Show me someone who doesn’t love Ryan Gosling, and I will show you a liar. He has been in the acting game since he was a child, and to be honest it might be longer than some people reading this have been alive. To say that Gosling is solely a heartthrob is to discredit him in a lot of his better roles. He is an incredibly talented actor, who brought to life some of our favorite characters. He is so much more than just a pretty face. But don’t get me wrong, he is a certified heartthrob by just about any standard.
But with such a long history of movies and TV roles, there are so many that we often forget that fall right under our radar. It’s so easy for us to think of Gosling in his better, more high profile movies. But there are some on this list that aren’t even that old, that just, for some reason, are left forgotten. There are some hidden gems on this list, and others that would be better suited to stay in the past. And while all of these might be forgotten, it isn’t due to his acting, that’s for sure.
15 Willy Beachum - Fracture
Another psychological thriller that we all forgot about. I feel like we shouldn't have though, because Gosling plays alongside of Anthony Hopkins - it’s not like the acting is in short supply. The plot is gripping; Hopkins kills his wife and admits to the crime to the detective arresting him. But when he meets Gosling in court, who works for the DA’s office, Hopkins discloses that his wife had an affair with the detective. And then we find out that Hopkins’ gun was never fired - all of Gosling’s evidence is pretty much moot at this point. So what does he do?
Is Gosling the hunky leading man that we expect him to be? No. And that’s probably why we forget this one. But I really think this one should be added to your "to be watched" list. It seems like a good movie, and one that will keep you entertained the entire time.
14 Leland Fitzgerald - The United States of Leland
While this one was not reviewed well by critics or the public, it seems like a really interesting movie, and one I personally want to watch. Leland, who is played by Gosling, is sent to a juvenile detention center after killing the autistic brother of his ex-girlfriend. While in the detention center, Don Cheadle’s character takes an interest in him, and we find out more and more about Gosling’s character and why he did what he did. There are so many small subplots in this movie that seems like each character was very well thought out, and I really appreciate that in a movie.
Am I saying that this is a hidden gem or one that you absolutely need to see this weekend? No. But it might be worth the time, or it might be awful. The only way to really tell is to watch it for yourself and decide.
13 Richard Haywood - Murder By Numbers
This is not one of the movies I will be suggesting you watch anytime soon. There’s good reason that this one is forgotten, and part of me wishes I didn’t include it on this list so that it would remain forgotten.
The acting isn’t the problem. Both Gosling and Sandra Bullock bring their best to this movie. But the plot is lackluster at best. Gosling plays a popular teen who teams up with a classmate to plan a murder and pin it on the janitor at their school - just because. And Bullock, the detective with personal issues, throws herself into the case and tries to bring justice to the two teens.
Now, just reading that, it doesn’t sound terrible. But if you watch the trailer you will see just how bad it looks. Seriously, this isn’t a hidden gem, don’t waste your time.
12 Roy Chutney - The Slaughter Rule
This one is on the obscure side; one of the small indie movies that did well at Sundance but never made its way to a big screen. It’s a coming of age story about Gosling’s character, and what he does when he is cut from the high school football team and learns that his estranged father has killed himself. He is recruited onto a small six-man team, which helps restore his self-confidence.
I think this one might make the list of hidden gems. It seems more than just your run of the mill coming of age story, and has a little bit more to offer than some of the more mainstream teen movies out there. And on a shallow note, who doesn’t love seeing a young Gosling play a football player after We Are The Titans? I know I do.
11 Danny Blaint - The Believer
Another indie movie that did well at Sundance, but is not well known. It’s controversial and captivating. Gosling plays a man who was raised Jewish but becomes a Neo-Nazi. Throughout the film we see him struggling with his faith, committing hate crimes, and is interviewed by a New York Times reporter about his anti-Semitic views. The film is loosely based on the story of Danny Burros, a member of the American Nazi Party, and the United Klans of America who committed suicide after being revealed as Jewish in a New York Times article.
The reviews on this movie are really good. And while this isn’t the usual role for our dear friend Ryan, it seems like this one really shows just how good of an actor he is. While it will probably be a hard watch, it's worth it.
10 Jerry Wooters - Gangster Squad
This only came out a couple of years ago, so how is it that I totally forgot that this was a movie? Maybe because it came out in 2013, and we really didn’t need or want gangster movies anymore? That’s my guess, but that’s just me because I’m not really into them.
But this one does have an interesting plot. Basically a group of cops set up a small squad to take down a leader in the Mafia, but they don’t technically do it legally. By watching the trailer, it just seems like they shoot a lot of people. So if you’re into action movies or gangster movies, maybe try to watch this one this weekend.
One reason I don’t understand why this one is so forgettable is because Gosling’s love interest is Emma Stone. I will pretty much watch any movie with these two together. Their chemistry on screen is pretty outstanding.
9 David Marks - All Good Things
This is a crime/mystery drama that should have done much better in reviews from critics and audiences alike. Gosling starred along with Kirsten Dunst - which seems like an acting duo made in heaven. And while their performances were good, and the storyline as well, something just didn’t add up for this movie.
The screenplay was inspired by the true story of Robert Durst, who was accused of killing his wife after she went missing. In All Good Things, Gosling plays a character similar to Robert Durst, who is an heir to a real estate fortune that is an abusive husband to Kirsten Dunst’s character.
This is not one of the movies that I would suggest you watch in your spare time. While the acting is okay and the plot is interesting, there is no resolution. I need more commitment to an ending of a mystery than that.
8 Lars Lindstrom - Lars and The Real Girl
I think we try to forget this one on purpose to be honest with you. Do I really want to see the man who brought to life Noah from The Notebook play a man who falls in love with a sex doll? No. One of the main themes of this list is that the roles in which we forgot Ryan Gosling played in the past ten years has been because he wasn’t the heartthrob that we desire him to be. Is that fair to him? No. But that’s just how it is.
