Ryan Gosling

Does Ryan Gosling play piano?

Sujan Tamang 

Is Ryan Gosling a talented pianist? In short, Ryan Gosling played a little bit, primarily by ear. However, the actor trained for two to three hours a day, five to six days a week, for almost three months to prepare for his role in La La Land.

It’s conflict and it’s compromised. And it’s just… It’s new every time. It’s brand new every night.

If you had the opportunity to see the 2016 film La La Land, this line is undoubtedly still fresh in your memory. Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, spoke the remark with a great deal of heart and love for jazz music.

On the big screen, this scene helps the audience comprehend Sebastian’s motivations and makes him seem more human.

There is so much more to see behind the scenes, and the passion and tenacity on display here are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’re a musician yourself, or just interested in anything, you may be asking how much of a role Ryan Gosling has in the musical sequences in the movie.

How did he get ready? And did he really have piano skills?

Ryan Gosling in Character

As everyone may know, Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club served as the catalyst for Ryan Gosling’s ascent to fame. And what do you know? It was only when he was thirteen.

He went on to star in a number of movies in the 1990s and early 2000s, including Are You Afraid of the Dark (1995) and The United States of Leland (2003).

He may have been most known before the late 2010s for his part in the romance drama The Notebook (2004), for which he was even nominated for an Academy Award for Acting at a young age.

Moving forward to the present, Gosling starred in La La Land, a commercial blockbuster and Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture, which was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2016.

It makes sense that Gosling received an Oscar nod for his performance in the film before filming, he actually spent three months mastering the piano!

The fact that a double is ready to go for the scenes is intriguing. However, the subject of whether Gosling performed the instrument in front of the camera is still open for discussion and investigation.

Actually, having performers dub their parts including them playing instruments is nothing new in Hollywood. Bradley Cooper’s guitar sequences in the 2018 film A Star Is Born serve as a fantastic illustration. Bradley Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a rock star, in this movie. Cooper trained for six months to be ready for the part, which helped him perform the guitar and singing scene well. Ultimately, though, a professional musician dubbed his guitar lines.

Recall that Gosling’s work on the role continued after the planning stage. Variety has obtained an unseen film that shows multiple sequences of the actor practicing in between takes.

Gosling has previously gone above and beyond to fully inhabit a role. Other noteworthy roles include The Notebook, where he lived in the area where the film is set for several months, and The Lovely Bones, where he had to put on sixty pounds quickly.

Gosling’s method acting approach paid off, as he is now regarded as one of the best performers of his generation (despite being underappreciated by some), winning nominations and awards from prestigious organizations.

Did He Actually Play the Piano in the musical La La Land?

The piano is not an easy instrument to learn, despite what many people would have you believe. Even if there are free ways to study it, it would still take a lot of time and effort to master the fundamentals.

Similar to Ryan Gosling, who trained for three to four months at the piano in order to be ready for La La Land (as we previously discussed). However, the unanswered question remains: Did he genuinely perform on the piano for the movie’s camera?

Take it from Damian Chazelle, the director of the film: “It’s all Ryan.” “There’s no piano double at all in any shot of the movie,” he said in support of this claim.

In addition, the movie needed long takes, therefore CGI was never an option.

Gosling plays a jazz musician, and we all know that jazz requires a very specific set of abilities. Learning jazz is not an easy task! The actor underwent rigorous training to ensure that he would portray this role as realistically as possible.

He even released some of his training videos on the internet!

Naturally, his efforts were acknowledged. John Legend, with whom Gosling co-starred in the film, was very impressed. “Have you played before?” I asked. Legend said in jest during an interview. “Cos you can’t be this good right away.”

There are many complexities in jazz music that you cannot just master in a year or two (as several jazz musicians can attest to). It would take a lot of time, perseverance, flexible wrists, and excellent hearing to reach there as quickly as Gosling did.

Did He Play Piano Before?

As we’ve already mentioned, learning jazz music on the piano would take more than a few months. Does this imply that Ryan Gosling has performed on the instrument before?

Gosling said, “nothing like the ability to play the jazz piano you see in the film,” to this exact topic in an interview. It was true that he was an ear-only pianist and that his abilities were not a blank slate from the start.

The actor is appreciative of the part because it allowed him to develop and rediscover a past skill.

About jazz music?

Before the movie’s filming began, Gosling had never seen jazz performed live. He spent some time seeing a Ken Burns jazz music PBS documentary as an introduction to the genre.

Furthermore, as we all know, Gosling had to put in effort for more than just playing the piano. His and Emma Stone’s moonlit dance routine is undoubtedly one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, and it was evidently quite difficult to perfect.

It took him over three months to practice for the mentioned number, which is practically the same as his endeavor to perfect the piano!

Final Thoughts

Ryan Gosling is a real example of the dedication an actor has to their craft—being an actor requires more than just preening and looking beautiful for the camera.

We touched on Gosling’s month-long preparation for his roles in a few high-profile films, his piano prowess and how it translated to the big screen, and the actor’s background with jazz and the piano before filming the highly regarded picture in this piece.

Learning and mastering the piano doesn’t require you to be the next Gosling. It’s true that such an undertaking could be difficult, but the actor’s unwavering resolve showed what really counts: a lot of perseverance, concentration, and a little elbow grease. You too can succeed if you set your mind to it!

Recommended Posts

Freddie Mercury and John Lennon

John Lennon’s opinion on Queen

John Lennon was the oldest founding member of The Beatles and was born in Liverpool, England, much like all the other members of the band. He was only 29 years old when the band broke up in 1970, and the music industry had seen rapid turmoil during that decade with the emergence of numerous new […]

Sujan Tamang 
Geddy Lee and Led Zeppelin

Rush’s Geddy Lee gives his opinion on Led Zeppelin

In an interview with Classic Rock magazine, Geddy Lee, the bassist, singer, and occasionally pianist for Rush, shared his thoughts on Led Zeppelin. The Canadian guitarist discussed the band’s sound and offered commentary on their iconic album “Led Zeppelin IV.” Rush’s Geddy Lee gives his opinion on Led Zeppelin: Geddy said, “I had the pleasure […]

Sujan Tamang 

Leave A Comment