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'Drive' director Nicolas Winding Refn on serenading Ryan Gosling

December 8, 2011 |  4:59 pm

Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling
Sometimes partnerships form in the unlikeliest ways. For "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling, an awkward first meeting seemed to threaten the chance of them ever working together but ultimately kindled a serious bromance. The fast friends are expected to re-team on a "Logan's Run" remake and as many as two other films.

At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series, the Danish director recalled the bizarre circumstances of his first encounter with Gosling.

"That was a very strange date," Refn said. "We had never met, but he asked if I would meet him for dinner. The only dilemma was when I came in, I had gotten the flu on the plane. I was very sick. And so we met, but to get my fever down, I had gotten these anti-flu drugs … it made me high as a kite."

Refn was so zonked and aloof that he barely made it halfway through dinner, at which point Gosling drove him home. But on that fateful ride, Refn's pitch, which consisted mostly of a spirited radio singalong to REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling," must have struck a chord with Gosling, who was already halfway in character as a wordless driver prowling the streets of Los Angeles. The rest is history. Watch Refn tell the whole story in the video below.


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— Oliver Gettell

Photo: "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling. Credit:  Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times