With a handsome face, a lovely disposition, and endless talent, it is no surprise that someone like Ryan Gosling is a Hollywood household name! All his life, Ryan knew he wanted to be an actor, and he did all that he could to make his dreams come true. Nowadays, there is almost no one on the entire planet who does not know who Ryan Gosling is! And for good reason! From iconic roles in films such as The Notebook, La La Land, and more recently, Barbie, Ryan Gosling knows how to capture the screen.
The Canadian actor started his career very young and took his time building a stable job in Hollywood. He began as a Disney kid and moved on to television and then to movies. Gosling never shied away from a screen, taking every opportunity presented to him. That is how he became the Ryan Gosling we know and love today.
It’s essential to know how the Hollywood heartthrob started his career and what projects launched him into international fame. So keep reading to learn more about Ryan Gosling and his astonishing Hollywood career that just keeps giving!
Ryan Gosling: From Canada to Mickey Mouse Club
Ryan Gosling was born in Ontario, Canada in 1980. Neither of his parents had anything to do with the world of acting! His father was a salesman, and his mother was a secretary. Due to his father’s job, Ryan and his family moved a lot during his childhood. That made it hard for Ryan to make friends, which was part of why he was obsessed with TV and movies.
Ryan stated once that watching Dick Tracey at a young age is what inspired him to become an actor. He used to imitate things he saw on TV in real life to try and become noticeable in school. This did not always end well, though! One time, inspired by the action movie First Blood, Ryan took kitchen knives to school and got suspended for it!
His mother noticed Ryan’s talent for performance and encouraged him to pursue it. She let him sing in family weddings and even got him into a local ballet company for some time. Being in front of an audience made Ryan very confident and let him feel good about himself.
Welcome to the Mickey Mouse Club!
At 12 years old, Ryan was ready to start his professional acting career! Lucky for him, Disney was holding an open audition for a revival of their popular children’s show, The Mickey Mouse Club. Ryan’s family went to Montreal to give him a chance to audition. He ended up getting a role in the show and a two-year contract as Mousekteer!
The Mickey Mouse Club was Ryan Gosling’s first professional acting contract. Even though he was not a regular on the show, this experience introduced him to the world of acting and how it works. He also got to work with many future superstars! Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera are only some of the people who worked on The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Gosling at the time!
After two years on the show, Ryan returned to Canada and participated in several other TV shows, such as Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1995) and Goosebumps (1996). His first title role was in a New Zealand show called Young Hercules. After playing the role for a year, Ryan decided he no longer wanted to do TV, and it was time to head to Hollywood!
Ryan Gosling Takes on Hollywood!
Proving yourself as a “serious actor” after having been a child actor, especially on the Disney channel, is hard! Most filmmakers and casting directors don’t take Disney actors seriously, and Ryan faced some challenges in the beginning. Then, in 2001, he got a lead role in Henry Bean’s The Believer. Ryan’s role as a Jewish neo-Nazi was called “electrifying and terrifyingly convincing” by The Los Angeles Times. After the movie won The Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Gosling’s career started to soar!
He starred in several independent films, such as Murder by Numbers (2002) opposite Sandra Bullock and Micheal Pitt. He also worked with David Morse in The Slaughter Rule (2002). In 2003, he starred in The United States of Leland, which earned him a lot of critical acclaim and positive reviews in news outlets such as The New York Times and Variety.
After that, Ryan Gosling got his first commercial success in the film adaptation of The Notebook, and from there, his career soared! Here is a look into the most essential films that shaped the Canadian actor’s Hollywood career in the past twenty years!
The Notebook (2004)
Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
Most of us did not know who Ryan Gosling was until the release of the movie sensation The Notebook! The film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ romance novel has taken the world by storm, becoming an instant classic. Both Gosling and McAdams’ careers rode on a high after the movie, and they both became international stars overnight!
The Notebook is a romance movie about a couple who fall in love in the 1940s despite their different social classes. Noah, a lumber mill worker, falls for Allie, a wealthy heiress. They have a whirlwind romance where they get separated and then find each other years later to live happily ever after.
The movie is one of the most popular romance films of all time. No woman alive at the time did not know Ryan Gosling’s face! The Notebook was a real launcher of Gosling’s career and stardom. It literally put him on the map and opened up all his following opportunities.
Half Nelson (2006)
Directed by: Ryan Fleck
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps, and Anthony Mackie
The Notebook might be the movie that made Ryan Gosling famous, but Half Nelson is the one that cemented his career as an actor. The Ryan Fleck drug drama allowed Gosling to flex his acting talent and prove to the world of cinema how great and versatile of an actor he was.
Half Nelson is a drama about a middle school history teacher who is also a drug addict. Despite being a good teacher, all Dan does in his free time is do drugs. He makes a friend with one of his students and tries to keep her clear of the drug dealing business. The movie follows the story of both of them trying to save each other from the world of drugs, whether by doing or dealing with it.
Ryan Gosling’s role as Dan Dunne earned him lots of critical acclaim and positive reviews. It even earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor! He was called “one of finest actors” working in Hollywood for his role in Half Nelson. A year later, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Lars and The Real Girl (2007)
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, and Paul Schneider
Not every Box Office failure is a failure in an actor’s career, and the proof of that is Ryan Gosling’s Lars and The Real Girl. This film was Gosling’s first attempt at doing a comedy-drama, and it showed the world how the Canadian actor is capable of acting in every role he gets!
