Nicolas Winding Refn Talks Drive

Empire sits down with him at Big Screen

Nicholas Winding Refn at Big Screen

We're not squeamish here at Empire. After all, already at Big Screen we've been shown the first scene of Final Destination 5, and believe us, it's not for the faint of heart.

But today's exclusive Drive clip of Ryan 'Baby Goose' Gosling getting a little bit brutal with a elevator companion – just moments after kissing Irene (Carey Mulligan) – really did, for want of a better word, stick the boot in.

For those of you who haven't checked out the trailer for the critically-acclaimed thriller, please do so below, as it really is something special – and something pretty gosh darn violent.

After we saw the clip, Cannes-award-winning director Nicolas Winding Refn, the man who previously brought us Bronson and Valhalla Rising, had a chat with Empire's man Damon Wise on stage, and this is an amazing anecdote he told us...

“I was originally set to do a movie with Harrison Ford where he plays a secret agent who dies at the end – but seeing that through wasn't going to work… So while I was working on these things, I got a call from Ryan Gosling. I’d never met him, but he asked if I would meet him, and I said yes."

"And so I went to meet him, but strangely, I had got a very high fever flying in and so I was taking these anti-flu things, and these American anti-flu things are strong. Basically, I was high as a kite, like I was on morphine or heroin or something, couldn't say a sentence at this restaurant with Ryan."

"He was all professional, but I was sitting and I couldn’t move. He’d seen all my films and knew a lot about them, and he wanted to do a movie called Drive based on this very good book. It was like a blind date, and I was just wanting to say 'When can we leave?'"

"Eventually I asked him, “Would you please take me home?” I was too sick to take a taxi, you see. In the car, another awkward silence."

'Can't Fight This Feeling' by REO Speedwagon came on the radio. Then suddenly, here I was in Ryan’s car, crying to this song on the radio. I was singing, “I can’t fight this feeling any more!”, banging my fists against my legs to the drum solo. I was having all this emotional catharsis, and I screamed in Ryan’s face, “I GOT IT, I KNOW WHAT DRIVE IS! He drives around in cars at night and his emotional relief is pop music. So that’s why I made the movie.”

Simple as that really. He finished off his Big Screen chat with this little nugget: "Drive is very exciting, simple, only 90 minutes long, and I'm actually very pleased with it."

Lovely stuff! So look forward to your dose of Ryan kicking ass and driving like a maniac in Drive come September 23.