Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are no strangers to sharing the screen with one another. They first starred alongside each other as lovers in 2011’s Crazy Stupid Love, then again in 2013’s Gangster Squad, and now in the upcoming musical La La Land.
Speaking to Variety about their on-screen chemistry, Stone said – “I’d love to say we knew right away when we met: ‘This is a three-picture deal!’ But that’s not how it happened.”
“[Crazy Stupid Love] created this different dynamic when you’re just reading dialogue – a different connection,” added Gosling. “And now we have the luxury of hitting the ground running, which, for something like this, is a huge benefit. You can spend a lot of time being polite and respectful of what you perceive the other person’s process to be.”
Director Damien Chazelle noted – “They tease each other, they tease themselves, but they’re always the hardest workers, and they push each other. You could always sense each was rooting for the other. They’d run lines off camera and really go at it and try new things to inspire the person on camera. They’re a true duo.”
Although the film’s plot centers on a jazz pianist (Gosling) who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, both actors added experiences from their personal lives – specifically auditions they’d rather forget, like Stone who recalled one casting director who yelled at her and those who said nothing. “People would look up at me and look back at their paper and not look at me again. I remember feeling very insignificant. I would almost rather you yell at me.” Gosling’s story was equally as heartbreaking – as he was performing an emotional scene that called for tears, the casting director decided to take a call. However, the actor was able to put a positive spin on the story – which Chazelle wrote into the script – by once again praising his co-star. “It’s wonderfully realized by Emma. It was actually wonderfully cathartic to see up there.”
La La Land opens in select theaters December 9th and nationwide on December 16th.