Author: Julie Hinds
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Detroit is experiencing a break from all the serious news that involves a very popular, talented actor who ... hey, wait a minute, we just got a message that he was spotted filming Tuesday on Jefferson Avenue!
Numerous Ryan Gosling sightings have been reported in the Motor City, where the first-time feature film director is shooting “How to Catch a Monster.”
So far, says an insider, the mostly local crew has been great, as has the cooperation from the city and its residents.
“It’s going swimmingly well, really, really terrific,” says David Lancaster, co-president of Bold Films, which is producing and financing the movie. “Ryan is going to be the next auteur.”
The film has been described as a fantasy thriller about a mother, who’s caught up in a murky underworld, and her teen son, who finds a route to a mysterious underwater town. It stars Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), Eva Mendes (“The Place Beyond the Pines”) and Matt Smith (“Doctor Who”), among others.
Gosling’s inspiration for setting the story in Detroit was the time he spent here in 2011 filming a starring role in “The Ides of March.” Lancaster says Gosling feels Detroit “is an extraordinary place that is on the cusp of something very interesting.”
Says the “Monster” producer: “I think he feels like the artistic possibilities are quite unique there for exploring this particular story as well as others.”
Gosling sightings have been setting social media abuzz lately. The messages flew when he and his crew were spotted filming Tuesday at the corner of Jefferson and Chalmers.
When a tweet with the scoop arrived at a pre-lacrosse game pasta party in Grosse Pointe Farms, the teen girls attending left immediately and drove to the intersection.
“We all sprinted to our cars and went there. At first we didn’t see him, so we were turning around in a parking lot on Jefferson. Then somebody spotted him and said, ‘Stop!’ We were all screaming and taking pictures. And then he waved at us and said, ‘What’s up?,’ ” recalls Francesca Aliotta, 17, of Grosse Pointe Farms.
The OnLocationVacations website posted photos this week of Gosling and Smith working outdoors in Detroit. A shirtless Smith, hair cropped short and clad in a sparkly jacket, is shown standing and sitting in a recliner mounted on the back of a convertible.
The cast and crew also have been spotted working at a Midtown Montessori school and the Cass Corridor neighborhood near Masonic Temple.
And when he’s not on the set, he has turned up at Starbucks in metro Detroit and watched movies at Cass City Cinema with Mendes, his girlfriend.
Lancaster says Gosling has been enjoying his stay. “The Michigan folks are wonderfully hospitable and they’ve been very respectful and we know that they will continue to be respectful to Ryan and his dream of putting his first movie together that he’s both written and directed.”
He adds, “I think that that’s an exciting thing for Ryan to know, that people support him and respect him.”
And, occasionally, gawk at him. Respectfully.
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