Canadian actor Ryan Gosling seems poised to join the ranks of Hollywood’s superstars with his Oscar-nominated role in La La Land and some highly anticipated, big budget films on the way.
But the publicity-leery Gosling has forged a careful career path, built on unusual role choices and avoidance of overexposure. Here are eight seminal moments that made Gosling the (reluctant) movie star he is today:
1993: The All New Mickey-Mouse Club
A 12-year-old, London, Ont.-born, Cornwall, Ont.-raised Ryan Gosling is cast in The All New Disney Mickey Mouse Club. The series, filmed in Florida, is short-lived but becomes famous in hindsight for churning out some of the biggest entertainers of a generation: Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Keri Russell.
In a segment for CBC News, a pre-teen Gosling gushes about the talent of the other child performers on the show and attributes his inclusion to “luck” — the beginnings of a modest public persona he would exhibit for years to come.
1999: Young Hercules
A tall and skinny 17-year-old Gosling might not have the brawn of the son of Zeus, but in this teen series, he gets to flex his leading-man muscles. Award-winning material it is not, but the series is highly publicized due to the 1990s craze for low-budget superhero fare (Xena: The Warrior Princess, Hercules). The series’ remarkably ambitious filming schedule is now studied in film production courses: four episodes were filmed at a time instead of one — a lesson in discipline and endurance for young Gosling.
2004: The Notebook
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” Gosling flaps his arms like a bird for co-star Rachel McAdams in The Notebook and begets a flock of devoted female fans along the way. The box office success of the film based on the Nicholas Sparks novel is also helped by the explosive chemistry of Gosling and…