Ryan Gosling: Canada's pride and joy comes to Toronto with Hollywood at his feet


Image Credit: Ben Glass

Despite never starring in a movie that’s grossed more than $100 million, Ryan Gosling is perhaps the hottest actor alive. His not-Photoshopped performance as a suave ladies man in this summer’s Crazy Stupid Love reminded moviegoers that the understated guy from Blue Valentine and Lars and the Real Girl is a full-fledged Movie Star. Yes, he became a heartthrob after The Notebook, but Gosling 2011 is something new. Gosling 2004 followed up the popular Nicholas Sparks romance with the little-seen Stay and the indie, Half Nelson, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. Gosling 2011 seems aggressively poised to make the leap to superstardom. He fights crime now. He charms the talk-show hosts. And his every kiss is documented. Throw in his two high-profile films — The Ides of March and Drive — screening at this weekend’s Toronto Film Festival, a homecoming of sorts for the Ontario native, and it feels like a coronation. These are the types of leading-man roles that made Robert Redford or Steve McQueen who they were in their primes.

To see Ryan Gosling at this moment in time is special. He is just entering his 30s — he turns 31 in November — the decade when male movie stars build their legacy. Johnny Depp was 30 when he filmed Ed Wood. Warren Beatty was 30 when Bonnie & Clyde came out. Jack Nicholson was 33 in Five Easy Pieces. Redford was 33 when Butch Cassidy rode into theaters. Is there any other 30-something actor you’d rather watch for the next 10 years? (Leonardo DiCaprio is the only other actor in the conversation, no?)

With his growing clout, Gosling is bound to have the opportunity to make the movies he wants, so that in itself will be interesting. He’s been so eclectic thus far, but he’s also a natural for the studio-engineered films that keep the industry afloat. Will he be lured by a franchise? Will he continue to work with original directors of his generation (like Derek Cianfrance, Nicolas Winding Refn, Ruben Fleischer) or will he take an apprenticeship with the established masters, like DiCaprio and Matt Damon have done?

Time will tell. For now, tell me which 30-something actor you’re most excited to watch for the next decade?

Read more:
Ryan Gosling is that rarity: a great, totally serious actor who is also a yummy sex-god movie star

Comments (134 total) Add your comment
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  • Bethany

    All 6 of the actors listed are worth watching, IMO

    • why?

      Joseph Gordon Levitt has by far the most appeal of any male actor working today. Gosling is okay, but overrated – I know its just me, but I will always picture him as the young Hercules from FOX afternoons for kids. And please do not compare any of them to Robert Redford, that man was criminally handsome and talented

      • bee


      • Grace

        Absolutely adore Jason Gordon Levitt; he’s smart, cute, charming; the whole package.

        Ryan Gosling makes me sick, I know he’s a lovely actor but can’t stand the guy since he played a sicko teen in Murder by Numbers. Obviously he did a great job playing a total creep because to this day he makes my skin crawl. He’s all yours, peeps.

      • Kate

        Love Levitt and Gosling. Think they are both worth watching.

      • Jon

        Grace, you don’t adore him enough to know his first name though.

      • KLH

        Love Ryan Gossling. He won me over in that movie with Sandra Bullock (Murder by Numbers?) and I haven’t seen a bad performance since. Even if the movie may not be great, I love watching him.

      • Sasha

        LOL I totally still picture him as Young Hercules, I disliked him then BUT The Notebook changed my opinion of him.

        He so good now I overlook Breaker High and Young Hercules.

        He is Awesome!

      • Sarah

        I will always love him from Young Hercules, Notebook, Half Nelson, and Crazy, Stupid Love. It is a very diverse love, really.

    • B


      • B

        With Bethany, that is. They are all exceptionally talented and handsome, too.

      • liana petrosino


      • Lily

        Ryan Gosling has been awesome from Day 1. Truly an amazing actor and he gets better with each film. I also adore Michael Fassbender, who isn’t on your list, but who is also an extraordinary actor. Also, Sam Worthington is swell. These are three actors I’m excited to watch over the next decade.

    • tgh

      All of these actors are great, but come on, Leo is the one that will go down as the best of his generation. Put his resume along any of these other guys and there’s no contest… There is a reason that Scorsese says, along with Keitel and Deniro, there’s never been an actor he’s felt so connected to.

      • Chase

        Totally agree!! Leo’s on another level. I was so shocked to see that so many people voted for Gosling.

    • w23

      Grace, you’re an idiot.

  • Meg

    Love Ryan Gosling. But also – Joseph Gordon Levitt just turned 30 this year (I think). I would watch him in anything.

    • m


    • Kate

      Agree !!! just could not find his name on this list and was about to comment and say he is worth watching and expecting in awesome movies in the coming years.

    • StewyFan


    • jkb

      I love Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon Levitt – put them in a movie together! I’d watch either one in anything!

  • Stormy

    Matt Bomer, Chris Gorham, Matt Passmore and J G Levitt . And while we’re on the subject of Ryan Gosling, what is with the sudden influx of Canadian actors? Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Nathan Fillion, Warren Christie [although irish born], Victor Webster, Katheryn Winnick etc. We are under attack from the north. Even on H&GTV half of the shows are produced in Canada. And Suits is shot in Toronto. Will we eventually merge and just be The North American Union?

    • Freddie

      It’s been going on for a while… Jim Carrey, Michael J Fox, Catherine O’Hara, Sarah Polley, Colm Feore, Brendan Fraser (dual citizenship, I know), Alex Trebek (okay, not an actor), Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherlan, Corey Haim, David James Eliot, Eugene Levy, Enageline Lilly, Joshua Jackson, Jim Candy, Phil Hartman, Pamela Anderson, Mike Myers, Rachel McAdams…

      • Stormy

        Not to mention Dan Aykroyd, Peter Jennings, Conrad Bain, Nia Vardalos, Martin Short, Monty hall and Nelly Furtado. OMG are we going to be part of the U.K. again?

