Ryan Thomas Gosling (born November 12, 1980) is a Canadian award-winning actor, musician, social activist and producer. Having first gained notice at the age of 12 as a mouseketeer on the variety show The Mickey Mouse Club, Gosling has built a reputation for playing misfits in independent films: a fanatic Neo-Nazi in the The Believer (2001), a drug-addicted junior high school teacher in Half Nelson (2006), a socially inept loner in Lars and the Real Girl (2007) and a frazzled husband in Blue Valentine (2010). His most commercially successful movie to date is 2004's romantic drama The Notebook. He has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Leading Actor (for Half Nelson) and two Golden Globe Awards (for Lars and the Real Girl and Blue Valentine). 2011 saw him expand his horizons: he appeared in his first comedic role in Crazy, Stupid, Love and his first action role in Drive. His next film, political drama The Ides of March, is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2011. He formed Dead Man's Bones with his friend, Zach Shields, and they released their self-titled debut album in 2009. Gosling was born in London, Ontario but grew up in Cornwall. He is the son of Donna, a secretary, and Thomas Gosling, a paper mill worker.
He was raised in a Latter Day Saint family, and has since stated that he "wasn't really Mormon, my parents were". His parents divorced when he was young and he was raised by his mother. He has said that he had "no pals" as a child and was homeschooled for a year after being bullied in elementary school. He performed from an early age - he and his older sister, Mandi, sang together at weddings, he performed with his uncle's Elvis Presley tribute act, Elvis Perry and he was involved with a local dance company. He spent part of his childhood in Florida, USA after successfully auditioning for a part on The Mickey Mouse Club at the age of twelve. He developed an idiosyncratic accent as a child, later explaining, "As a kid I thought having a Canadian accent didn't sound tough. I thought guys should sound like Marlon Brando. So now I have a phony accent that I can't shake, so it's not phony anymore." He dropped out of high school at the age of seventeen to focus on his acting career. Gosling first made his name as a child actor on The Mickey Mouse Club alongside fellow future stars Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. He also appeared in many Canadian television series and movies including Goosebumps and Breaker High, and, in 1998, he moved to New Zealand to film the adventure series Young Hercules.
In 2004, he starred opposite Rachel McAdams in the sleeper hit The Notebook. The film made stars of its two leads, had huge popular culture resonance and frequently appears on Most Romantic Movies lists. The chemistry between Gosling and McAdams was often remarked upon, with the New York Times writing, "Their performances are so spontaneous and combustible that you quickly identify with the reckless sweethearts, who embody an innocence that has all but vanished from American teenage life. And against your better judgment, you root for the pair to beat the odds against them." In 2005, his sole appearance was in critical and box-office flop, Stay. In 2006, he appeared as a drug-addicted, junior high school history teacher in Half Nelson, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award and won Best Actor at the Spirit Awards. He played an introvert who falls in love with a sex doll in the gently comedic 2007 film Lars and the Real Girl, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association and won a Satellite Award. He also starred opposite Anthony Hopkins in the 2007 courtroom thriller Fracture. Gosling focused mainly on his band Dead Man's Bones in 2008 and 2009, releasing a debut album and touring North America.
In 2010, he co-starred with Michelle Williams in Derek Cianfrance's directorial debut, Blue Valentine. The low-budget film was mainly improvised: "Most movies when you're acting you're trying to block out the lights and the trailers. Here, you had to remind yourself you were making a film," says Gosling. "Michelle and I found it hard to take off our wedding bands when it was over. We'd built this castle and then had to tear it down." His performance was nominated for many awards, most notably a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Also in 2010, he narrated ReGeneration, a documentary that explores the cynicism in today’s youth towards social and political causes, and starred opposite Kirsten Dunst in All Good Things. He declined to promote the latter amid rumours he clashed with the director, Andrew Jarecki, on set. saw him expand his horizons: he appeared in his first comedic role in Crazy, Stupid, Love. and his first action role in Drive. His next film, political drama The Ides of March, is set to premiere at and open the Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2011. He is currently filming The Place Beyond the Pines, a bank heist movie with Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta, and is attached to three movies currently in pre-production: The Gangster Squad, Only God Forgives and a remake of Logan's Run.
Gosling dated Sandra Bullock, sixteen years his senior, for over a year from 2002 to 2003, after meeting on the set of Murder by Numbers. He co-owns a Moroccan restaurant called Tagine in Beverly Hills, California. Gosling has always been supportive of various causes, working closely with John Prendergast, who is Co-Founder of the Enough Project. He was Hollywood's representative at the Campus Progress National Conference and spoke out about Darfur. Gosling said, "For some reason, there's an interest in what people who do what I do have to say," the actor murmured. "I don't particularly have that much to say . . . but I do have these experiences that I can relay. I'm honored to have these experiences." In December of 2010, actor and human rights advocate Ryan Gosling traveled with Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast and Enough field analyst Fidel Bafilemba to eastern Congo. During their visit to Goma and other areas of North Kivu province, Gosling met with civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and survivors of the ongoing violent conflict, the deadliest in the world. Through the collection of original video footage, Gosling intends to cast a spotlight on their stories of courage, survival, and hope.
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