Sunday 9 October 2011


The best artists in the business have to put the hours in. You remember Ryan Gosling from 'Half Nelson' and 'Lars and the Real Girl'. As great as he was in those, they weren't a ticket to the A-List. There's no ticket to the A-list. You just need talent and you have to keep working. Robert Downey Jr was a genius in the 80's -- but he wasn't the man. Sure, you can blame the drugs -- but it's more than that. He wasn't as good then as he is now. The personal problems, the great roles in smaller films (A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, Black & White, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and his genius turn as Larry Paul in 'Ally McBeal' -- they all led him to the place he deserves to be: one of the most in demand actors in the business. 

Ryan Gosling has talent. Some people knew this in the mid nineties. Every woman knew this after seeing 'The Notebook'. But he still had work to do. 'Half Nelson' set him apart from the rest; his talent was undeniable. Same goes for 'Lars and the Real Girl'. 

There's a key fact on his Wikipedia page - He dropped out of high school at the age of seventeen to focus on his acting career. Now he's in his early thirties. It takes that long to get to the top. And you could argue, he's not even there yet. 

But this year has been something special. He's reached a level where he's getting all the best scripts in town. It's like when Hanks did 'Sleepless In Seattle', 'Philiadelphia' and 'Forrest Gump' back to back -- or when Will Smith went through a period of hit after hit, year after year.

Right now Gosling is cool. The women love him, the men want to be him. 'Drive' is the coolest film of the year. 'Blue Valentine' is one of the truest relationship films we've had in a long time. 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' shows his ability to be slick and funny.

After great roles in 'The Notebook', 'Fracture', 'Half Nelson' and 'Lars and the Real Girl' --- what did he do to catapult himself to the top of the industry? He, uhhh---- he toured with his band for a few years. 

That's what an artist is, someone who follows their muse. He didn't go and get cast in a Marvel flick, he went out on the road with his band. That's why he's so sought after now --- because he's so authentic. He means it. We feel it. Can he hold on to this truthfulness? I have a feeling he can, he's doing it on his own terms. 

It's hard to say exactly how or when it happens: but actors get their moment in the spotlight. They're the one who everyone is writing for, everyone is trying to cast; it was Hanks, it was Will Smith, it was Robert Downey Jr. Right now, it's Ryan Gosling. He did years of ground work, he did the great indie flicks, and now he's the real deal, he's doing big movies.

These next five years are critical. They'll determine his career. This could be exciting.

Care to share?


  1. I've been following Ryan Gosling's career ever since he was 12 or so, on The Mickey Mouse Club. That was my favorite show in the world when I was a kid. I didn't think he was so dreamy then--just kind of goofy, especially since he was a couple years younger than I was (which is a big deal at that age). Even after The Notebook, I could SEE that he was dreamy, but I still had a hard time looking at him in "that way".

    So, for me anyway, it was Crazy Stupid Love that did it. He's finally grown into a man, and that character was incredibly sexy. I'm happy to see him getting such great roles that show his range,because you're totally right: he's a real artist, and he deserves it.

  2. Hello Kid, I did ask you what you thought about Ryan Gosling a few posts ago. I guess you just answered my question, and I like what I am reading ;-) == As you say, the next five years will be critical. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  3. im glad to see others think he is working his way into cementing himself in film history as being one of the few with the chops to play real, multi-dimensional roles. i have to admit The Notebook made me stand up and take notice of him. romance movies have a soft spot in my heart, but there are very few that take me to all the emotional places i crave in a truly good romantic flick. ryan had the supreme talent of leaving me breathless by movies end. it made me look up his entire filmography and start watching. i became completely convinced of his talent when i hit "The Believer" and when "Lars and the Real Girl" came out...speechless. im giddy seeing all of his current and upcoming films. he is the man, and he's not just a fad. thanks for posting about him.

  4. I have to admit that my fascination with Ryan Gosling started mainly because of his looks, except it wasn't The Notebook (which has to be one of the most overrated and terrible movies ever made), but Murder by Numbers. But as time has gone by, I have come to realise what a great actor he really is.
    I think he became a star after Blue Valentine last year, in which everyone started talking about how he got snubbed, and soon after Crazy Stupid Love's trailer came out with his shirtless, non-photoshopped scene and people went gaga. I am very excited to see what all he does next. From the pictures that have come out, Gangster Squad looks really promising.

  5. "What did he do to catapult himself to the top of the industry? He, uhhh---- he toured with his band for a few years."

    So this is the step I skipped on my path to fame? I knew it had to be something....

    Great write-up! Based on the films he's attached to now, I'd say that his next five years will be just as hot. He's reteaming with Cianfrance and doing several projects with Refn.