Born in Ontario, Canada, on November 12, 1980, Ryan Gosling has been honored for his work in a broad range of roles in both independent films and major motion pictures. In 2007, he earned both an Academy Award nomination and an Independent Spirit Award in the Best Actor category for his compelling portrayal of a dedicated but troubled inner-city teacher in “Half Nelson.”
A year later, he received Golden Globe, SAG Award and Critics’ Choice Award nominations for his work in the title role of the indie film “Lars and the Real Girl.” In 2011, he landed another Golden Globe nomination, and his third Critics’ Choice Award nomination opposite Michelle Williams in the romance drama “Blue Valentine.” Ryan will next be seen in the action drama “Drive” which recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it was nominated for the Palme D’Or and won the award for Best Director.
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The film is slated for release this September. And his upcoming films also include “The Ides of March” in which he stars alongside the picture’s writer/director, George Clooney. Gosling made his feature film debut in 2000 opposite Denzel Washington in the real-life sports saga “Remember the Titans.” But his breakout role arrived the following year in “The Believer,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. There, he portrayed a virulent anti-Semite who turned out to be Jewish.
Here, Ryan talks about his current role as playboy Jacob Palmer in the new film, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” an ensemble comedy co-starring Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei.
Ryan Gosling: Thank you, Kam.
KW: I really enjoyed “Crazy, Stupid, Love” as much as your dramatic work.
RG: All right!
KW: I have a lot of questions for you from fans, so why don’t I get right to them. Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: What interested you in doing this film?
RG: I wanted to work with Steve Carell.
KW: Irene has a follow-up: How similar are you in real-life to your character, Jacob Palmer?
RG: I’m actually more like Steve Carell’s character, Cal Weaver.
KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?
RG: That’s up to them. I’m not the boss of them.
KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles points out that Emma Stone says to you in the film that you have such a nice body that it looks like you’ve been photo-shopped. She’s wondering if you have ever been photo-shopped in real life.
RG: A strong case could be made that I was photo-shopped in this film.
KW: Harriet also observes that future astronaut John Glenn had baseball great Ted Williams as his wingman during the Korean War. How comfortable was it to have Steve Carell as your wingman?
RG: This was my first comedy. So, if you have to lose your creative virginity, you’d want to lose it to Steve Carell.
KW: Lisa Loving asks: What inspired you to speak out against the genocide in Darfur, and how can we help the people there?
RG: Well, I feel lucky to have been provided an opportunity to visit Darfur. I would just encourage people to educate themselves about what’s happening there, and why it’s happening, so that they can then make an informed decision on their own about how they’d like to help.
KW: Lisa would also like to know whether you already wanted to grow up to be a serious actor when you were on the Mickey Mouse Club as a child?
KW: Marcia Evans says: I am a huge fan of yours and I admire your entire portfolio of work. I feel it’s now time for you to consider doing another romance drama like “The Notebook,” but with a sister [meaning a black woman] as your love interest.
RG: Let’s do it! [Chuckles]
KW: Reverend Florine Thompson asks: How important is spirituality to you, how do you express your spirituality, and where and how do you find spiritual nourishment?
RG: I find spiritual nourishment through not discussing it. It’s something that’s very personal, and I prefer to keep it to myself.
KW: Same here. I live a block from the forest, and I like to go for a long walk in the woods for at least an hour every day.
RG: Oh, wow! An hour every day? That’s nice! I’m jealous.
KW: Do you ever wish you could have your anonymity back?
RG: I can still have it, depending on where I travel.
KW: Now that Christian Bale has finally won an Oscar, it looks like you’ve inherited the mantle of being the best actor who’s never won one. How do you feel about that?
RG: [LOL] I’m honored.
KW: Florine also asks: What is your favorite saying, and why does it resonate with you?
RG: I’m going to have to think about that.
KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?
RG: It depends on how Judyth is defining success.
KW: I would define it as happy, but I don’t know how she would.
RG: In that case, I can’t comment.
KW: Judyth also asks: If you could change one thing about Hollywood, what would that be?
RG: That it would be in New York.
KW: Legist/Editor Patricia Turnier says: As a fellow Canadian, I am very proud that you were the first Canadian to receive a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 62 years. How did you feel about this recognition?
RG: Again, as an honor.
KW: Patricia also points out that you have played different roles during your career. She asks: What is your secret for not being typecast? *RG: *I don’t give away my secret. That’s my secret.
KW: Lastly, Patricia would like to know: What is the most challenging aspect of your work as an actor?
KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?
RG: [Chuckles] That one.
KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?
KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?
KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?
RG: Just now.
KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?
RG: Romantic comedies.
KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
RG: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami.
KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to?
RG: “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It” by Rickey Nelson.
KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?
RG: I like to make cereal, because you don’t have to cook it. [LOL]
KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
RG: That guy from “The Notebook.” [Laughs some more]
KW: Do you know how crazy women are about that film. It really has quite a loyal cult following.
RG: I’ve heard that rumor.
KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
RG: More wishes.
KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?
RG: I don’t remember.
KW: The Flex Alexander question: How do you get through the tough times?
RG: You have to laugh to keep from crying.
KW: How introspective are you?
RG: Obviously not introspective enough to answer that question.
KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
RG: Make your own movies. You don’t have to do it the way I did it anymore. You don’t really have to move to L.A., do auditions, get an agent and deal with all that nonsense. You can just make a movie with your friends and put it online.
KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?
RG: I don’t know.
KW: Thanks again for the interview, Ryan. Best of luck with the film.
RG: Thanks, Kam.