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"I had this real sense of shame about it all, that I had blown it."
That's a miserable feeling for any actor working in film, when there's no second performance to make it all better, and especially while actually making the movie. But Ryan Gosling's shame over the face tattoo he opted for in The Place Beyond the Pines actually wound up contributing to the role. Playing Luke, a stunt driver in a "motorcycle boy band" who travels with a carnival, Gosling has bleached hair and tattoos, and steps into the role of a man who only learns he's a father when the child is nearly a year old. As he told me, the face tattoo and the terrible hair seemed to suggest a guy who had made a lifetime of bad decisions-- and though Gosling wound up regretting the face tattoo, it all worked into how he played a guy who had made much worse mistakes.
The Place Beyond the Pines, which is currently open in limited release, reunites Gosling with his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, along with a massive cast that includes Eva Mendes, Dane DeHaan, Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta and Emory Cohen. It's also very, very good. In the video below you can see Gosling talk about that tattoo regret, why he works with directors like Cianfrance and Nicolas Winding Refn all over again, and what he's learned from the directors he loves as he prepares to make his own directorial debut.