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Behind the Scenes of ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

Inside the new film starring Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling

behind the pines ryan gosling bradley cooper

The Place Beyond the Pines

Atsushi Nishijima

Put on the art-house map in 2010 with the emotional Blue Valentine, writer-director Derek Cianfrance is back to tug at the tear ducts with The Place Beyond the Pines. Starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper, the epic story follows their three characters over a period of nearly 20 years. Gosling plays a motorcycle-riding bank robber, Eva the mother of his child and Cooper the cop on Gosling's tail. The story investigates, in part, whether we can ever escape the sins of our fathers – and, as Cianfrance confesses, it also explores his own terror about fatherhood.

"I write from a place of vulnerability and fear. The only way I've learned to write is to write very personal things: my nightmares, my fears, and also my hopes and dreams," he tells Rolling Stone. "I put all of those things on the page, as an instigator for my actors."

The project took nearly five years to complete and 47 days to shoot – mostly in Schenectady, New York. It will open in New York and Los Angeles on March 29th.

Click through as Cianfrance explains these exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, opens up about Gosling's tattoos, reveals his troubles with insurance companies and more.

By KATIE VAN SYCKLE

behind the pines ryan gosling

Atsushi Nishijima

Back of the Bike

"This is the scene when Ryan as Luke Glanton drops off Eva as Romina at her home. She's holding a secret and she won't let him inside her house," explains Cianfrance. "She's really conflicted. She's a mother and she has to choose between love for this man and security for her child. It took a long time to get the insurance bond company to let Ryan and Eva ride a motorcycle without helmets.”

behind the pines ryan gosling bradley cooper

Atsushi Nishijima

On Schenectady

"My wife and my cowriter, Ben Coccio, are from Schenectady. I could never have made this film in any other place," says Cianfrance. "The police department allowed us to shoot in an active police department using real cops, real judges. They were our consultants on set and our actors; we worked in working hospitals with real nurses and real high schools. Bradley Cooper spent a lot of time with cops and Rose Byrne with cops wives."

behind the pines ryan gosling

Atsushi Nishijima

Ryan’s Ink

"Ryan called me a few months before we started shooting and said, 'Hey D, how about the most tattoos in movie history?' He was all about his tattoos and he was like, 'Face tattoos are the coolest. I'm going to have a dagger and it's going to be dripping blood,'" Cianfrance recalls. "He drew them based them on other classic tattoos, and his friend Ben Shields helped him design them."

behind the pines ryan gosling bradley cooper eva mendes

Atsushi Nishijima

Last Day

"That’s me and Eva and [actor] Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. I made sure everyone on the set knew his full name and would say the whole thing: Mahershalalhashbaz," Cianfrance says. "This is on the day when they wrapped out. You can see everyone was insane. The process of making a film, to me, blurs that line between what's real and not real between actors and characters – and the movie's not here to punish these guys anymore."

behind the pines ryan gosling bradley cooper

Atsushi Nishijima

The Grey Area

"I like living moments; I made documentaries for so long, I think there was something that happened to me when I started going to movies and seeing a proliferation of perfection on the screen," says Cianfrance. "I was thinking I don't really know heros and I don't really know villains, but I do know the grey. I started thinking that the movies I wanted to make would be about those people in the grey area."

behind the pines ryan gosling bradley cooper

Atsushi Nishijima

Out on a Limb

"I'm going to this vulnerable place in my writing, and I'm asking actors to go to that place onscreen and I'm asking actors to not be beautiful, to be human, to show me their flaws, to show me what's wrong," says Cianfrance. "I'm asking them to fail, to trip, I'm asking them to make fools of themselves. I feel like if they can do that, then they can also succeed."

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