Method Inking: Ryan Gosling’s New Role in The Place Beyond the Pines

In the recently released film The Place Beyond the Pines, Ryan Gosling plays Luke, a motorcycle stunt driver who is “damaged, wounded—a person who was kind of covered, not necessarily in scars, but in these tattoos that were signs of the pain he had experienced,” according to director Derek Cianfrance. To get the tattoos right, Gosling looked to his tattoo artist Ben Shields. “He called me with his ideas and I had my own for the character, then I banged out 40, 50 designs and he picked what he liked,” Shields says. “We didn’t want a circus dirt biker to have well-thought-out [tattoos], so we made carny-type designs and then gave them different saturations. Ryan says he wants to have them all tattooed on him. If he could go crazy with tattoos, he would.”

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