoos are for — actors are very much like athletes to me, I work with them on a very physical level. I feel like the physical level affects the psychological and the emotional."

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    Ryan Gosling is a brilliant actor
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