This week sees the release of writer-director Shane Black’s blackly comic 1970s-set detective thriller The Nice Guys, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.
Matthew Turner attended the film’s London press conference – and hilarity ensued.
1. They chose the perfect venue
The press conference took place in London’s Playboy Club, with a private room mocked up in garish 1970s yellow-and-orange colours, and the cast and crew taking their seats behind a cocktail-style bar area.
— Matthew Turner (@FilmFan1971) May 18, 2016
2. Russell Crowe likes to take photos of the press taking photos
— Matthew Turner (@FilmFan1971) May 18, 2016
And here’s the flip-side of that photo from the man himself. Ten points if you spot WOW247’s correspondent.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 18, 2016
3. There was a lot of laughter on set
Crowe on “corpsing” during takes:
“If you take the 26 years of making lead roles in feature films prior to The Nice Guys, the amount of times I will have corpsed on camera in that whole time, 49, 50 films, whatever, would be less then any given week making Nice Guys.
“This little bastard [Gosling] makes me laugh. Sometimes I would suspect he was up all night thinking of a way to make me laugh. He has a natural comedic gift and he is a funny b*stard, so yeah, I laughed my head off all the time.”
4. Crowe can do a mean impression of producer Joel Silver
Crowe on Gosling’s on-set antics:
“This one scene, we had blocked off the Sunset, very simple shot, we have to come in, do a couple of lines of dialogue then drive away. And Ryan is just not on the script: he is just jamming on some idea that is in his head about German spank films, and I am falling apart in the car trying to get my lines out as he goes into the pseudo German he does with such conviction.
“So he is doing all that and you have Joel Silver standing in the Sunset saying [does exaggerated, amusingly shouty Joel Silver impression] ‘I have the whole street blocked off to shoot my movie – NOT TONIGHT, guys, NOT TONIGHT!’ So we are sitting in the car and I say to Ryan “so we going to stick to the script” and Ryan says, “no”.”
5. Co-star Matt Bomer is very careful when it comes to throwing 13 year-old girls through plate-glass windows
Bomer (who plays psycho hit-man John-Boy) elaborates:
MB: “It was the first thing I filmed. I immediately felt the need to ingratiate myself to these young girls [Angourie Rice and Daisy Tahan], that I was a parent and it was just pretend and they just stared at me blankly and were like, ‘So? Throw me through the window, what you got? That’s it? I want another take! I know you got more than that!’ So yeah, they took me to school.”
Shane Black: “Well, let’s be fair, the one through the window was actually a very small stunt person…”
MB: “I didn’t want to say anything!”
6. 13 year-old co-star Angourie Rice basically steals the film and everybody knows it
Crowe: “We had a sort of joke of Angorie being the most mature person on set. It was kind of a joke but it was kind of real too. She was always prepared, she came ready to give everything. She had very limited experience but a fine intellect and a real enthusiasm for the craft, so it was great.”
Shane Black: “We can’t say enough about this little girl, I confess I have read a few reviews and they mention her. I went to her and said,’“Are you aware of the press you are getting? You stole the movie’, and she said ‘I haven’t really read anything…really?’ She doesn’t even know she is good. She is just this wonderful, guileless little girl and God bless us, we found her when we did.”
7. The film features an unofficial L.A. Confidential reunion
Russell Crowe on working with L.A. Confidential co-star Kim Basinger again after 19 years:
“It was great seeing Kim again. We were talking and realised we hadn’t been in the same room together for over a decade, but it is a very different cinematic relationship than before. We had so many hours together on L.A. Confidential that we had a very intimate friendship and that still remains.
“That is the funny thing about this business, you can go on a cycle and not see each other for years, but if you connected you still connect the next time you see each other, so it was great to see her and all that, but a very different work experience this time.”
8. Ryan Gosling’s scream is the real thing
Crowe on whether Ryan Gosling’s high-pitched comedy scream is real:
“It freaks me out! It is the best scream in feature films since Gene Wilder. That is a hell of a scream…”
9. Shane Black already has ideas for a sequel
“All I can say, as I have a bit of canoodling to do on that actually, I love this idea of a sort of time-locked franchise, which means it will never catch up to us. So the sequel will be something in the ’80s on an issue of that era, so we can throw these guys up against that wall and see what sticks.
“I think a fun idea is a timeless private eye who proceeds through a series of historical incidents but will never get to the present day.”
And Crowe appears to be on board too, despite his jokes to the contrary:
“It seems every movie I do someone asks in a press conference if there will be a sequel and then it never happens [pause]. So thanks for f*cking it up for all of us!
“I mean, certainly we didn’t throw everything against the wall with these characters, there is a lot yet to mine, so it could be fun. For some reason Ryan and I think the title The Nice Guys: Mexican Detectives is hilarious. I can’t even say it without laughing, and I don’t know why…”
The Nice Guys is out in UK cinemas this week.