It also doesn’t help that this is a weird movie. Seriously, the main plot is that Gosling's character is lonely and finds a sex doll on the internet. After bringing the doll (which he named Bianca) to his brother’s house, his brother and sister in-law get a psychological evaluation for him. The therapist says that maybe he needs the doll right now, so they should play along. So not only does his family pretend that this doll is real, but his entire town. It’s a little much for me honestly.
7 Danny Dune - Half Nelson
I did not remember this one at all. But it seems like a really good movie, maybe not Gosling’s best or his sexiest, but definitely good. Gosling plays a young teacher of at an inner city middle school. Here’s where it gets interesting - he also has a drug problem. One of his students also starts dealing drugs as well. He tries to get his student out of hustling, but his advice is sort of moot if he is doing drugs himself. So where does he go? What does he do?
Like I said, not the sexiest role. He isn’t the love interest, or rather the lust interest. He is a troubled guy, one that is just trying to do right. But this is probably why we as a society don’t remember this movie. We will never forget him as beautiful Noah, who made us believe in love. Nor will we ever forget him in Crazy, Stupid Love, being sexy and helping Steve Carell be a better man.
6 Henry Letham - Stay
Haven’t heard of this one? I didn’t either until I looked on Gosling’s IMDB page. It seems like this one could have been good. He stars alongside Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. It’s a psychological thriller with McGregor trying to help Gosling as his psychiatrist, but he's going through something himself. He is seeing dead people, and his own grip on reality is starting to slip.
Sounds interesting, right? But the trailer doesn’t look all that good. I think the plot was good; it had good intentions, but they way it is cut and written seems off. That’s probably why it didn’t do so well at the box office when it came out, or why we don’t really remember it only eleven years later.
Gosling does not look like the Gosling we know and love in this movie. His hair is parted right down his face, and to be honest he just looks creepy. This isn’t the same Ryan Gosling that we have pictures of that tell girls they can finish running or who understands feminism. This is before that Ryan came into our lives and changed it for the better.
5 Sean Hanlon - Breaker High
Ever heard of this Canadian teen drama? It’s no Degrassi, that’s for sure. It was only on for one season and didn’t deal with tough teen issues, unlike Degrassi which has been on forever and deals with every issue a teenager can come into contact with. So what makes this show interesting? It’s not just a normal teen drama; their high school is located on a cruise ship. Yeah, it’s like The Suite Life on Deck before the Cole twins were even in middle school.
Would you believe that Gosling played a wannabe ladies man/nerd? Because that’s what Wikipedia describes his character as, and after watching a clip, I can confirm that this is far from his best role. It’s like he is trying so hard to be cool - not like that isn’t believable; everyone knows someone who tries too hard to be cool in high school. It’s surprising to see Gosling in this role, but I think it makes him a little more human.
4 Greg Banks - Goosebumps
I stand by my opinion that Goosebumps is the second scariest show from the 90s. Although, there is a chance that this was the scariest, but I just didn’t watch it because it gave me nightmares. Sorry I was a child in the 90s and scared easily. There was a time when I swore that by simply having Goosebumps cards under my bed, they were causing my nightmares. Probably false, but still.
Even if you loved this show, and watched it all the time, you might have forgotten that your favorite heartthrob from today was in this back in the 90s. He didn’t play a huge role, and he wasn’t always on, but still. He was on the episode “Say Cheese and Die.” Wow, that sounds downright terrifying, for a child.
3 Jamie Leary - Are You Afraid of the Dark?
This was easily the scariest show of the 90s. Yeah, I said it. I know that Goosebumps is terrifying, but for some reason Are You Afraid of the Dark? was that much worse. They always had new reasons to keep you up at night, whether it be a girl turning into a doll, or a boy getting stuck in a video game that might kill him. This show was downright terrifying.
But the kids who told the stories were the absolute coolest kids on television. They always had that cool bag of dust that they threw on the fire to make it do cool things. And who let their kids leave the house that late to tell scariest stories around a camp fire? My parents would never let me do this, not in a million years. And that is why they were so cool.
Having Ryan Gosling there upped their cool factor by a lot. As a child actor, he was most definitely the cool kid in class. He gave that signature smirk, and it made girls melt. I like to imagine him as the coolest kid in school.
2 Hercules - Young Hercules
The 90s were a time when we really loved mythical shows. We had Hercules, Xena, and most importantly Young Hercules. Who doesn’t love watching how Hercules became the hero that he is? Isn’t that the best part of the Disney version? I think so. It’s such a shame that this only lasted one season. But what a beautiful season it was, filled with adventure, action, and teen drama. And I just need everyone to take a minute, and remember this show for how beautiful it was.
This is one of the first shows that I actively remember seeing Ryan Gosling in, and which might be a part of my sexual awakening. Seriously, as a tween, this was one of the hottest shows ever. Honestly, I think the 90s really missed out on having more teenage Gosling in shows; it seems like a real missed opportunity.
1 Himself - The All New Mickey Mouse Club
Do you remember the MMC? It was the Disney Channel’s idea of bringing back the old Mickey Mouse Club, but making it hip and cool for 90s tweens. Honestly, I wish this stayed on longer. It was one of the coolest shows in the 90s and for very good reason.
He starred along side Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and more. It amazes me that a children’s show on Disney could bring us such big stars before their time. But, I guess Disney has always done this; find the best talents of different generations, and then when they leave their childhood behind, they go on to huge things.
This was one of his first acting roles, way back in the early 90s, which is basically a totally different world. Who knew in ’93 that Ryan Gosling would go on to be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood?