Birthdate: November 12, 1980
Birthplace: London, Ontario, Canada
Ryan Gosling (birthname: Ryan Thomas Gosling) is among the quietest and most subtle of movie stars, fashioning a persona through his roles of a figure on the big screen who keeps his feelings close to his vest and maintains a certain veil of mystery and allure.
With his broadest performance to date as Ken in Greta Gerwig’s runaway hit, Barbie (2023), that persona may have altered. During a run as a child and teen actor in Canadian, U.S., and New Zealand television, Gosling landed his first big-screen role in the horror-comedy, Frankenstein and Me (1996), with Burt Reynolds, Louise Fletcher, Ricky Mabe, and Polly Shannon.
Gosling’s first role in a notable movie came with Jerry Bruckheimer’s production of Remember the Titans (2000), starring Denzel Washington, Will Patton, and Wood Harris, and directed by Boaz Yakin, earning a strong $137 million for Walt Disney Pictures. Ryan Gosling’s first big-screen lead role was his impressive performance as a Jewish neo-Nazi in writer-director Henry Bean’s The Believer (2001), with Billy Zane, Theresa Russell, and Summer Phoenix, and the winner of the Grand Jury Prize in Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Feature competition.
Gosling was cast opposite Sandra Bullock in the Barbet Schroeder-directed version of the Leopold and Loeb case, Murder by Numbers (2002), with Michael Pitt, Chris Penn, and Ben Chaplin, and premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. Gosling’s second starring role was in co-writers-directors Alex Smith’s and Andrew J. Smith’s drama, The Slaughter Rule (2002), with David Morse, Clea Duvall, and Kelly Lynch, and launched in competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
Gosling co-starred opposite Don Cheadle in the title role of writer-director Matthew Ryan Hoge’s poorly reviewed drama for Paramount Classics, The United States of Leland (2003), with Chris Klein, Jena Malone, Lena Olin, Kevin Spacey, Sherilyn Fenn, Michelle Williams, and Martin Donovan. The first hit movie for Ryan Gosling as the star was the popular Nicholas Sparks adaptation, of The Notebook (2004), co-starring Rachel McAdams (who won the MTV Movie + TV award for Best Kiss with Gosling), James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Sam Shepard, and Joan Allen, earning $118 million for New Line Cinema.
Unfortunately, Gosling then co-starred with Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Bob Hoskins, and Janeane Garofalo in the commercial and critical bomb for 20th Century Fox, Stay (2005), directed by Marc Forster. Gosling earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his remarkable lead performance in co-writer/director Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson (2006), with Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. Ryan Gosling solidified his growing status as an acclaimed actor-star in the legal drama, Fracture (2007), co-starring opposite Anthony Hopkins, with David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, and Embeth Davidtz, grossing $92 million on a $10 million budget.
Gosling earned more acclaim, including best actor nominations from the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards, for the Craig Gillespie-directed comedy-drama, Lars and the Real Girl (2007), with Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner, and Patricia Clarkson. Gosling co-starred (and executive-produced) with Oscar-nominated Michelle Williams in Derek Cianfrance’s intense erotic drama, Blue Valentine (2010), which earned Gosling another Golden Globe Best Actor nomination, and after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival went on to gross $16.6 million on a $1 million budget.
Gosling portrayed another living figure, the notorious tycoon-murderer Robert Durst, in the poorly-received crime drama, All Good Things (2010), with Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, and Philip Baker Hall, followed by the commercially solid ($145 million gross) comedy, Crazy Stupid Love (2011), which earned Gosling another Golden Globe best actor nomination, opposite lead Steve Carell, with Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, John Carroll Lynch, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon.
Ryan Gosling delivered his most mesmerizing performance to date in the brilliant Nicolas Winding Refn/Hossein Amini Los Angeles-set crime drama based on James Salle’s novel, Drive (2011), with Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks, and Ron Perlman, and following its Cannes film festival premiere (where Refn won the Best Director Palme d’Or) went on to gross $81.4 million on a $15 million budget.
Gosling was in another critical and commercial hit, co-star/director/co-writer/co-producer George Clooney’s political drama, The Ides of March (2011), based on co-writer Beau Willimon’s 2008 play, Farragut North, and co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood; Gosling gained yet another of his many Golden Globe best actor nominations after the film was the opener of the Venice film festival, and went on to earn over $76 million globally.
Ryan Gosling reunited with writer-director Derek Cianfrance for the nuanced crime drama, The Place Beyond the Pines (2012), co-starring Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, and Mahershala Ali, and premiering at the Toronto film festival. Gosling then starred in another commercially successful crime drama, Warner Bros.’ Gangster Squad (2013), co-starring Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, and Emma Stone.
