A Beginner's Guide to...Ryan Gosling | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

A Beginner’s Guide to…Ryan Gosling


Ryan Gosling was brought up in Ontario, Canada by his Mormon mother, and would sing at family events with his sister. At the age of 12 he attended an open audition and became a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club alongside JT, Britney et al., and went on to star in a number of Canadian TV series. However, unlike his Mickey Mouse Club cohorts, Gosling went the way of art, rather than instant fame, and moved into independent film in the early 2000s. His first offering, 2001’s The Believer, won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, following it up in 2002 with Cannes-premiered Murder By Numbers and The Slaughter Rule, and in 2003 with The United States of Leland. All of his performances were highly praised by critics, opening the way for big things.


Gosling’s big break came with THAT kiss in the infamous The Notebook in 2004 (yes, 2004!!). Gosling and his co-star-come-girlfriend Rachel McAdams were propelled into the hearts and minds of popular culture across the world, and The Notebook continues to be a romantic rite of passage and a benchmark for teens (and grown ups) everywhere. After such success as a heart throb the logical path would have been to pursue a career starring in a stream of heartfelt rom coms. Gosling instead chose to play a drug addicted junior school teacher in the critically adored Half Nelson, earning himself an Oscar nomination and comparisons with Marlon Brando, and continued his run of unexpected roles (and his collection of awards nominations) with Lars And The Real Girl, an endearing love story between an introvert and a blow up doll.

Big time

After a two year hiatus Gosling burst back into the public consciousness with 2010’s emotionally explosive Blue Valentine, on which he was also executive producer. After his time away Gosling had rediscovered his excitement for acting, something which clearly comes across in his Golden Globe nominated performance, as he shows his versatility and intensity as an actor. However, 2011 has really been Gosling’s big year. This autumn he has had the double barrelled impact of of Crazy, Stupid, Love and Drive. Crazy, Stupid, Love highlighted Gosling’s versatility as he took on a role unlike anything he had played before, to the delighted surprise of critics and viewers alike. But it has been Drive that has really got people talking, as Gosling’s presence and charisma carries the film to make it the great experience that it is.

What’s next?

If you’re now craving your next Gosling fix then The Ides of March, a political thriller starring and directed by George Clooney is out now. We also have three more films to look forward to in 2012/13: The Gangster Squad set in 1940s LA, criminal drama Only God Forgives and The Place Beyond The Pines in which Gosling plays a stuntman and bank robber.

Need to know

- In 2008-9 Gosling was writing and touring with his band, Dead Man’s Bones.

- He and band member Zach Shields play all the instruments themselves and their entire ghostly self-titled album is a collaboration with an LA children’s choir.Gosling’s distinctly un-

- Canadian accent came about as a child when he decided real men should sound like Marlon Brando.Gosling owns a Moroccan restaurant called Tagine in Beverley Hills



4th November 2011 at 4:58 pm

Last Updated

4th November 2011 at 5:07 pm