Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling on Why We Need ‘La La Land’ Right Now

The upcoming whimsical and melancholy musical La La Land, from writer/director Damien Chazelle, could just be what this country needs right now, so says its stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

As Stone and Gosling’s third onscreen collaboration, the two play two struggling artists – one an actress, one a jazz pianist – living in Los Angeles, who fall in love, sing and dance, and try to navigate their relationship through the ups and downs of their careers. Since premiering at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival, La La Land has been wowing critics, and it won the coveted audience award at TIFF.

In an interview with Variety, Stone said this about why audiences are embracing it. “I feel these have been a really rough times. To have something so transporting that brings you joy and nostalgia and hope and heartbreak for two hours is something that’s really special and needed right now. They also created a world that’s so beautiful and would be vibrant and exciting at any time, but right now it’s nice to be part of something that has this kind of joy in it.”

Gosling’s take on the film is that it “straddles two lines — sort of a kitchen-sink drama and a romanticized musical. I felt like if we could get the relationships and the characters right, we would be OK, because the music was always there and always beautiful.”

Chazelle, who came to fame with his Oscar-nominated film Whiplash, said his stars “tease each other, they tease themselves, but they’re also the hardest workers, and they push each other. You could always sense each was rooting for the other. They’d run lines off camera and really go at it and try new things to inspire the person on camera. They’re a true duo.”

Read the whole interview here, and check out La La Land when it hits theaters December 16.

Credit Jake Chessum
CREDIT: Jake Chessum/Variety