Sunday, 9 October 2011
When Did RYAN GOSLING Become THE MAN?
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.