In "The Nice Guys," Ryan Gosling plays a dim-witted private eye who partners up with an enforcer (Russell Crowe) to find a missing woman in 1970s' LA.
The role, says the actor, fit him like that proverbial glove. "It was very easy. It took about ten minutes. I took a good look in the mirror and went, 'I got this,'" jokes Gosling.
He describes his character thusly: "He's a schmuck, honestly."
He signed on to work with Crowe, whom he had idolized for years for one of his lesser-known performances. "It was actually Russell's work in the 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,'" he deadpans.
For Oscar winner Crowe, the appeal of the film lay not in the laughs, but in the story. "I have a particular type of sense of humor. You can't tell me something is funny," he says. "Every single decision I've ever made about a movie starts with the narrative. I only do it if I believe in it."
Screenwriter and director Shane Black, the action master who penned "Lethal Weapon" and "Iron Man 3," wants to give the cast props for something other than their acting: "These guys rock the clothes. We got the cool version of the '70s," he says.
Legendary producer Joel Silver first worked with Black after he graduated from UCLA, which led to a filmmaking relationship that's lasted longer than many marriages. "Shane and I have been together for 30 years," he says.
His advice to wannabe filmmakers is simple.
"You have to be passionate about an idea and try to get it done," he says. "Just go out and do it."
As for Matt Bomer, who has a stunning and unexpected arc in the movie, "I was so lucky to be along for the ride on this."
Ryan Gosling through the years
OnlyOnAOL: That time Ryan Gosling geeked out over Russell Crowe
Ryan Gosling (Photo by Randall Michelson/WireImage)
Ryan Gosling during Shannon Elizabeth Launches Animal Avengers Charity at Club Vinyl in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Ryan Gosling (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE: US actress Sandra Bullock poses for photographers with actor Ryan Gosling as they arrive at the palais des festivals to attend the screening of their film 'Murder by numbers' by Iranian-born director Barbet Schroeder during the 55th Cannes film festival 24 May 2002. The film is presented out of competition. AFP PHOTO FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Ryan Gosling (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actors Jena Malone and Ryan Gosling attend the New York Premiere of 'The United States Of Leland' on March 31, 2004 at the Chelsea 9, in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 4: Actress Rachel McAdams (left) and Actor Ryan Gosling accept the award for Best Kiss for The Notebook onstage during the 2005 MTV Movie Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 4, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. The 14th annual award show will premiere on MTV Thursday, June 9 at 9:00PM (ET/PT). (Photo By Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Ryan Gosling (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)
Ryan Gosling and sister Mandi Gosling during 71st Annual New York Film Critics Circle Awards - Arrivals at The Supper Club in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actress Rachel McAdams (L) and actor Ryan Gosling arrive at the 12th Annual Critics' Choice Awards held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on January 12, 2007 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Ryan Gosling 12864_GP_0135.jpg during TNT/TBS Broadcasts 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Red Carpet at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Ryan Gosling, nominee Best Male Lead for 'Half Nelson' (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Ryan Gosling (center), nominee Best Actor in a Leading Role for 'Half Nelson,' with sister Mandi Gosling and mother Donna Gosling (Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actor Ryan Gosling at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on September 19th, 2007. (PHOTO BY MUNAWAR HOSAIN / FOTOS INTERNATIONAL / GETTY IMAGES) Reproduction by American tabloids is absolutely forbidden by our contracts with all agencies.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 02: Actress Kelli Garner (L) and actor Ryan Gosling arrive at the premiere of MGM's 'Lars And The Real Girl' at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on October 6, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 18: Actor Ryan Gosling arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Sugar' held at the Silver Screen Theater at the Pacific Design Center on March 18, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actress Faith Wladyka (L) and Actor Ryan Gosling attend the 'Blue Valentine' premiere during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 24, 2010 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actors Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams attend the 'Blue Valentine' party at the T-Mobile myTouch Diner at Village at the Yard on January 24, 2010 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 25: Actor Ryan Gosling attends the Variety Studio at Sundance Day 4 on January 25, 2010 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
Canadian actor Ryan Gosling and US actress Michelle Williams pose during the photocall of 'Blue Valentine' presented in the Un Certain Regard selection at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2010 in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actor Ryan Gosling attends the 'Industry In Focus - Blue Valentine' at the American Pavillion during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2010 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Ryan Gosling of Dead Man's Bones performs at FYF fest 2010 at Los Angeles State Historic Park on September 4, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 06: Actor Ryan Gosling arrives at the 'Blue Valentine' screening during AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 6, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for AFI)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 2: Ryan Gosling poses for a photo during a portrait session at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on December 2, 2010. (Photo by Munawar Hosain/Fotos International/Getty Images) Reproduction by American tabloids is absolutely forbidden.
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Actor Ryan Gosling attends the 'Drive' photocall during the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2011 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Actor Ryan Gosling and actress Emma Stone attend the 'Crazy, Stupid, Love.' World Premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on July 19, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09: Ryan Gosling on stage prior to 'The Ides Of March' Press Conference during 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4116 -- Pictured: Actor Ryan Gosling during an interview on September 26, 2011 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 07: Actors Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling attend 'The Place Beyond The Pines' premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 7, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 07: Ryan Gosling arrives at the 'Gangster Squad' - Los Angeles Premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 7, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Director Ryan Gosling attends the 'Lost River' photocall at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2014 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 22: Russell Crowe, Jack Kilmer and Ryan Gosling are seen on the set of 'The Nice Guys' on January 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by TSM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Director Ryan Gosling attends Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Filmmaker: Ryan Gosling, 'Lost River' at Apple Store Soho on April 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Actors Saoirse Ronan (L), winner of the New Hollywood Award for 'Brooklyn', and Ryan Gosling pose in the press room during the 19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 1, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)