The world’s hottest actor, Ryan Gosling, tells us about dealing with fame and swimming with sharks. By now, Ryan Gosling should be on his fourth or fifth stint in rehab. At the very least he ought to be wearing an ankle bracelet. That’s the way it tends to be for former child stars. And make no mistake — that’s what he is; he started out like Britney, Christina and Justin, on The Mickey Mouse Club, aged 12. But today, a grown-up 32, there have been no sex tapes, no drug busts, no whiffs of scandal. Instead, he’s sharply dressed and well-groomed. He’s fit, and good at what he does for a living. He’s weirdly normal. Aside from being the coolest man on the planet.
We’ve had a hunch about this for some time, but it was confirmed recently when we launched a new GQ ad campaign, which went like this: ‘The ideal man doesn’t exist. His magazine? Absolutely.’ You may have seen it. Anyway, the day those ads went live, the emails started, along with the Facebook posts, tweets, bleets, whatever, from readers pointing out our mistake. Because of course the ideal man does exist. It’s Ryan Gosling.
“What?” says Gosling, when we tell him. “People actually got in touch to say that?”
Yes sir, they did. Because, as unlikely as it seems given that cheesy Mouseketeer beginning, he’s evolved into something entirely different: the kind of man who makes unexpected movie choices; who takes his dog, George, to yoga with him; who gets every outfit right without ever looking like he’s made an effort. The result is a unique cocktail that makes men envy him and women fall for him. It’s not bad going.
Today the only thing that’s less than ideal about the man is a touch of croakiness in his voice. Gosling’s been under the weather, and our interview has been shifted a couple of times, but don’t panic, it’s nothing serious. “It happens every time I finish a movie,” he explains in that slow, drawn-out, Brando-esque drawl that cloaks his Canadian-ness. “But I’m good, I’m good. I’m feeling top of the pops. How are you?” Oh, we’re fine. Thanks for asking."
The movie (currently without a name) that’s left him run down on this occasion is one by director Terrence Malick, which he’s been filming in Texas with Michael Fassbender, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman. That’s set to hit cinemas later this year, but first up he stars in this month’s Gangster Squad as Jerry Wooters, a cop in late-’40s LA recruited for an off-the-book team tasked with taking back the city from the clutch of mobster Mickey Cohen, played by a chillingly shark-eyed Sean Penn.
Gosling has often found filming hard work, emotionally draining — not this time. “It was fun,” he says. “When I was a kid I was kind of obsessed with that movie Dick Tracy. Burger King had all this Dick Tracy stuff and I collected all of it, and I had the posters and I watched it on a loop. Obviously this is a very different movie, but it seemed to have some of the sensibilities of that. So that was fun for me.” It shows. Dressed in a trilby, three-piece suit and shoulder holster, Gosling’s character is by far the best, calling women “sugar”, sipping on cocktails with umbrellas and nailing it at target practice even without taking the cigarette from his mouth. He’s also unsurpassed when it comes to the handling of a) his Zippo lighter, and b) Emma Stone. The film’s a well-written, colourful, violent blockbuster.
“Thanks,” he says, pausing. “I’ll have to take your word for it.”
Read the full article in GQ Australia's 2013 February.March issue.