Ryan Gosling: How He Became Hollywood’s Funniest Man


Ryan Gosling’s Comedy Career

Ken walks down the hallway of Dream House, followed by a group of clones dressed in tennis clothes, singing his distress. “Is it my destiny to lead the life of a fragile blond?” he laments in the song I’m just Ken. And he has reason to do so: the character played by Ryan Gosling is going through an existential crisis, expressed through exaggerated facial expressions and ridiculous choreographies. He is at the center of the funniest scenes of the excellent Barbie and offers an ironic interpretation comparable to that of Ben Stiller in Zoolander. The brilliance with which he faces this dangerous film enterprise has made him an unexpected favorite of future award ceremonies. Can we really be surprised considering his past as a Disney star? Ryan Gosling has already demonstrated his vocal ability, from 1993 to 1995, in the Mickey Mouse Club alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Those images are now legendary: he is seen dancing hip-hop with a purple shirt and silver sarouel. Having failed to make it in the world of pop music, as an adult he has devoted himself to cinema.

Gosling’s Talents on the Big Screen

On the big screen the Canadian is quite confident with dark roles – a skinhead in The Believer, a cocaine-addicted professor in Half Nelson, a depressed astronaut in First Man – but his comic roles are among the most memorable. How to forget his appearance in 2011 in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love? In the role of a Don Juan who succumbs to the charm of Emma Stone, he enjoys slapping Steve Carell and reprising the legendary porté of Dirty Dancing. It was already clear that it was one of his trademarks; the expression between the mocking and the sarcastic, the charm of the boy next door, which he knows how to exploit skillfully. His verve is properly appreciated in the excellent Big Bet and in a series of Saturday Night Live sketches. But it is in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys that Gosling has shown all his talent, playing a private detective assigned, together with his partner Russell Crowe, to find a missing teenager. A festival of chaos: muscular shootings, absurd dialogues and a decidedly slapstick humor. All expressed in gags and, sometimes, vocalizations. A special mention deserves the hilarious scene in which he emits a long high-pitched scream and beats his fists on the floor.

Gosling’s Comedy Inspirations

After all, there were all the premises for Ryan Gosling to devote himself to the comic genre, inspired as a child by an uncle who performed on stage as an Elvis Presley lookalike and grew up watching Harold Lloyd, star of silent burlesque films. His career has pushed him mainly into the territories of independent cinema, in the hard films of Nicolas Winding Refn or Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), in roles that are often affected by mutism or introversion. And yet the desire was there, and his interpretation of Ken is a confirmation of how comfortable he can be with comedy.


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