Lars and The Real Girl is about an introverted young man, played by Gosling, who has difficulty building a social life or talking to others. One day, he introduces his family to a “friend” he met online. The “friend” turns out to be a doll he ordered from an adult website. Lars treats this doll as if she is real, and to get to the root of his problem, all his co-workers and family members play along.
Despite being a Box Office failure, Lars and The Real Girl was a great movie for Gosling’s career. He earned a lot of positive reviews for his acting, some critics even calling it “a miracle”! To top it all, Ryan earned his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for his role as Lars.
Crazy Stupid Love (2011)
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Emma Stone, and Julianne Moore
Now that he dipped his toes in comedies, Ryan Gosling has discovered that he has a knack for them! His next project, Crazy Stupid Love, is an instant hit with comedy legend Steve Carell and America’s darling Emma Stone, who will become his leading lady in many other upcoming projects!
Crazy Stupid Love is about two men who meet in a bar. The first one, Cal, is a family man who lost the spark with his wife and is trying to relearn how to charm women. The second guy, Jacob, is a womaniser who has never been in a serious relationship before. As Jacob tries to help Cal become more casual and flirty with women, he meets and falls in love with Hannah, who turns out to be Cal’s daughter!
Crazy Stupid Love is simply one of the best romantic comedies of recent years! It is heartfelt, funny, and charming, with every single cast member giving it their all! Ryan’s Jacob is a jackass that you won’t be able to resist falling in love with as he falls in love with Emma Stone’s Hannah.
La La Land (2016)
Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and John Legend
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have discovered that they are the perfect co-stars! Their chemistry is unmatchable, and so Damien Chazelle decided to make a musical with them! Ryan, being the versatile actor that he is, said yes and gave us one of the best movies of the past decade!
La La Land is a romantic musical film about two people who fall in love while pursuing their dream in Los Angeles—Sebastian Wilder dreams of opening his very own Jazz club and restaurant. Mia Dolan is an aspiring actress who lives with three roommates and spends her day working in a cafe and going from one audition to another. The two meet and start a wild romance that may or may not survive the competitiveness of LA.
The Oscar-nominated movie for Best Picture is one of Ryan Gosling’s best movies ever made. The film has garnered a lot of great reviews from critics and has been nominated for almost every award in the industry. Even though it did not win Gosling his first Oscar, it got his co-star Emma Stone hers. La La Land was even mistakenly announced as the Best Picture winner before it was amended to Moonlight! (Iconic Oscar moment!)
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Despite his vast and versatile career, Ryan Gosling was not for big blockbusters or fantasy-based movies. That is until Denis Villeneuve asked him to star in the revival of the epic noir sci-fi movie Blade Runner! With the opportunity to lead such a massive production alongside the original star, Harrison Ford, who could say no? Not Ryan!
Thirty years after the events of Blade Runner (1982), Replicants are now slaves who are not allowed to lead everyday lives in any capacity. K, played by Gosling, is a Replicant who works for the LAPD as a Blade Runner. On one mission, he discovers the remains of a Replicant who died while giving birth, something that was thought to be impossible before. Fearing that this might start a war between humans and Replicants, K is ordered to find the Replicant child and kill them.
Blade Runner 2049 was Ryan Gosling’s best-performing movie in the Box Office so far! The movie made over 31 million dollars domestically, which wasn’t considered a success for the film but one for Gosling. He was praised for his acting as Blade Runner K and for “making boredom seem passionate”.
Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie
Ryan’s most prominent movie to date was 2023’s Box Office hit Barbie! Greta Gerwig personally chose Ryan to play Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, despite many people saying he is too old. She believed he was the perfect Ken, and Ryan did not let her down!
Barbie (2023) is a movie about an internationally famous doll with the same name. The film follows Barbie as she starts to malfunction and decides to go out into the real world to find out what’s wrong with the girl who is playing with her. Ken, of course, tags along in this journey and finds out that in the real world, men are the main characters, not women! As both of them deal with their respective existential crises, Barbie Land pays the price for their change.
Barbie is, so far, the biggest movie of 2023! Crossing the 1 billion mark in the Box Office, it is by far Ryan Gosling’s most successful movie. Even though the film is called Barbie, many argue that Ken was the real star of the movie, as Ryan Gosling killed that role with his iconic performance. Barbie is set to be nominated for many awards in the upcoming season, with a possible Oscar nomination and hopefully win for Ryan’s Ken!
Ryan Gosling has been part of our screen since he was twelve years old and hung out with Mickey Mouse and his friends. In all his years as a movie star, Gosling has given us countless iconic roles, cementing himself as one of the best actors in Hollywood. Many of his movies are available to stream on Netflix and other streaming platforms, so do yourself a favour and take a trip down Ryan’s brilliant filmography.
Ryan Thomas Gosling
November 12, 1980 in London, Ontario, Canada
Eva Mendes (12) (2 Children)
Amada Lee Gosling
Esmeralda Amada Gosling