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Jan 26th, 2017

Gosling-fest

With another Oscar nomination for Best Actor on the way, it's the perfect time to catch up on all things Gosling. For years I've been lightweight obsessed (understatement) with Mr. Gosling. A few years ago, a friend dismissed Gosling as "that guy from The Notebook?"

Ouch, that hurt me to my soul. To see Gosling dismissed so casually. And so we're gonna correct that oversight right now, and to give you a primer on all things Gosling. A Gosling-fest if you will!

First, some basic info: Ryan is currently thirty-seven, was born in Ontario, Canada, and has one older sister. During childhood he says that he had few friends and was diagnosed with ADHD and then homesechooled for a year. As kids, Ryan and his sister got their start performing with his uncle's Elvis tribute band, and Ryan was also in a local dance troupe.

Ryan has been married to Eva Mendes since late 2016 and they have two daughters, Esmeralda and Amada.

Movie: The Believer

The movie that first put me onto Gosling was one of his first starring roles. A young Gosling co-stars with Summer Phoenix in this story about an anti-Semitic teenager who chooses to become a neo-Nazi, despite being Jewish himself. Check out the trailer. Needless to say, Gosling's performance is incendiary.

How Behind Am I? While already a veteran actor, and maybe catching people's attention as the star of Young Hercules -- or as a singing/dancing charmer in Remember the Titans -- The Believer, released in 2001, was Gosling's breakout performance.

Mickey Mouse Club (MMC) - Cry for You
Mickey Mouse Club, "Cry For You"
Oh yeah, Ryan was also part of the famed Mickey Mouse Club, albeit for only two seasons. Still, he performed with Britney, Christina, Fergie, and all of the rest of them. And his roommate? Justin Timberlake.

While Gosling is altogether too modest, saying that he couldn't sing and was only cast for his dancing skills, he steals the show during this cover of Jodeci's "Cry For You" (he solos at the 1:34 minute mark). And yeah, that's Justin and JC Chasez next to him. In an alternate universe, Gosling would have have definitely been in *NSYNC.
And if you want to see young Gosling dance, just Google away. Or start here with his performance to MC Hammer.

Why This? Young Gosling might be best Gosling, even if it's hard to tell because every Gosling is best Gosling, right?
Must-See Gosling Movies
  • Blue Valentine (2010)
  • Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
  • Drive (2011)
  • La La Land (2016)
  • The Nice Guys (2016)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017)*
  • The Big Short (2015)
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
  • The Believer (2001)
  • All Good Things (2010)

What's Been Left Out? Yeah, there's no Notebook on that list. Mainly because I didn't like it. Same with Half Nelson, which got Gosling his first Oscar Best Actor nomination in 2006, but didn't really do it for me. While you may quibble with the quality of some of these movies, you can't argue with Gosling's performances.

And if you want to be a Gosling-Emma Stone completist, you could watch Gangster Squad, although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Meme: Hey Girl

While Ryan is no stranger to wider internet lore -- winning a MTV Movie Award for best kiss, breaking up street fights and other saintly acts -- Gosling is best known for the "Hey Girl" image series which played upon his intelligence, sweetheart-ability, and his feminist leanings. In fact, there's a book (from the Tumblr) out there called Feminist Ryan Gosling: Feminist Theory (as Imagined) from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude. Beat that Ryan Reynolds!

Sidenote: Never confuse the two Ryans, ever. I have a theory that everyone must be either in the Reynolds or Gosling camp, never both. And it's a sharp divide, like Edward versus Jacob.

Why This? "Hey girl, feel my sweater...know what it's made of? Boyfriend material."

Interview: Gosling Talks

Here's another reason to love Ryan Gosling: he's hilarious. In fact, his dry wit is a huge part of the reason I'm such a fan. And it's not scripted either, as anyone can be funny on-film and with pre-rehearsed lines. Watch some of Gosling's interviews and candid moments and you'll see that he's just as great ad-libbing.

Why This? Because Gosling the human is exactly on par with Gosling the actor. Do they hand out awards for being an exemplary human?

Dead Man's Bones - My Body's A Zombie For You
Dead Man's Bones, "My Body's a Zombie For You"
As such a talented individual, of course Ryan's also in a band. And guess what? They're not bad! This is my favorite song of theirs, from Dead Man's Bones' eponymous 2009 album. "My Body's a Zombie For You" will become your favorite song about zombies. Guaranteed.

Why This? The children's choir chorus will haunt you for days, but in a good way.
In conclusion, the only misstep Ryan's ever made was to not end up with Rachel McAdams, his Notebook co-star. But even then, it wasn't his fault, as she broke up with him.

And so we conclude Gosling-fest, and onto regularly scheduled programming for our next issue. Thanks for subscribing!
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