Working with a real doll rather than an actress who could react in scenes had its own challenges for Lars and the Real Girl star Ryan Gosling. “It’s funny. I thought I was going to have to, and I did, kind of build up a whole, like I was going to have to play two characters, basically,” said Gosling. “Like when we are fighting, I’m fighting with her and we are having our own relationship, and in a way I’m in a different movie than the movie that I watch when I see it than when I was doing it. For me, it was about a guy who meets a girl and falls in love and she comes to live with him and she gets a terminal illness and she dies. That’s a movie I’d see anyway. It’s kind of a beautiful, almost like a Ken Loach movie or something. But when I met Bianca, she instantly has a presence."
"It sounds funny, but I guarantee if you were in a room with her for 10 minutes you’d know what I was talking about," explained Gosling. "She’s so real looking and it’s fascinating. She’s so detailed and she has beautiful freckles. You look at her and you’d think she was looking at you. You look away and you think you saw her blink. She’s fascinating and everybody was compelled by her.
She has a presence. She comes on set and you feel that she's there. She has this really calm, calming presence. When we did scenes together, I never felt like it was me and a doll, it felt like it was me and my buddy. As soon as they say ‘action’ it’s just her and I. We're totally alone in those scenes so I felt a bond with her. And over the course of the film, I started to feel more relaxed. I looked forward to our scenes together. We formed a real bond.”
Bianca was treated with the same respect and consideration as her flesh and blood co-stars. “She had handlers. She had like an entourage,” joked Gosling. “When I first met Craig [Gillespie, the director] I said, ‘How are you going to shoot Bianca?’ And he said, ‘I’m going to treat it as though she has a nudity clause in her contract.’ I just thought, ‘Okay, this movie is going to be great if that’s how you are going to approach it.’ And he did every step of the way. Her entourage, the girls that were taking care of her, would give her magazines in between takes. She was always treated like one of the actors. And everybody on the crew went out of their way to respect Lars’ idea of her.”
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Lars and the Real Girl hits theaters on October 12, 2007.