In the new issue of W magazine, Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling open up about the long hours and hard work they put into their new film, Blue Valentine, and the “toxic” and “messy” sex scene involved.
“We never rehearsed anything, and those were really dark days,” Michelle tells W magazine about the raw and extremely naked sex scene she filmed with Ryan. “We shot the beginning of our relationship first, and it was fun and alive. Then we did the sex scenes and it was… toxic. Ryan and I had stopped relating to each other as Ryan and Michelle.”
“Those scenes took forever,” she adds. “I had a long drive from set to home each night, and I would roll down all the windows and turn up the music as loud as I could and hang my head out the window like a dog and scream. It was my escape.”
While Michelle thought it was toxic, Ryan thought the sex scene was “messy.”
“You mean the trying-not-to-have-sex sex scene?” Ryan says when asked about the scene. “It was hard… a lot of times actors can trick people into thinking something is happening when it’s not happening, and we had to call ourselves out on anything that didn’t feel honest.”
“Actors become very professional and proficient about watching out for each other’s light and not stepping on each other’s lines,” he explains. “All of these things are artificial, and you have to strip that away if you’re going to achieve a sense of intimacy. In real life sex is messy, and we wanted to get at that wonderful messiness.”
And to get the scene and the film just right, Blue Valentine has been a long time in the making.
“It took forever; for four years Blue Valentine would be ready to go, and then the film would fall apart again due to financing or timing,” Ryan says. “It was always me and Michelle [Williams] — I think Michelle was involved for five or six years. Finally, the planets aligned and we shot it last summer in Pennsylvania.”
“The director, Derek Cianfrance, had us living as these characters. If, for instance, today was a fighting day, we would just pick fights with each other all day. Once, I fell asleep in the middle of a take, and we filmed through it,” the actor recalls. “After I woke up, Michelle said, “We did the scene, and we filmed you sleeping on the couch.”
Blue Valentine hits theaters Dec. 31!