Ryan Gosling has been all over the place in his movie roles, from romantic lead (“The Notebook”) to oddball fellow (“Lars and the Real Girl”), from dapper dude (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”) to goofball (“The Nice Guys”) and song and dance man (“La La Land”). His first try at science-fiction places him smack in the middle of art film and genre geek territory. In “Blade Runner 2049” he plays K, a cop who hunts down very human-like “replicants,” stepping into the shoes of a similar character played by Harrison Ford three and a half decades ago in “Blade Runner.” Gosling, 36, seeming a bit haggard from an exhaustive press tour, took a deep breath, then sat down last week in Los Angeles to talk about the original film and the new one.
Q: How familiar are you with the 1982 “Blade Runner?”
A: I saw it when I was young, when I was around 12. I remember thinking I was going to see a regular movie, but getting something else.
Q: It’ a very complicated, multilayered movie. Do you think you understood it at that age?
A: No. I remember feeling confused because it wasn’t telling me how to feel. But what I really remember is how it stuck with me and that it was asking questions that I wasn’t asking myself at the time. It was interesting making this new film because so much of it is about memory.
Q: How did you come to be involved in the new one?
A: Over the course of a couple of years I had the opportunity to meet with Ridley Scott (who directed the original and at one time was going to direct this one) about some other things, and he would casually bring up that he was thinking about doing this sequel, but he never mentioned that it was something he’d be interested in me for.
Q: So, he brought it up more than one time?
A: Yeah, but I thought we were just talking. And as a fan of the original, I was curious and wanted to know more. Then he started dropping these little bread crumbs, and then I heard through the grapevine that he was thinking of me. And he was.
Q: You were doing press for “La La Land” while you were in the middle of filming “Blade Runner 2049.” That film really showed off your musical side. Are you still playing out?
A: No, I’m just playing at home right now. I’m still playing some of the pieces from “La La Land.” I have to extend my repertoire a little bit. (laughs)
Q: You were singing and playing guitar and piano as part of that cool duo Dead Man’s Bones for a few years. Have you given any thought to doing that again?
A: (pause for a few seconds) Umm, not right now.
— Ed Symkus writes about movies for More Content Now. He can be reached at email@example.com.