Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have reunited for the third time on screen for director Damien Chazelle’s much-anticipated “La La Land” out in December.
The original musical has gained a lot of buzz, screening at Toronto International Film Festival in September and winning the TIFF People’s Choice Award. Stone and Gosling cover the newest issue of Variety and talk all about their chemistry and why this film needed to be made.
For Stone, their chemistry wasn’t apparent from the beginning. “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.”
But for Chazelle, their chemistry was the true sign that this pairing was right. “They tease each other, they tease themselves, but they’re also the hardest workers, and they push each other,” he says of the former “Crazy Stupid Love” and “Gangster Squad” co-stars. “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.”
Gosling says the film straddles two lines, that it’s sort of a “kitchen-sink drama” and a romanticized musical. “I felt like if we could get the relationships and the characters right, we would be okay, because the music was always there and always beautiful,” he tells Variety.
For Stone, the film was a dream project. “To dive into something so challenging for months has been amazing. The prospect of failure is much less scary to me because the process was so much fun.”
“La La Land” comes at a time when the world needs an escape most. “I feel these have been really rough times,” Stone says. “To have something so transporting that brings you joy and nostalgia and hope and heartbreak for two hours is something that’s really special and needed right now. They also created a world that’s so beautiful and would be vibrant and exciting at any time, but right now it’s nice to be part of something that has this kind of joy in it.”