Ryan Gosling mentored new co-star
Ryan Gosling has been a "great mentor and teacher", according to his Only God Forgives co-star Yayaying Rhatha Phongam.
The 30-year-old is a major pop star in her native Thailand but is a newcomer to the big screen, and she said Ryan went out of his way to show her the ropes when they shot the thriller.
She told The Hollywood Reporter: "He's a great guy - charming and very much the gentleman. And he's a very experienced actor, so he was a great mentor and teacher to me."
Yayaying said Ryan had helped her to keep trying to launch her Hollywood career.
She explained: "This is going to sound kind of... I don't know... He taught me about dreams. Early on I mentioned to him that I've been going to the United States about once a year for many years. So he was like, oh that's great, how are your auditions going? But no, actually, I hadn't auditioned in LA at all. So he was like, you want to be an actress, but you're not going to auditions? You shouldn't just give up on your dreams like that.
"I told him that I guess I was kind of scared - you know, I'm from Thailand; I had no acting experience. But he told me, I should just try - that I have to try, and keep on trying. He was the first person who said that to me so directly, and encouraged me to take my acting dream a little more seriously. And since Only God Forgives, I really have been. I'm taking acting classes. I'm going to auditions. I'm doing everything."
Only God Forgives sees Yayaying play karaoke singer Mai, while Ryan stars as a man who runs a kick boxing gym as a front for an international drug running operation.
The movie, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, is due to be released in the UK in August.