Mickey Mouse Club (1993-1995)
Now that he's grown up to become one of the most intense actors of his generation, it seems odd to think that Ryan Gosling got his career off to a cutesy all-singing, all-dancing start as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club.
Gosling was part of the final group to be inducted into the show, and his stablemates included Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Keri Russell. Gosling actually lived with JT and family while he worked on the show.
Trademark intensity? It doesn't really come out when he's warbling along with future 'N Sync stars.
Are You Afraid Of The Dark? (1995)
Ryan Gosling started his acting career with a lot of TV work, his first role coming in this horror anthology series. The show was based around a bunch of kids who dubbed themselves 'The Midnight Society', and got together to tell scary stories which formed the bulk of the show.
Gosling appeared in an episode featuring a radio station that could take listeners to the afterlife (and it's not Radio 4...)
Trademark intensity? For under 10s this was heavy material...
Frankenstein And Me (1996)
Gosling had another small role in this family-friendly horror adventure. Oddball teen Earl Williams (Jamieson Boulanger) is obsessed with Universal monsters, and he ropes in his inventor father (Burt Reynolds) to help him reanimate Frankenstein's monster.
Gosling plays Kenny, a friend who ends up getting involved. This curio has all but disappeared from the face of the earth now, though we needn't be too gutted about that by the sound of it.
Trademark intensity? Again, only really if you're a pre-teen...
The young actor continued to build his body of TV work, with a part in the other kiddies' horror anthology show, Goosebumps . Gosling bagged the lead in episode 'Say Cheese and Die'.
He also found time for guest spots in Ready Or Not , Flash Forward and The Adventures Of Shirley Holmes as he continued to shape his career on the small screen.
Trademark intensity? So far he does seem to have been attracted to roles with a macabre edge.
Road To Avonlea (1996)
Gosling donned a baker boy hat for his one-off appearance in this period drama series, set in the fictional title town in the early 20th century. The Canadian show ran for seven seasons and featured a few big-name guests, including Faye Dunaway and Christopher Reeve.
Gosling didn't have a huge amount to do, but given limited screen time he showed off his boyish charms to the full.
Trademark intensity? There was no chance to exude it here.
Breaker High (1997-1998)
After a couple more TV bit parts, Gosling got his first long-running TV role as Sean Hanlon. The show earnt him some heartthrob credit, though he has rarely traded on this in his later film roles.
Breaker High was your usual light-hearted high-school comedy with a bit of a twist: the lucky students went to school on a cruise ship.
Trademark intensity? Nah, this kept things light (you'd probably be a bit happier if your secondary school experience was basically an extended holiday).
Young Hercules (1998-1999)
Ryan Gosling got another prominent TV role in Young Hercules : he played the titular hero in this prequel to the Kevin Sorbo series (in which Gosling also had an unrelated cameo).
The actor moved to New Zealand to shoot the show, which did have some movie heft in the form of exec-producer Sam Raimi. This one was definitely aimed at the young 'uns though, as Herc struggled his way through warrior academy.
Trademark intensity? The teen hero never became too angsty.
Remember The Titans (2000)
This idealistic 'football' movie tackles the issue of racial prejudice with old-fashioned optimism. It works largely thanks to the ever-reliable presence of Denzel Washington, as the coach drafted to work at a desegregated high school.
Gosling is Alan, a slightly goofy player who has no trouble when it comes to getting along with his teammates. Verging on the saccharine, Titans keeps things amiably simple and straight-laced.
Trademark intensity? There's a Weighty Theme here, but it's handled with a lightness of touch that keeps things moving.
The Believer (2001)
The controversial subject matter scared distributors, but this movie gave Gosling his first opportunity to shine in a truly challenging lead role, as he aggressively revealed his big screen potential.
Echoing the likes of Romper Stomper and American History X , Gosling plays Balint, an anti-Semite with a secret: he's actually an orthodox Jew. Gosling and director Henry Bean handle the material sensitively, and the film walked away with the Grand Jury prize from Sundance.
Trademark intensity? Hell yeah, this is the first time Gosling got to go full throttle, announcing himself as a talent to keep a very close eye on.
The Slaughter Rule (2002)
Gosling tackled the 'football' movie again, though this lo-fi indie was in stark contrast to the Bruckheimer-produced sheen of Remember The Titans .
As teen Roy, he watches his life go down the pan after his estranged father commits suicide, and he's then dropped from the team. A shot at redemption is offered in the form of David Morse's washed-up coach...
Trademark intensity? He once again shows how magnetic he can be in challenging roles.
Murder By Numbers (2002)
Sandra Bullock stars as a detective trying to solve a high-school murder case, but critics found it all too easy to make fun out of the title of this rote thriller.
There is a saving grace though, in the form of Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt's psychotic teens. Their twisted relationship is enough to keep you alert during this otherwise snooze-worthy effort.
Trademark intensity? Pitt and Gosling's performances have you wishing they were in a much better movie.
