So Ryan Gosling didn’t argue with Peter Jackson over some aspect of The Lovely Bones, “Page Six” is reporting, and he didn’t walk off the set. (Momentary deflation.) Jackson apparently canned him.
“Peter couldn’t stand Ryan,” a source has told a reporter. The word earlier this week was that Gosling had walked over some creative issue, but the “Page Six” source says it was because Gosling “was so demanding…[he] cut his own hair and was fighting with wardrobe [so] Peter booted him two days before filming started.”
Intuitive, source-free HE interpretation: A serious actor doesn’t get into scrapes over hair and wardrobe unless there are levels of fundamental discomfort going on. The hair and the wardrobe aren’t issues in and of themselves — they’re manifestations. Like most strong and gifted directors, Jackson is a major egotist — “this movie is about this and that, but it’s fundamentally about meee!” — who doesn’t know what to do with moody, complex actors who are all tangled up in their process.
I know absolutely nothing, but I’d like to think that Jackson was the primary a-hole, Gosling responded with his fickle, oddball hair-cutting behavior in order to express his growing loathing for Jackson, and Jackson said to himself last weekend, “No one fucks with me or challenges my power! No one!”
I know that if I’d been on the set I could have been a relationship mediator like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the beginning of The Wedding Crashers, and I would have sat in the middle of the table with Gosling and Jackson on either end (and no agents, managers or attorneys present).
And I would have said to Jackson, “Okay, Peter…we all know who you are, and that you have to be the whirling dervish barefoot superman on a movie set…that’s your m.o., your specialty, your particular way of being the genius. And obviously the world loves you for that. I mean, except for the soreheads who are too dim to get you…who lack the aliveness of spirit that it takes to really and truly appreciate your gift.”
And then I would turn and say, “Ryan, you’re a genius too but in a different way. You have to be tricky, fickle, twitchy…and it’s beautiful. We love that you’ve put on weight and cut your own hair because, God knows, real guys out there cut their own hair and return clothes they’ve bought because they woke up the next morning and said, ‘I hate these pants’ or ‘this shirti is 15% polyester!’
“And what you guys have to do is give each other room to be a genius in their own way, but at the same time step back every breakfast, lunch and dinner and listen to the other guy’s song…hear his music, let it in and try to sing it yourself.
“I’m serious, Ryan — pick up that Karaoke mike and try to sing Peter’s tune. You know…stand up and walk a mile in his shoes. And Peter, you need to get a pair of scissors, go to the porta-potty with the mirror over the toilet and cut your own hair every so often. Abnd maybe pick a fight with a wardrobe person, tell them to go fuck themselves, fire their ass! I mean, you should hire them back the next morning which of course you can do, but you need to do this so can start to understand what Ryan has been going through and by and by come to know who he is.”