Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
The Notebook, La La Land, First Man
Currently Known For:
Actor, Director, and Musician
1990s - Present
November 12, 1980
The Notebook, La La Land, First Man
To view another celebrity please click the next celebrity button below or read the full article by scrolling further below.
“It’s not easy to leave your hometown and your family and your support system and come out to Los Angeles to pursue a dream where the odds are not in your favor.” Getting his start as a youngster on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1993, Ryan Gosling is one of the few child actors to successfully transition into a Hollywood heartthrob. Gosling established himself as a leading man with his starring role opposite Rachel McAdams in The Notebook (2004). In the decade since then, his outstanding performances in Half Nelson (2006), Lars and the Real Girl (2007), Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), The Big Short (2015), La La Land (2016), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and First Man (2018) have solidified his career. So, what’s Gosling’s secret to success and why did Harrison Ford punch him in the face on the set of Blade Runner 2049? We thought you’d never ask!
1980s to Stardom
Ryan Thomas Gosling was born on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada as the son of a traveling salesman and a secretary. Because of his father’s career, the family moved frequently until his parents divorced in 1993. By then, Gosling dreamed of becoming an actor and was tired of childhood. “I just felt this sense of: I have a limited amount of time and, you know, I’ve got to get started. I also didn’t like the arbitrariness of control that people seemed to have over me,” he said. “I think my mother encouraged that. I had one teacher, because I was dancing, he thought that was funny and he would make jokes about it in class, and my mother said, ‘You know, if you ever feel like he’s being disrespectful, you can just leave.’ And I did one day…”
After he left school, his mother homeschooled him for a year, which gave him a new perspective. “I guess I realized that there were other ways,” he said. “The fact that I could stay home and watch Planet of the Apes in the morning and then go downstairs and draw while I learned about some historical battle—draw these maps and scenarios and connect to it in a way that was personal to me—I just felt like: ‘Oh well, then there must be another way to do everything.’”
That sense of doing things his own way inspired Gosling to pursue his dreams to perform. He was 12 years old when he was cast in The Mickey Mouse Club (1993-1995), which brought the family from Canada to Orlando, Florida. Gosling spent two years performing alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera before the show was canceled in 1995. Fortunately, Gosling’s career picked up momentum and he appeared in Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1995), Goosebumps (1996), and Breaker High (1997-1998).
Dropping out of high school to pursue acting full time, Gosling spent the next few years trying to break free of his reputation as a child actor. He appeared in Remember the Titans (2000) and turned heads for his performance in The Believer (2001), a film that flopped at the box office but showcased Gosling’s raw talent as he played a young Jewish neo-Nazi. A year later, he joined Sandra Bullock in Murder by Numbers (2002) and David Morse in The Slaughter Rule (2002).
After a starring role in The United States of Leland (2003), Gosling garnered widespread praise when he joined Rachel McAdams in The Notebook in 2004. The film grossed over $115 million worldwide and earned Gosling four Teen Choice Awards as well as an MTV Movie Award. Finally, Gosling was considered a leading man and pursued even bigger opportunities like Half Nelson (2006), which earned him an Academy Award nomination and an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he starred in Lars and the Real Girl and, three years later, made his debut as an executive producer in Blue Valentine (2010).
Hollywood Stardom: Recent Projects and Relationships
Gosling earned praise for expanding his talents with projects like All Good Things (2010), Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), Drive (2011), and The Ides of March (2011). However, less-than-stellar projects like Gangster Squad (2013) and Only God Forgives (2013) pushed Gosling to take a break from acting. “I’ve lost perspective on what I’m doing,” he said in 2013. “I think it’s good for me to take a break and reassess why I’m doing it and how I’m doing it. And I think this is probably a good way to learn about that.” Gosling took his hiatus as a chance to make his directorial debut with Lost River at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
With Lost River failing to impress, Gosling returned to acting with a stellar performance in The Big Short (2015). He joined Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys (2015) and earned a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for his work in La La Land (2016). In 2017, he joined Harrison Ford in Blade Runner 2049, which made a lasting impression since Ford accidentally punched him on the set. “We were just doing a fight scene and, you know, it just happened,” he said. “But what was funny was, when it was over, they brought ice for my face, and Harrison pushed me out of the way and stuck his fist in the ice. I asked him the other day where he got his sense of humor from—was it from his mother or his father? He said, ‘Sears.’ And he didn’t have much time to shop around so he just had to grab one and get out.”
Since his incident on the set of Blade Runner 2049, Gosling starred as Neil Armstrong in First Man (2018), which was critically praised. Beyond that, Gosling has plenty to keep him busy especially with his band, Dead Man’s Bones, and his Beverly Hills restaurant, Tagine. Of course, his biggest focus these days is on his life at home with his partner, Eva Mendes, whom he met on the set of The Place Beyond the Pines in 2011. After previously dating costars Sandra Bullock and Rachel McAdams, Gosling finally settled down for his happily ever after with Mendes as they welcomed two daughters into the world (2014 and 2016). “My home life now is mostly women,” he says happily. “They are better than us. They make me better.”