Home Education Real Because It Can “Break the Chains of Childhood”

14 10 2007

As proud unschooling mom of singer-dancer-actor kids to whom I seldom give answers much less orders, I couldn’t wait to share this excerpt about home education, but maybe the REAL story is further down and harder to define, so keep reading:

. . .If you meet Ryan Gosling in person, you will immediately notice that he is mature beyond his 26 years, focused, engaged, very present in the moment. His parents, working-class, were Mormons, though the young Gosling rejected the faith early, as he rejected school.

“I didn’t really want to be a kid,” he says. “I didn’t like the idea that people could arbitrarily tell me what to do because they were adults and I had to listen. I was very anxious to start working and take care of myself.”

This attitude, predictably, did not endear him to school officials, and by the time he was 10 or 11, Gosling was being given home education by his mother.

He initially trained as a dancer . . . moved to Florida, then to Los Angeles, and lived for two years with Justin Timberlake’s family.

Performing, it turned out, “was a way to break the chains of childhood.”

. . .”It had never occurred to me that you could have a job that you liked. My father never had a job that he liked. He worked in a paper mill, then in sales.”

His success, Gosling says, is finally enabling him to take on assignments that are meaningful to him, and “to get to a place that will allow me to make my own decisions.”

“Just as you wanted to do as a kid?”

“Exactly.”

. . .but the real power comes to life in rest of the story, about his hot new film, “Lars and the Real Girl”

larsandtherealgirl_200708081650.jpg— in which his quirky definition of his own life is so meaningful and real to him that the whole community accepts it, and him, AS real (homeschoolers definitely could learn something about supporting each other’s reality from this kid!)

Watch the charming trailer here. I dare you not to. 🙂

“I knew Craig would do a great job because I said to him, ‘How are you going to shoot Bianca?’ and he said, ‘I’m going to shoot her as though she had a nudity clause in her contract.’ And he honoured that down the line.”Gosling says he also knew that in every scene, he was “walking a challenging line” between making his attachment to Bianca credible and making the whole enterprise seem ridiculous.

“And I had to discover for myself where that line was in every scene. It’s not a comedy. It’s funny, but it’s also serious.”

There were no other films that he could really use for guidance. Other movies might have the same spirit, such as 1950’s Harvey with Jimmy Stewart, about a man whose best friend is an invisible, human-sized rabbit. Or Tom Hanks’s Cast Away (2000), in which a man marooned on a desert island develops a relationship with a volleyball named Wilson. Or perhaps various Hal Ashby films.

But more than anything, says Gosling, the Lars sensibility owes something to films made by one of his cinematic heroes, Gene Wilder.

“He’s my Marlon Brando. There’s something about his ability to break your heart, and to make you laugh at the same time, that very few people can do. Bill Murray can do it, too. They’re two of the greatest actors of all time. We associate being dramatic with being good, but simply being dramatic is too simple for them. They get bored.
They see things from many different angles.

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One response

14 10 2007
JJ

Anybody else flashing on The Velveteen Rabbit?

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