All about Ryan Gosling.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cornwall's Oscar contender (Mandi Gosling's interview)
Bruce Ward, with files from Melissa Arseniuk in Cornwall, The Ottawa CitizenPublished: Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Half a lifetime ago, a lanky 13-year-old Cornwall boy beat out 17,000 other hopefuls for a role in the 1990s revival of the Mickey Mouse Club TV show.
Now Ryan Gosling, 26, has defied the odds again by being nominated for an Academy Award as best actor. Mr. Gosling was picked yesterday for his role in Half Nelson, in which he plays an inner-city school teacher hiding his drug addiction.
"I have tremendous respect for all the actors in this category and it's a great honour to be in their company," Mr. Gosling told the Citizen in a statement. "It's extremely encouraging to see a small film be recognized at this level. By recognizing me, I feel that it honours everyone I love and for that I am truly grateful."

Born in London, Ont., Mr. Gosling began his showbiz career performing with his older sister, Mandi Gosling, at weddings and talent shows in Cornwall. He also sang with the S, D, & G Vocal Ensemble there before moving to Florida for the Disney series. Ms. Gosling said yesterday that the nomination will not change her brother. "He's really not affected by Hollywood glamour, maybe because he started so young," she said in an interview from New York City.
"He's excited to be recognized for the work he has put in, but he's very good about keeping it all in perspective. At the end of the day, this is really not what his life is about." He called my mother and he called me, and he said, 'I don't really have a lot of time, but we're going to the Oscars.' " Added Ms. Gosling: "I'm so proud of him, regardless on what happens on Feb. 25th (Oscar night)."

As a nominee, Mr. Gosling is definitely a dark horse -- just as he was when he joined a Mickey Mouse cast that included future singing stars Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez of *NSYNC, as well as Keri Russell of TV's Felicity. He once got in trouble on the set for giving Ms. Spears and Ms. Aguilera some candid, but misguided, information on sexual positions. In the best actor category, Mr. Gosling is up against Forest Whitaker, who is widely expected to win for his portrayal of African dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, as well as sentimental favourite Peter O'Toole in Venus. The other nominees are Leonardo DiCaprio for his role as a smuggler in Blood Diamond and Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness.

Mr. Gosling became a teen pin-up in for his 1997 role as smooth-talking hypochondriac Sean Hanlon in Breaker High, a half-hour series about a high school set on a cruise ship. His rugged good looks and offbeat charm won him more young fans when he was cast as Young Hercules in 1998-99. Asked about his heartthrob status and legions of adoring female fans in a 2003 interview, Mr. Gosling laughed and said, "They need to get glasses." He went to high school in Burlington, Ont., and was so self-conscious and shy that he would sometimes skip class picture day. "I didn't want to be judged," he said in one interview. At school, Mr. Gosling often got into fights. "The truth is I picked most of those fights. I just lost most of them. I told my mother I got beat up just to get some sympathy. It really wasn't so bad." Mr. Gosling's high school grades were average at best, but he was close to several faculty members, including his history, world religion, and auto shop teachers.
The only son born to Donna, a hospital worker, and Thomas, a paper mill employee, he grew up "thinking about normal kid stuff, like being an astronaut or police officer."

Patrick Cook, owner and dance instructor of Magoo's Dance Company in Cornwall, where Mr. Gosling took lessons in hip hop, street jazz and other dance styles for two years, remembers his student as a born performer. "He's a natural. He just wanted to be on stage," Mr. Cook said.
"He was wonderful back then and we knew he was going to make it." Mr. Cook's wife, Shana Cook, who is director of the dance studio, remembers the day she knew Mr. Gosling had made it big. She was standing in line at the supermarket checkout and saw his photo. "Holy Crap," she thought. "He's in the Enquirer!"
"We never knew he'd become this famous," she said. "He's a sweetheart. For me, it's hard to see him grown up and in movies. He was a natural at acting." Mr. Gosling's last Mickey Mouse Club episodes were broadcast in 1996, after which he played a British foundling in an episode of The Road to Avonlea that brought him a Gemini Award nomination. Mr. Gosling made the transition to the big screen in 2000, playing a football player in the integration drama Remember the Titans. He caught the attention of film critics with a powerful performance as a Jewish neo-Nazi in the fact-based The Believer, the 2001 Grand Jury Prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2002, he played a murderous teen trying to outwit an FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) in Murder By Numbers. Hollywood tabloids claimed that he and the older Ms. Bullock were lovers, but both denied that they were involved romantically.

In 2004, he played the romantic lead opposite fellow Canadian Rachel McAdams in The Notebook, the role that launched his mainstream movie career. He and Ms. McAdams began a relationship during the filming and have said they will marry next year. Known to some of his friends as Opie, Mr. Gosling is an accomplished jazz guitarist. He picked up his love of music from his father, who plays the piano. Mr. Gosling is a celebrity with a social conscience. He is involved with the ONE Campaign, which works to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty. He has has travelled to Darfur and New Orleans to assist in relief efforts. Mr. Gosling is also an animal-rights activist, and wrote a letter to Kentucky Fried Chicken on behalf of PETA, urging the company to improve its treatment of animals.

Source: Ottawa Citizen


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