- Ryan Thomas Gosling
November 12, 1980 (age 40)
- Actor, Musician, Restaurateur, Film Director, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Activist
- Thomas Gosling, Donna Gosling
Ryan Thomas Gosling (born November 12, 1980) is a Canadian actor, film director, screenwriter, musician and businessman. He began his career as a child star on the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club (1993–95) and went on to appear in other family entertainment programs including Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1995) and Goosebumps (1996). He starred in the television series Breaker High (1997–98) as Sean Hanlon and Young Hercules (1998–99) as the title role. His first starring role was as a Jewish neo-Nazi in The Believer (2001), and he then built a reputation for starring in independent films such as Murder by Numbers (2002), The Slaughter Rule (2002), and The United States of Leland (2003).
Gosling came to the attention of a wider audience in 2004 with a leading role in the romantic drama The Notebook, for which he won four Teen Choice Awards and an MTV Movie Award. His performance as a drug-addicted teacher in Half Nelson (2006) was nominated for an Academy Award and his performance as a socially inept loner in Lars and the Real Girl (2007) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Also in 2007, he starred in the courtroom thriller Fracture. After a three-year acting hiatus, Gosling starred in Blue Valentine, earning him a second Golden Globe nomination. 2011 proved to be a landmark year for Gosling as he co-starred in three mainstream films that were the romantic comedy-drama Crazy, Stupid, Love, the political drama The Ides of March and the action thriller Drive – and received two Golden Globe nominations. In 2013, he starred in the crime thriller Gangster Squad, the generational drama The Place Beyond the Pines, and the violent revenge film Only God Forgives. His directorial debut Lost River was released in 2014.
Gosling's band, Dead Man's Bones, released their self-titled debut album and toured North America in 2009. He is a co-owner of Tagine, a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. He is a supporter of PETA, Invisible Children and the Enough Project and has travelled to Chad, Uganda and eastern Congo to raise awareness about conflicts in the regions.
Ryan Thomas Gosling was born in London, Ontario to Thomas Ray Gosling, a traveling salesman for a paper mill, and Donna, a secretary who qualified as a high school teacher in 2011. His father is part of French Canadian descent. Gosling's parents were Mormons, and Gosling has said that the religion influenced every aspect of their lives. Because of his father's work, they "moved around a lot" and Gosling lived in both Cornwall, Ontario, and Burlington, Ontario. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he and his older sister Mandi lived with their mother, an experience Gosling has credited with programming him "to think like a girl".
Gosling was educated at Gladstone Public School, Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School and Lester B. Pearson High School. As a child, he watched Dick Tracy and was inspired to become an actor. He "hated" being a child, was bullied in elementary school and had no friends until he was "14 or 15". In the first grade, having been heavily influenced by the action film First Blood, he took steak knives to school and threw them at other children during recess. This incident led to a suspension. He was unable to read and was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), prescribed Ritalin, and placed in a class for special-needs students. Consequently, his mother quit her job and homeschooled him for a year. Gosling has said that homeschooling gave him "a sense of autonomy that I've never really lost". Gosling performed from an early age. He showed interest in performing when his sister was a performer. He and his sister sang together at weddings; he performed with Elvis Perry, his uncle's Elvis Presley tribute act, and was involved with a local ballet company. Performing boosted his self-confidence as it was the only thing he received praise for. He developed an idiosyncratic accent because, as a child, he thought having a Canadian accent didn't sound "tough". He began to model his accent on that of Marlon Brando. He dropped out of high school at the age of seventeen to focus on his acting career.
In 1993, at the age of twelve, Gosling attended an open audition in Montreal for a revival of Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club. He was given a two-year contract as a mouseketeer and moved to Orlando, Florida. He appeared on-screen infrequently because other children were considered more talented. Nonetheless, he has described the job as the greatest two years of his life. Fellow cast members included Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and Gosling has credited the experience with instilling in them "this great sense of focus." He became particularly close friends with Timberlake and they lived together for six months during the second year of the show. Timberlake's mother became Gosling's legal guardian after his mother returned to Canada for work reasons. Gosling has said that, even though he and Timberlake are no longer in touch, they are still supportive of each other. Following the show's cancellation in 1995, Gosling returned to Canada and continued to appear in family entertainment television series including Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1995), Goosebumps (1996) and starred in Breaker High (1997–98) as Sean Hanlon. At the age of eighteen, he moved to New Zealand to film the Fox Kids adventure series Young Hercules (1998–99) as the title character. While he initially enjoyed working on the series, he began to long for an opportunity to play a variety of characters and decided not to accept any more television work.
Move to independent film
At the age of nineteen, Gosling decided to move into "serious acting". He was dropped by his agent and initially found it difficult to secure work because of the "stigma" attached to children's television. After a supporting role in the football drama Remember the Titans, Gosling secured a lead role as a young Jewish neo-Nazi in 2001's The Believer. Director Henry Bean said he cast Gosling because his Mormon upbringing helped him understand the isolation of Judaism. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times praised an "electrifying and terrifyingly convincing" performance while Todd McCarthy of Variety felt his "dynamite performance" could "scarcely have been better". The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and Gosling has described it as "the film that kind of gift-wrapped for me the career that I have now." Because of the controversial nature of the film, it was difficult to secure financial backing for a full theatrical release and the film was instead broadcast on Showtime. The film was a commercial failure, grossing just $416,925 worldwide from a production budget of $1.5 million.