      • cam

        Phil Hartman’s Cannadian? Never knew that. …not sure about that/ And Jim Cary and Mike Myers have duel citizenship as well. Not sure about the others. But Canada has been flexing its cultural impact of late, with Beiber and Arcade Fire (tho Win Butler and his bro are origonally from Texas) as well. Maybe it’s due to America’s decline and Canada’s success in the last winter Olympics? …I do wish Canadian’s would calm their anti-Americanism a bit tho. The main thrust of their patriotism seems to be “we’re not America!”

      • @cam

        Apparently they know where to come for successful show biz careers though.

      • alan of montreal

        Phil Hartman was born in Canada, but spent his formative years in the U.S. Part of our inferiority complex is that if you spent a day in Canada, we will claim you as our own (though we didn’t with Tom Cruise, who lived here for a few years)

      • Doris

        One of the first was William Shatner.

  • Shasta

    JGL is great in pretty much everything he is in. My personal favorite of his is Brick. A must watch!!!

    • Grace

      Loved Brick but my fave is 500 Days of Summer, and all his scenes in Inception; him floating in the air while tying four sleeping floating people together gets me every time, epic. JGL has the cutest, sexiest smile.

      • no cars go

        JGL’s smile will melt the panties right off your body. i love him and ryan gosling but lately JGL is pulling ahead.

      • BG

        I have to go with The Lookout over these two

  • ben

    All of them are awesome and I’m a huge fan of DiCaprio’s work, but I choose Christian Bale because he is a little more interesting to me than the others. I know a lot about those guys thanks to the media, but I’m intrigued by his performances after watching Rescue Dawn, which was practically a one-man film.

    • Liz

      Christian Bale is definitely the most talented actor of the lot!

  • ben

    However, I will see Drive, The Ides of March, and J. Edgar because they all look great to me. Especially The Ides of March because I’m a fan of George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck. Drive looks awesome and J. Edgar looks interesting.

    • Regina George

      Ryan Gosling is amazing. Love the six-pack, Ryan!

  • Lina

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt FTW.

  • Jon

    I don’t really mindGosling, but this over-the-top worship of him is getting REALLY annoying. He’s pretty good, but not that great and I’ve seen most of his films. At this point, you’re all starting to overrate him.

    • tg

      He may be overexposed right now, but not overrated. He’s pretty good. It’s not his fault everyone is on his jock. As for the list, I think it’s Jeremy Renner and Jake Gyllenhall who’re overrated. Fine with the rest of the list, especially Bale and DiCaprio.

      • IMO

        Jake Gyllenhall is creepy and so is his sister Maggie. Shudder.

      • alan of montreal

        I would say that Jake is weird, but I like Maggie a lot

      • Dee

        Jeremy Renner is NOT overrated. No Way. But I do agree with you about DiCaprio and Bale, tg

  • crispy

    Ryan Gosling is #1 on my freebie list. He even looked hot when he played a white trash jerk in Blue Valentine no matter how hard they tried to uglify him.

  • Esox

    Michael Fassbender!!!

    • asher

      Hey, that’s a good one, hadn’t even thought of him!

    • Rua

      ^ this!

    • kate

      just coming here to write this, thank you! and tom hardy too.

    • Amanda

      Yes!! He has two buzzy movies at Toronto too! Can’t wait for A Dangerous Method.

  • asher

    Even after disappointing at the Oscars last year, James Franco is still the man to me. I am even more excited to see the breadth of his talent than I am Gosling’s. I think Ryan is great too, and also has quite a range, but I feel like some of the non-stop talk about him lately has more to do with the gorgeous body he displayed in “Crazy Stupid Love” than anything else. Let’s be real – sex still sells!

    • Polly

      I would agree with you if Gosling hadn’t given performances like he did in The Believer, Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl, and Blue Valentine. That he can move between those kinds of roles AND a role like Crazy Stupid Love is what makes him special. Though Franco has also proven a similar versatility and sex appeal. Regardless, I’m glad to have them both making movies!

      • asher

        @Polly – I absolutely agree with you, and I do think Ryan is spectacularly talented (as is Franco). I guess my point is, it seems like the fact that people are now just recognizing what a genius actor Gosling is has a lot more to do with him appearing as a sex bomb in a big mainstream rom-com than for his past, equally (if not more) impressive work.

      • Polly

        Ah, I see. Well, ain’t that just like Hollywood. ha! You only get noticed when you show your boobs.

      • asher

        You are so right about that! :)

    • Andy

      Sorry, Franco passed the “overexposed” date pretty recently.

  • Polly

    Wow, what a love letter to Ryan Gosling. He’s my favorite young actor, so I could not agree more. He reminds me of some of my favorites, like Brando, Newman, Penn. But I gotta say, I hope you haven’t cursed the boy. ha!! This is HEAVY praise. And that comes from someone who is likely to agree with you. Dial it back a little as much as I hate to say it.

  • Jeff C.

    Jeremy Renner is 40. Not a 30something. Nevertheless, my vote goes to him.

    • Sara

      Really? He is aging really well.

      • jessie j.

        Not really. He looks like an old hoodrat. eww

    • StewyFan

      He is basically the ONLY reason I’m gonna see the new MI movie. I adore him.

  • Lola

    I miss Joseph Gordon-Levitt on that list.

  • Polly

    And yes, Joseph Gordon Levit should be on the list. A similarly gifted, versatile, renaissance man of a young actor. He would be my number 2 or a maybe even a tie with Gosling.

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