Ryan Gosling brought new meaning to the phrase “method acting” while filming the crime drama “The Place Beyond the Pines,” using real bank customers in a robbery scene instead of paid actors.

Gosling told the (UK) Telegraph that the unconventional filming method was used to create more genuine reactions. The filmmakers efforts proved faulty, however, after bank customers were more interested in snapping pictures of the 32-year-old actor than actually being frightened.

“I’m there with the gun and I look down and people are just smiling,” Gosling, who can be seen in the film’s theatrical trailer jumping on the bank desk, wielding a gun and demanding money, said. “They were just enjoying the show and I think I spotted someone filming me on their camera phone as I robbed the place.”

Gosling told MovieClips.com last month that the film’s director, Derek Cianfrance, of “Blue Valentine,” decision to use real people instead of actors made for a difficult, yet rewarding, acting experience.

“In the bank scene, everyone in that film other than me works at that bank or goes to that bank so you’re constantly trying to reach the level of realism that they’re naturally at,” he said.

Gosling, who portrays a carnival motorcycle stunt rider turned bank robber, said filming a fictional heist was a lifelong dream.

“I’ve been thinking about a bank robbery my whole life and I finally got to do it,” said the actor, who noted the film involves some action sequences and plenty of heart-felt moments as his character, Luke, attempts to reunite with his lover (Eva Mendes) and newborn son.

“I loved making this movie. Initially, I just thought I got to rob banks on a bike, but actually it goes much, much deeper than that,” he said.

“The Place Beyond the Pines” was released in select theatres on March 20. The film opens in wide release on April 12.

The bank robbery sequences were filmed at various branches of First National Bank of Scotia in Schenectady, N.Y.

Gosling made headlines last week after yelling at a photographer for calling his co-star and off-screen girlfriend Mendes “baby” while promoting the film in New York.