Ryan Gosling, Existential Action Hero

Over the course of his 18 years in show biz, having cracked into popular culture as a pre-teen Mickey Mouse Club star and blossoming into A-list Hollywood’s most idiosyncratic yet compulsively watchable young Serious Actor, Ryan Gosling has portrayed an eclectic grab bag of disturbed young men and winsome doofuses, violent sociopaths and studly lotharios, the overwhelming majority of his roles in low budget indie features.

Despite breakout parts in mainstream hits such as 2004’s The Notebook or this year’s ensemble comedyCrazy, Stupid Love, Gosling has come to stand as something like the anti-Shia LaBeouf – a guy with a seeming allergy to big budget fare, the strict avoidance of superhero movies and a proven ability to deliver compelling performances in exquisite little films such as the tortured romantic breakdown Blue Valentine and the sex doll dramedy Lars and the Real Girl.

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