Ryan Gosling

Post Revisited: My Letter to Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

The Piece: A letter to Ryan Gosling, national treasure
Original Publication: The Los Angeles Loyolan
Date of Publication: February 2, 2012

Background: I took over as the Loyolan’s Arts & Entertainment Editor in late September, with my first solo issue coming that October. From that first issue on, I wrote a column for the section called “It’s K-OK!” Generally, the theme of the column was ‘pop culture as lifestyle,’ but I deviated from that well once or twice, to say the least. This was one of those deviations.

Conception: At the end of January, Ryan Gosling was riding a wave of good publicity. Though he had missed earning an Oscar nomination for either Drive or The Ides of March, he was gaining a reputation as the hottest young actor working today. My actorcrush on him started with Half Nelson and bloomed into full-on actorlove with Fracture and Blue Valentine. The last year was a triple play of charm (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), savvy (The Ides of March) and undeniable appeal (Drive). Ryan had sealed his place in my heart.

I was about to transition into my new position as Managing Editor and, as a result, would be writing my column much less frequently. I decided to do something different for one of my last editions, and the result was my letter to Ryan.

Letter to Ryan

Design Credit: The Los Angeles Loyolan

Execution: Part of what I loved so much about putting this together was the design. Originally meant to just run like a regular column, a co-worker and I brainstormed to come up with a presentation where the letter would appear to have been printed on parchment — including my signature at the end. I was thrilled with how it looked, and it was the first hint of something the current Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Loyolan would really run with: engaging, thoughtful page design that used appealing graphics instead of static templates.

Revisiting: Admittedly, if I had to rewrite this piece, I would have put it out in October, in the heat of Ryan’s success. With the delay of his movie Gangster Squad to 2013, this year will go without a major Gosling release, and the spotlight has been shifted to fellow Emma Stone co-star Andrew Garfield for his work in The Amazing Spider-Man. Still, I’m firmly in Ryan’s corner — he’ll be back soon enough, and in a big way. I’m just glad I got to declare my love in such a creative, fun fashion.

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Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

A letter to Ryan Gosling, national treasure

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: A letter to Ryan Gosling, national treasure – Los Angeles Loyolan.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Dear Ryan Gosling,

I have a confession to make. As a major fan, it’s embarrassing for me to tell you, but I feel like being honest with you. After all, what’s a little awkward admission between imaginary friends like us?

Here’s the truth: I don’t like “The Notebook.” More than that, I don’t think you’re very good in it.

I know. As a fervent Gosling fanatic I should have been fanning myself over your heartthrob performance as Noah Calhoun. But I thought you were just OK. You had chemistry with your co-star and onetime girlfriend Rachel McAdams, yes, but it was definitely less than your best.

But that’s all in the past! You’re back now with incredible performances in movies such as “Drive” and “The Ides of March,” and you were smoldering and stellar in equal measure in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” You’ve captured the hearts of the nation and the attention of critics who hold you up as the actor of your generation.

It’s so funny to think of you as the boy who was in the “Mickey Mouse Club” revival as a mouseketeer. You’ve risen above the exploits of your co-stars Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, both of whom haven’t quite had the careers we expected. You’ve become a massive star in your own right, an A-lister who set Twitter aflame with the mere notice that you wouldn’t be attending the Golden Globes.

Personally, my love for you started with your performance in “Half Nelson.” Your only Oscar-nominated performance stands as one of your best – as drug addict and junior high teacher Dan Dunne, you were deeply affecting, with real gravitas and humanity. You only kept that roll going with “Lars and the Real Girl” as Lars Lindstrom, a man in love with a sex doll. In a role that could have been downright creepy in the wrong hands, you were charming and wonderful.

Unfortunately, a dark period soon fell upon us, and you waited for almost three years before gracing us with your on-screen presence once again. We were forced to rely upon a lesser Ryan (Reynolds, that is) to fuel our nation’s collective need for a heartthrob.

The drought ended when you gifted us with “Blue Valentine.” Your performance as Dean Periera felt lived-in and was truly arresting. Your chemistry with Michelle Williams was magnetic, both attracting and repelling. Your total willingness to commit to the role was impressive. I was smitten with your talent.

Then came the triple play of 2011. You turned America on as the suave ladykiller who is broken by Emma Stone in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” You fit the role just as well as your suits fit you – perfectly. You followed it up with one of your most morally ambiguous roles – Stephen Meyers in “The Ides of March.” It’s not easy to make politics sexy, but you succeeded.

For me, the role that I’ll hold dear to my heart is your performance as Driver in “Drive.” An absolute knockout, you were especially impressive with sparse language and a towering presence. You sold the romance with Carey Mulligan and the violence against the gangsters with equal talent. Every movement was a well-choreographed dance of power. It sealed the deal – you clearly had the talent to fit the devastating movie star looks.

You’re so much more than your performances, too! You’re an Internet sensation with plenty of blogs dedicated to your image. You set the media world on fire when you broke up a street brawl and it was captured on video. You’re wanted by many, adored by most – what more could a man want?

You’re standing at the edge of your career – on one side, several devastatingly good performances; on the other, a future of success and fame. You’re destined to be not only a heartthrob, but a legendary actor, and I have no doubt that you can live up to your promise.

Let’s just agree to disagree on that performance in “The Notebook.”