IMAGE COURTESY OF CELEBITCHY
Ryan Gosling, the 26-year-old actor behind “Half Nelson” and “Fracture”, recently (and quickly) gained twenty pounds and a full beard to play the role of a grieving suburban father in Peter Jackson‘s film adaptation of Alice Sebold‘s novel, The Lovely Bones. But when he arrived onset, Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Heavenly Creatures”) didn’t seem too pleased with his leading man’s appearance, despite being told by Gosling when he signed on that he would gain weight for the role. From the LA Times:
“Peter Jackson was said to be quite surprised that Gosling had showed up to start work on ?The Lovely Bones? looking like he?d donned a fat suit. According to sources, the 26-year-old Gosling had apparently told the director he was going to gain weight to age himself up to play the part of a grieving father, but Jackson was still expecting some movie star allure ? not paunch and a beard. By Friday, Gosling had left the high-profile production over those pesky ?creative differences,? and, by Sunday, he?d been replaced by 36-year-old Mark Wahlberg, who actually could be old enough to father a teenager.”
IMAGE COURTESY OF GOOGLE
Now I’m not here to argue the merits of each actor, both of whom have proved themselves in a variety of roles (“The Adventures of Young Hercules” and “Fear” notwithstanding), but I hate the oft-used phrase “creative differences.” To put it bluntly, Jackson wanted a hot dad, and Gosling, who has quite the “RYAN IS HOTTT” following regardless, Charlize Theron-ed himself a bit too radically for Jackson’s taste. The believability factor should have been more at play here, as Gosling’s role was the father of a murdered 14-year-old girl, and while a full beard does add a few years and his acting chops are certainly up to the task, audiences may not have seen him as a middle-aged suburban dad to three.
Then again, did Gosling disagree with Jackson’s artistic direction, as Pajiba stated in a comment to Celebitchy’s story which explains the “creative differences”? Gosling dropped out on Friday, Wahlberg was replaced on Sunday, and shooting for “The Lovely Bones” began yesterday: did Gosling even get a chance to experience Jackson as a director? Perhaps in roundtable discussions of character and plot (or whatever I pretend they do on movie sets during the initial weeks of filming), they didn’t mesh? I always assumed when actors left a film due to creative differences, it was because after they started shooting, he/she just didn’t “fit” the role. I think Gosling is a terrific actor, and, as evidenced by the image I used, I still have a bit of trouble taking Wahlberg seriously. But Jackson must know some things about making movies: he is a critically acclaimed, box office-grossing, Oscar-winning director.
I just like the story that Gosling looked too normal, while Walhberg will hotten this movie up. Gratuitous ab shots abound!
Also, as a sidenote, I hated The Lovely Bones. But I do remember thinking that if Peter Jackson was attached to it, and it was his first project post-“Rings” after much serious consideration of scripts and ideas, then I would give it a shot. Now I’m not so sure.