Gosling (who also was an executive producer) reunited with Refn in a Sphinx-like lead performance in the intensely polarizing Bangkok-set crime drama, Only God Forgives (2013), with Kristen Scott Thomas premiering in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Gosling delivered his debut movie as director/writer/producer with the fantasy thriller, Lost River (2014), receiving poor reviews and worse box office, after premiering at Cannes and co-starring Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Matt Smith, Eva Mendes, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Ryan Gosling joined the dazzling roster of co-stars Christian Bale (Oscar-nominated), Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt for filmmaker Adam McKay’s brilliant comedy on the 2007-2008 housing bubble crisis, The Big Short (2015), based on Michael Lewis’ acclaimed non-fiction book, and premiering at AFI Fest Los Angeles and grossing over $133 million, then winning the Oscar for McKay and co-writer Charles Randolph for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In a change of pace, Gosling co-starred with Russell Crowe in the Joel Silver-produced buddy comedy, The Nice Guys (2016), co-written and directed by Shane Black, but proving a money loser for Warner Bros. Ryan Gosling starred in one of his biggest triumphs to date, Damien Chazelle’s acclaimed musical, La La Land (2016), opposite Emma Stone (Oscar-winner for Best Actress), with John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, and J.K. Simmons, and grossing an astounding $447.4 million gross (on a $30 million budget) and winning six Oscars, including Best Director for Chazelle.
Gosling co-starred in a very different brand of musical movie next in Terrence Malick’s stumbling, failed Austin-set Song to Song (2017), co-starring Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, and Holly Hunter, as well as musicians Florence Welch, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, The Black Lips, John Lydon, and Flea.
Gosling earned fine reviews for Denis Villeneuve’s otherwise divisive and long-anticipated sequel, Blade Runner 2049 (2017), co-starring Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto, and Edward James Olmos, but losing nearly $100 million for Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures. Gosling next went from science fiction to science fact with his portrayal of Neil Armstrong in director Chazelle’s First Man (2018), co-starring Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, and Ciarán Hinds, but failing to catch fire at the box office for DreamWorks/Universal Pictures, while scoring four Oscar nominations.
Ryan Gosling took a major left turn for his next starring theatrical feature role—as Ken—in Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated Barbie (2023), starring Margot Robbie as Barbie, with America Ferrera, Will Ferrell, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Issa Rae, and Rhea Perlman, and was the centerpiece of the summer 2023 “Barbenheimer” phenomenon (in which moviegoers poured back into theaters to watch both Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s epic biopic, Oppenheimer, as a double-bill) leading to a runaway box-office run on the way to a billion-dollar-plus global gross.
For Universal Pictures’ big-screen version of the hit Lee Majors TV series, The Fall Guy (2024), Ryan Gosling co-starred with Emily Blunt, along with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Stephanie Hsu, and Winston Duke, and then Gosling reunited with co-writer/director Derek Cianfrance for Blumhouse’s new version of the classic horror tale, Wolfman (date to be announced).
Ryan Gosling was born and raised in the Canadian city of London, in the province of Ontario, by parents Thomas (paper mill salesman) and Donna Gosling (secretary). Gosling has one older sister, Mandi Gosling (producer). The children were raised as Mormons. Gosling’s family moved to several different cities in Ontario until his parents divorced when he was 13 years old. Gosling had a troubled childhood, which involved bullying, throwing steak knives at fellow classmates in school, and a severe reading disability. Gosling attended several different schools due to his many family moves, including Gladstone Public School, Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School, and Lester B. Pearson High School. Gosling was home-schooled for a year after being tested for (but never diagnosed with) ADHD.
Gosling gained self-confidence by performing, including as a Mouseketeer with the Disney Channel’s The Mickey Mouse Club (in which his co-performers included Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake) as well as in several Canadian-produced and US-produced TV shows. Gosling dropped out of high school at 17 years old and moved to New Zealand to work in his first starring role, in the Fox Kids TV series, Young Hercules (1998-1999). Gosling was in relationships with Sandra Bullock from 2002-2003, with Rachel McAdams from 2005-2007, and then briefly reunited in 2008. Gosling has been in a relationship with actor Eva Mendes since 2011; the couple has two children, Esmerelda and Amada. Gosling’s height is 6’ ½”. Gosling’s estimated net worth is $70 million.
Self-made Accent: Because he thought his Canadian accent didn’t sound “tough” enough, Ryan Gosling developed his own vocal accent based partly on Marlon Brando’s.
Song and Dance Man: Gosling has recorded songs and also performed on screen for Blue Valentine, La La Land, and Barbie. He’s also recorded with the indie band, Dead Man’s Bones.
Causes: Ryan Gosling has supported PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), as well as several non-profits focused on African issues–Invisible Children, Inc., Campus Progress, and the Enough Project.