The United States Of Leland (2003)
Gosling was hitting his stride playing troubled characters; his performance as Leland, a teenager charged with stabbing an autistic boy to death, adds weight to an otherwise flimsy drama.
Kevin Spacey and Don Cheadle play Leland's father and teacher, and Gosling more than holds his own against the seasoned performers. Gosling's future Blue Valentine co-star Michelle Williams also appears in a support role.
Trademark intensity? Again, it's another example of his performance outshining the film it's in.
The Notebook (2004)
A major hit for Gosling that re-established his heart-throb status, and proved he could handle more commercial fare. Far and away the best screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel (which isn't much of an accolade, but still...)
Gosling and Rachel McAdams have chemistry to spare as the young lovers whose romance traverses tricky terrain including war, social status and, eventually, dementia. It's richly sentimental for sure, but it requires a heart of stone to not have blubbed by the time the credits roll.
Trademark intensity? He brings depth to what could have been a generic romantic lead.
This film boasted a decent cast (Gosling, Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts) and an on-form director (Marc Forster), but none of them could make the muddled set-up work.
Gosling goes troubled again as a psychiatric patient who is struggling to re-adjust after surviving a car accident. Stay goes overboard when it comes to blurring the boundary between reality and illusion, to the extent that following it becomes a bit of a thankless chore.
Trademark intensity? There's no denying he gives it his all here.
Half Nelson (2006)
In what's possibly his finest screen performance (it bagged him an Oscar nom), Gosling plays history teacher Dan Dunne, a man who inspires kids' interest in the subject and coaches the school basketball team while puffing on a crack pipe in his spare time.
The movie focuses on Dan's relationship with Drey, a pupil who gets wind of his habit. There are no easy answers, and no dramatic narrative revelations, but it's well worth getting caught in Half Nelson 's hold.
Trademark intensity? Gosling lives and breathes the character without any grandstanding or showboating, and his raw performance propels the movie.
Gosling and co-star Anthony Hopkins seem to be having bags of fun in this throwback legal thriller. The generic material doesn't really stretch either of them, but the results are pretty entertaining.
Gosling seems to relish playing it slick and sleazy for a change as the young hotshot, while Hopkins torments him as the manipulative defendant. It runs out of steam before the climax, as director Gregory Hoblit fails to match the twisty highs of his Primal Fear .
Trademark intensity? He's taking a well-earned breather...
Lars And The Real Girl (2007)
If Fracture and The Notebook are Gosling at his most mainstream, then Lars showcases the actor at his most offbeat and compelling. He plays Lars, an introverted oddball who builds a relationship with a 'love doll' he orders off the internet.
It won't be to everyone's taste, but the movie boasts a stunning central performance from Gosling, and it'll quickly sweep you up with its crazy logic.
Trademark intensity? The role could've been pure slapstick, but Gosling plays it with a quiet, subtly-affecting manner.
Blue Valentine (2010)
Blue Valentine falls into that rare subsection of movies that need a warning with their hearty recommendation: Derek Cianfrance’s marital drama is superb, with Gosling and Williams turning in two of the year’s most compelling performances, but it’s unrelenting depressing stuff.
It’s well worth enduring though, as it nimbly jumps between the breakdown of a marriage, and the relationship’s bittersweet inception.
Trademark intensity? Gosling's warbling of “You only hurt the ones you love” will destroy you.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Gosling is back in multiplexes today with a cinematic one-two that illustrates his diversity and appeal. In a change of pace, Crazy, Stupid, Love sees him playing slick ladies’ man Jacob.
He mentors Steve Carell’s recently dumped Cal on how to get back into the dating game, and but struggles to keep his cool when he meets Emma Stone’s Hannah. As you’d expect from The Gos, this is smart, moving, intelling stuff, rather than a froth-light diversion.
Trademark intensity? It’s channelled into becoming the ultimate player. Admit it, you’d have him as your wingman…
The second Ryan Gosling movie hitting cinemas today is Drive , an ‘80s-inspired actioner from Bronson and Valhalla Rising director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Gosling broods taciturnly as Driver, a Hollywood stunt performer who has a side job as a getaway driver. After a job is botched, a hit is put out on Driver, and he’s forced to go on the run with Irene (Carey Mulligan) in tow.
Trademark intensity? Gosling keeps the character’s dialogue to a minimum, as he was apparently all talked out after the Blue Valentine shoot and promo trail.
Those not sated by a double dose of Gosling in cinemas this week will be heartened to know he has plenty more on the horizon. Come October, he’ll be starring in political drama The Ides Of March for (and with) George Clooney.
And that’s not all, as he’s currently working on Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine follow-up The Place Beyond The Pines , and Ruben Zombieland Fleischer’s Gangster Squad .
And if that wasn’t enough, Gosling will reteam with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn for Thai-boxing thriller Only God Forgives , before the pair go on to make their Logan’s Run remake. Will that keep you going for the time being?