1. Box Office Success
The Place Beyond The Pines pits two of Hollywood's hottest talents against each other, but which of its two leads really has the edge over the other?
Join us as we run through their on and off-screen successes (and some dodgy decisions along the way)...
Romcoms, thrillers, dramas – Gosling attracts audiences to a wide range of genres, including weird indie-flicks they wouldn't normally go to see.
Drive pulled $77 million, The Ides of March $75 million and Crazy, Stupid, Love totalled a whopping $142 million worldwide (a figure as impressive as Gosling’s infamous sculpted torso scene).
The Hangover trilogy is sure to gross over a billion dollars when Part 3 graces our screens this summer. Chuck in films like Limitless ($161 million) and The A-Team ($177 million) and Silver Linings Playbook ($226 million) and the winner is clear.
Gosling’s numbers are impressive, but there’s no doubt that Cooper is the box office champion. It seems like cinema-goers just can’t resist a bit of big screen BCoops.
Ryan Gosling: 0, Bradley Cooper: 1
The chiselled abs, the blue eyes, the charity work, the co-ownership of a restaurant, the sideline playing in an indie rock outfit…
Sorry, where were we?
Coops was named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive back in 2011, a title he can attribute to his fine physique (see: The A-Team ) and cracking sense of humour.
Both are undeniably gorgeous (like you need us to tell you that).
However, despite Cooper’s official recognition, the combination of his body, his philanthropy and his part-time job fronting the band Dead Man’s Bones gets Gosling the point.
Ryan Gosling: 1, Bradley Cooper: 1
The endearing, lovable Noah in The Notebook , the socially inept Lars in Lars and the Real Girl and hardass turns in Drive and The Place Beyond The Pines are proof that Gosling is able to completely immerse himself in any role that comes his way.
Three turns as The Hangover ’s Phil Wenneck implies Cooper has a penchant for playing the handsome jerk, but his mesmerising performance as the bipolar Pat in Silver Linings Playbook showed he has the talent to go the other way entirely.
Gosling’s impressively varied list of roles is undeniable proof that he can play anyone from the socially awkward loner to vengeful, violent criminals – putting him in the lead.
Ryan Gosling: 2, Bradley Cooper: 1
4. Hidden Talents
Once got jiggy to the annoyingly catchy Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) at a Mormon talent contest. The guy’s got moves, so you can stick ‘uninhibited dancer’ down on your list of reasons to love him.
And terrible taste in house music on reasons not to.
Famously spent six months as an exchange student in France, which means he can speak the language. Fluently.
Perhaps if he’d picked a different track Gosling could’ve had this one, but his talented tongue earns Cooper the equaliser.
Ryan Gosling: 2, Bradley Cooper: 2
5. Award Nominations / Wins
Where to start? Oscar nominated in 2006 for Half Nelson and four times nominated for a Golden Globe, Gosling is yet to pick up one of the biggies.
Still, the fact that the 32-year-old has an entire Wiki page detailing his nominations speaks volumes.
Nominated this year for the Best Actor Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for Silver Linings Playbook . Unfortunately Cooper ended up in the same category as tour-de-force Daniel Day-Lewis, meaning a win was always going to be a long shot.
The sheer amount of critical praise and award nominations that Gosling has already accumulated over his career just edges him ahead.
Ryan Gosling: 3, Bradley Cooper: 2
6. Surprising Moves
Gangster Squad aside, Gosling has managed to stay clear of the duds and has instead forged a career out of consistently choosing critical and box office successes.
Three words – All . About . Steve .
Why, Bradley? WHY?
The point goes to Gosling, who seems to have a knack for always choosing the credible roles.
Ryan Gosling: 4, Bradley Cooper: 2
7. Breakout Appearances
A small role in the American football drama Remember The Titans in 2000, followed by psych thriller Murder By Numbers and coming-of-age drama The Slaughter Rule in 2002.
However, it was 2004’s The Notebook alongside Rachel McAdams that really brought him to prominence. His performance is still making grown adults weep into their duvets today.
His first film role back in 2001 required him to have sex with Michael Ian Black in Wet Hot American Summer .
He followed that up with generic buddy comedies like Failure To Launch and Wedding Crashers before breaking into the mainstream with worldwide smash The Hangover in 2009.
Although Gosling probably did the more artsy breakout roles, Cooper's Wet Hot American Summer is surprisingly hilarious (despite the title) and his proper break-out is one of the most successful comedies of all timw. This is a tough one to call.
Ryan Gosling: 4, Bradley Cooper: 3
8. Bad Boy Behaviour
Caught driving under the influence in 2005, but managed to reduce his charge and was instead sentenced to two years on probation and was ordered to pay $849 for ‘exhibiting speed’.
Arrested for underage drinking aged 15, Cooper admitted that he’d also spent nights in hospital after drug-fuelled antics including smashing his adolescent face repeatedly into the floor.
Realising he was ruining his chances of success, he went sober and has been ever since.
Coops saw the error of his ways and changed, whereas Gosling was 24 at the time of his arrest. He should’ve known better. We're glad he's matured into the hero we know and love today, but you can't deny that's not exactly commendable behaviour.
Ryan Gosling: 5, Bradley Cooper: 3
9. Memeability / Internet Fame
While promoting The Hangover Part 2, Cooper did an entire interview in French, prompting thousands of YouTube hits and immediate internet fame.
It doesn’t matter how many times you watch it, Cooper speaking French never fails to impress. Or arouse.
Ryan Gosling: 5, Bradley Cooper: 4
10. Future Projects
Going back to what he knows, Gosling’s teamed up with Nicolas Winding Refn again for Only God Forgives . The Thailand-set crime thriller promises to be good, if not better (and certainly more violent, if the trailer’s anything to go by), than Drive .
He’s also ready to make his directorial debut later this year with self-penned fantasy noir How To Catch A Monster , starring Christina Hendricks and current Doctor Who Matt Smith.
The Hangover trilogy reaches its conclusion this summer and after that, Cooper will don a perm and reunite with his Silver Linings Playbook co-star Jennifer Lawrence in Susanne Bier’s depression-era Serena .
Both blokes have a busy 18 months ahead of them, but branching out into writing screenplays and directing his first film means Gosling is really starting to get interesting.
Ryan Gosling: 6, Bradley Cooper: 4
Winner: Ryan Gosling
Coops has proved he isn’t just the go-to hunk with his performance in Silver Linings Playbook . That alone has, and will continue to, unlock plenty of opportunities for the 38-year-old.
However, an incredibly varied CV, heaps of critical praise and the ability to branch out into writing and directing means the multi-talented Canadian just pips him to the post.