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What do Ryan Gosling, Mad Max and Captain Sully all have in common?
A song, for starters.
It turns out “A Real Hero,” the track that plays while Gosling stoically maneuvers his car throughout Drive, is rooted in recent current events and vintage action movies — as collaborators College and Electric Youth tell New York Magazine.
“I had this conversation with my grandfather,” says Electric Youth frontman Austin Garrick, “and he had been really moved by Captain Sully Sullenberger, who had crash landed that plane safely. He was the one who came to me talking about ‘a real human being and a real hero.'”
Sullenberger, of course, is the US Airways pilot who safely landed an Airbus in the Hudson River in 2009 after the plane was disabled by a flock of geese.
Garrick says he’d been thinking of ways to put his grandfather’s words into a song for several months when he received an instrumental from David Grellier (who performs as College) called “A Real Hero.”
The latter’s inspirations were more focused on 1980s cinema.
“I wanted to give a homage to that lonely hero that we see in movies like Mad Max,” says Grellier, “people who make their own choice and try to save lives. I want to give an homage. It was a coincidence.”
Cut to two years later: Gosling and editor Mat Newman both approach Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn about featuring the song in the film. “A Real Hero” then found its way into Drive‘s closing sequence and successful soundtrack.
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