Canadian actor RYAN GOSLING said it was a “tumultuous” experience trying to get his new film BLUE VALENTINE to the big screen.

“It kept getting close and then falling apart,” the London, Ontario native said in an interview at THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, where the drama is screening to much acclaim.

“But it was for the best because I think we made it at the right time, right when we were all ready.”

“I’m glad that it took so long.”

BLUE VALENTINE — which made splashes earlier this year at the CANNES and SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVALS and is due out in theatres in December — stars RYAN and MICHELLE WILLIAMS in a heart wrenching portrait of the disintegration of a marriage.

Writer/director DEREK CIANFRANCE, who lives in Brooklyn (and bears a striking resemblance to RYAN), first thought of the idea for the project about a decade ago and recruited MICHELLE about five years later.

He got RYAN on board in 2006 after he’d finished filming HALF NELSON. He earned a well deserved BEST ACTOR OSCAR nomination for his brilliant work in that film.

“There was a lot of time to talk and prepare and get it just right to suit us,” RYAN – looking spectacularly rugged in a denim shirt, jeans and blue combat boots – commented in a hotel room.

“It kind of was a known script amongst actors. It had made its way around, a lot of people really related to it and I think it’s special because I do think he’s managed to capture a kind of common experience.”

“Even though it’s unique to these two people, it’s like a relationship that you’ve had or that your parents had. Most people can identify with it in some way.”

RYAN’S character Dean is a sweet, sensitive blue collar dad whose biggest goal in life is to have a happy family.

MICHELLE’S Cindy, however, needs more.

“It’s an interesting character because he’s full of potential and he’s very able but he has no ambition or direction. And he finds his purpose in this woman and in her daughter and he just wants to be there for them. He feels fulfilled and doesn’t need anything else, which can be kind of boring,” commented RYAN.

“The idea of that is nice. The fantasy of finding somebody like that is beautiful. But the practical day to day experience of living with somebody that doesn’t have any ambition outside of being with you can be claustrophobic and can make you feel selfish or superficial because you want other kinds of experiences.”

Some critics are touting RYAN’S riveting performance in BLUE VALENTINE as a strong ACADEMY AWARD contender, but he isn’t putting much stock in the heat.

“It feels like they say that stuff about a lot of things, you know,” he said with a sheepish laugh.

“I don’t really think about it, I guess. It took a long time to make it and I’m just happy that it’s an experience that people want to have, watching the movie, because I like to make movies like this — I think that we all do.”

“It’s encouraging for us to know that there’s an audience for them out there.”

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