Ryan Gosling On Eating His Cereal, Elvis And Twitter

XXXX on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Adobe)
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International man of the moment, Ryan Gosling, has told a 12,000 strong audience at Adobe’s Summit in Las Vegas this week more people were watching the Vine series of him refusing to eat his cereal than the actual movies they were parodying.

Speaking with Adobe CMO’s Ann Lewnes, in a wide ranging interview, Gosling said the ‘Ryan Gosling won’t eat his cereal’ phenomena made him aware of the potential power of such extraordinarily simple pieces of content.

“Memes are weird by design and they’re supposed to be . . . What happened with this cereal one, and what made me aware of the potential power of them was a kid named Ryan McHenry, who I think was Scottish and as the story goes was one night high and watching a film I did, Drive, and was eating cereal and thought it was really funny to make it look like I wouldn’t eat my cereal while he was watching the film.

“At any other time in history, that would have been just a funny thing you thought to yourself, but now you can make that into a Vine and in that moment it just caught fire. I’m sure he would have thought it just would have been funny to him and his friends.

“But when I was leaving my house in LA and walking down the street, people would yell at me, why won’t you eat your cereal? This bothers me because I am a fan of cereal. I didn’t understand it.

“Then he didn’t only do it to Drive, but he did it to every other film I’d been in and he made this series. The thing is, more people were watching this Vine than had seen the films they were featuring.

“It even got to the point when I was would film a scene, sometimes I would see the spoon coming in, and I’d think this guys going to cereal this too. So I had like this weird relationship to him. It was part of my day to day in some strange way.

“He eventually got cancer and passed away and it was really strange because I didn’t know this person, I’d never met him, but yet he was part of my life. I guess I was for him in some small way.

“The only thing I could think to do was to eat my cereal. So I just filmed a little vine of my doing that and I felt like a little circle had closed.

“It struck me that even though there are inconsequential things that are sort of off-hand ideas that we can sketch out, there’s actually a connective power to them I feel like has yet to be tapped. Right now it’s this Bambi on ice phase, which is trying to find its footing, but there really is something more powerful about them,” Gosling related.

Gosling also revealed that he was preparing himself to defend La La Land and its success was such a surprise to him. “I thought there could have been some ridicule.”

And in relation to that moment during the Oscars, when La La Land was named best picture, Gosling said he was relieved when he found out Moonlight had won, because he thought something terrible, such as a terrorist attack or similar had happened.

He also added he was actually thrilled for the Moonlight team because he thought it was an extraordinary movie done with such a low budget.

Gosling also said it was his uncle’s decision to become an Elvis impersonator which inspired him to become an actor. He said it was his uncle’s commitment to the role and the impact it had on his entire family that made him crave that special feeling of magic you get when you’re creating something.

“He started playing in malls and he believed he was Elvis, the audience believed he was Elvis. It was a sheer force of will. He was risking humiliation; Elvis impersonation is a hard thing to do.

“I admired that he put himself out there and I learnt a lot from that. I was inspired by him. I had to commit to making movies in the same way.”

Gosling also discussed his use of Twitter, which goes against last year’s special guest at Adobe Summit, George Clooney, who said if you’re famous and you’re on Twitter you’re an idiot.

Gosling said the thing about Twitter is it takes all the fear out of public speaking, but not the consequences.

“I am very aware when I Tweet I’m about to speak to 2 million people if not more. It doesn’t help to picture them in their underwear because half of them probably are anyway.

“I initially got Twitter because someone was pretending to be me. That was weird so I took it back and I started Tweeting for myself and very quickly Twitter told me that this other guy was better at being me. I do Tweet for myself, much to the dismay of my followers.”

Memes are weird by design and they’re supposed to be. What happened with this cereal one, and what made me aware of the potential power of them is that. It was a kid named Ryan McHenry, who I think was Scottish and as the story goes was one night high and watching a film I did, Drive, and was eating cereal and thought it was really funny to make it look like I wouldn’t eat my cereal while he was watching the film.

At any other time in history, that would have been just a funny thing you thought to yourself, but now you can make that into a Vine and in that moment it just caught a line. I’m sure he would have thought it just would have been funny to him and his friends.

But then I was leaving my house in LA and walking down the street and people would yell at me, why won’t you eat your cereal? This bothers me because I am a fan of cereal. I didn’t understand it.

Then he didn’t only do it to Drive, but he did it to every other film I’d been in and he made this series. The thing is, more people were watching this Vine than had seen the films they were featuring.

It even got to the point when I was would film a scene, sometimes I would see the spoon coming in, and I’d think this guys going to cereal this too. So I gad like this weird relationship to him. It was part of my day to day in some strange way.

He eventually got cancer and passed away and it was really strange because I didn’t know this person, I’d never met him, but yet he was part of my life. I guess I was for him in some small way.

The only thing I could think to do was to eat my cereal. So I just filmed a little vine of my doing that and I felt like a little circle had closed.

It struck me that even though there are inconsequential things that are sort of off-hand ideas that we can sketch out, there’s actually a connective power to them I feel like has yet to be tapped. Right now it’s this Bambi on ice phase, which is trying to find its footing, but there really is something more powerful about them.

Story telling will always be important, we’re still watching Wizard of Oz, we’re just watching it on hand-held devices in space. It’s the how we watch it, the context we watch it in will continue to change, but the story telling is still key.

People are watching these things at home and a two hour movie is too long, but not long enough. People would rather watch things in half hour increments. But watch them for 10 hours or 20 hours.

A movie is like a one-night stand, and a series is like a relationship and people want to be in a relationship with these characters so that’s changing story-telling to some extent.

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