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Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe talked rugby on the set of 'The Nice Guys'

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Warner Bros. Pictures

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling and Australia-raised star Russell Crowe wouldn’t necessarily seem like two gentlemen with a whole lot in common. So what did the duo discuss when shooting scenes for writer-director Shane Black’s new action-comedy The Nice Guys (out May 20)? The answer, according to Gosling, is rugby — a sport about which Crowe is famously obsessed.

“Lot of rugby talk,” says Gosling. “I’m still not sure I completely understand. But it’s not for a lack of trying on Russell’s part.”

“I played him a game, which he appreciated,” says Crowe. “But I’m not sure he’s a sport-focused fellow. I think he gets his enjoyment out of other of life’s pleasures, you know?”

Gosling didn’t even have the option of befuddling Crowe with talk of ice hockey, thanks to the latter’s appearance in the 1999 sports movie Mystery, Alaska.

“Thank God we managed to avoid talking about that,” says Gosling. “I don’t know a goddamned thing about hockey either!”

The good news? At least Crowe didn’t try to explain the notoriously complex laws of another popular-in-Australia sport: cricket.

“Right, yeah,” laughs Gosling. “If there’s a sequel, I think that’s coming down the barrel for me. A lot of cricket talk coming my way.”

You can see the trailer for The Nice Guys below.

A version of this story originally appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1411-1412, on newsstands now or available here.

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