In 2002, Gosling co-starred in the psychological thriller Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock and Michael Pitt, where Gosling and Pitt portrayed a pair of high school seniors who believe they can commit the perfect murder. Bullock played the detective tasked with investigating the crime. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly described him as "a phenomenal talent even in junk like this" while Todd McCarthy of Variety felt that the "strong and "charismatic" young actors were "let down by the screenplay". The film was a minor commercial success, grossing $56 million worldwide from a production budget of $50 million. His second screen appearance of 2002 was in The Slaughter Rule with David Morse which explores the relationship between a high school football player and his troubled coach in rural Montana. Gosling has said that the opportunity to work with Morse made him "a better actor". Stephen Holden of The New York Times described Gosling as "major star material" with a "rawness and an intensity that recall the young Matt Dillon" while Manohla Dargis of the Los Angeles Times was won over by his "raw talent". The film was released in just three U.S. theaters and grossed $13,411.
Following a three-year absence from the big screen, Gosling starred in five movies in 2010 and 2011. "I’ve never had more energy,” Gosling has said. “I’m more excited to make films than I used to be. I used to kind of dread it. It was so emotional and taxing. But I’ve found a way to have fun while doing it. And I think that translates into the films.” He has also spoken of feeling depressed when not working. In 2010, he co-starred with Michelle Williams in Derek Cianfrance's directorial debut, the marital drama Blue Valentine. The low-budget film was mainly improvised and Gosling has said "you had to remind yourself you were making a film". Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle felt he "brings a preternatural understanding of people to his performance" while A.O. Scott of The New York Times found him "convincing as the run-down, desperate, older Dean, and maybe a bit less so as the younger version". Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly noted that he "plays Dean as a snarky working-class hipster, but when his anger is unleashed, the performance turns powerful." However, Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe felt the performance was an example of "hipsterism misdirected". He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. The film was a box office success, grossing over $12 million worldwide from a production budget of $1 million. Gosling's second on-screen appearance of 2010 was in the mystery film All Good Things with Kirsten Dunst, based on a true story. He played the role of New York real-estate heir Robert Durst, who was investigated for the disappearance of his wife (played by Dunst). Gosling found the filming process to be a "dark experience" and did not undertake any promotional duties for the film. When asked if he was proud of the film, he replied, "I'm proud of what Kirsten does in the movie." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone felt he "gets so deep into character you can feel his nerve endings." Mick La Salle of the San Francisco Chronicle found the "chameleonic Gosling is completely convincing as this empty shell of a man". Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times felt that the film belonged to Dunst, but noted that Gosling "is good too". The film grossed $644,535 worldwide. Also in 2010, Gosling narrated and produced ReGeneration, a documentary that explores the cynicism in today’s youth towards social and political causes.
2011 saw Gosling expand his horizons by appearing in three diverse, high-profile roles. He co-starred in his first comedic role in the romantic comedy-drama Crazy, Stupid, Love, with Steve Carell and Emma Stone. Gosling took cocktail-making classes at a Los Angeles bar in preparation for his role as a smooth-talking ladies' man. Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post said his "seductive command presence suggests we may have found our next George Clooney". Peter Travers declared him "a comic knockout" while Claudia Puig of USA Today felt he reveals a "surprising" "knack for comedy." He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The film was a box office success, grossing over $142 million worldwide. With adjustments for inflation, it is the second most successful of Gosling's career. Gosling's first action role was in Drive, based on a novel by James Sallis. Gosling portrayed a Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a getaway driver and he has described the film as a "violent John Hughes movie": "I always thought if Pretty in Pink had head-smashing it would be perfect". Roger Ebert compared Gosling to Steve McQueen and stated that he "embodies presence and sincerity ... he has shown a gift for finding arresting, powerful characters [and] can achieve just about anything. Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal pondered "the ongoing mystery of how he manages to have so much impact with so little apparent effort. It's irresistible to liken his economical style to that of Marlon Brando." The film was a box office success, grossing $70 million worldwide from a production budget of $15 million. In his final appearance of 2011, Gosling co-starred with Philip Seymour Hoffman in the political drama The Ides of March directed by George Clooney, in which he played an ambitious press secretary. Gosling partly decided to do the film to become more politically aware: "I'm Canadian and so American politics aren't really in my wheelhouse." Joe Morganstern of the Wall Street Journal said that Gosling and Hoffman "are eminently well equipped to play variations on their characters' main themes. Yet neither actor has great material to conjure with in the script." In a generally tepid review, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times asserted that it was "certainly involving to see the charismatic Gosling verbally spar with superb character actors like Hoffman and [Paul] Giamatti." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle felt there was "one aspect to the character that Gosling can't quite nail down, that might simply be outside his sphere, which is idealism." He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. The film grossed $66 million worldwide.
Gosling resided in New York City with his mixed-breed dog, George. He co-owns Tagine, a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. He bought the restaurant on an impulse and said he spent "all [his] money" on it and spent a year doing the renovation work himself and now oversees the restaurant's menus.
Gosling dated his Murder by Numbers co-star Sandra Bullock for a year from 2002 to 2003. He also dated his The Notebook co-star Rachel McAdams from mid-2005 to mid-2007, and they briefly reunited in mid-2008.
In September 2011, Gosling began dating his The Place Beyond the Pines co-star Eva Mendes. They live together in Los Feliz, California. In September 2014, Mendes gave birth to their daughter Esmeralda Amada Gosling.