Ryan Gosling Told He Wasn’t A Leading Man

Ryan Gosling was told he had "no leading man qualities."

By Douglas Helm | Published

Any director would probably love to have Barbie’s Ryan Gosling as a leading man in their film, but he wasn’t always viewed that way. Gosling recently did an interview with GQ for a cover story and revealed that he was cast in one of his breakout roles specifically because the director didn’t feel like he was leading man material. As Gosling tells it, ” [Director Nick Cassavetes ] straight up told me: ‘The fact that you have no natural leading man qualities is why I want you to be my leading man.” (via Deadline)

Ryan Gosling is referring to his role in 2004’s The Notebook, which helped launch him into superstardom. Three years later, Gosling would get nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars for the film Half Nelson, and then he would get heaps of critical acclaim for his subtle yet intense performance in 2011’s Drive. Following Drive, Gosling would get a steady stream of huge movie roles, several of which were where he starred as the leading man.

Some of Ryan Gosling’s most notable roles after Drive included Crazy, Stupid Love, The Ides of March, The Place Beyond the Pines, Gangster Squad, and The Nice Guys. Gosling would score his second Oscar nomination for his leading man role in Damien Chazell’s La La Land opposite Emma Stone. Although Gosling doesn’t have an Oscar win yet, it definitely seems like it’s only a matter of time.

After starring in the incredible sci-fi sequel Blade Runner: 2049 in 2017 and the Neil Armstrong biopic The First Man in 2018, Ryan Gosling would take a long hiatus until the 2022 Netflix film The Gray Man. Fortunately, it looks like Gosling is ready to come back in full force, as he has numerous big projects on the way. Not the least of which is the upcoming summer blockbuster Barbie where he’ll co-star as Ken with Margot Robbie, who takes on the titular role.

Ryan gosling blade runner 2099
Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

Barbie will be one of Ryan Gosling’s biggest films in a while, as the movie is already garnering a ton of hype thanks to its satirical tone and talent both on and off-screen. Barbie is directed by three-time Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig, who also co-wrote the script by Noah Baumbach. That would be enough to get a lot of people in the door, but then you see the incredible cast list that includes America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Will Ferrell, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Hari Nef, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Rhea Perlman, Ncuti Gatwa, Emerald Fennell, Sharon Rooney, Connor Swindells, Dua Lipa, Helen Mirren, John Cena, Ellie Bamber, and Jamie Demetriou.

Barbie will be hitting theaters on July 21, and we can see Ryan Gosling in all of his bleach-blonde Ken himbo glory. As for Gosling’s other projects, the only one with an official release date right now is The Fall Guy, which isn’t coming out until March 1, 2024. However, John Wick, Atomic Blonde, and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is behind the camera, so it will probably be well worth the wait.

Along with Ryan Gosling, The Fall Guy will also star Teresa Palmer, Hannah Waddingham, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Stephanie Hsu, Emily Blunt, and Winston Duke. Gosling’s other upcoming projects include Project Hail Mary and Wolfman. We’ll keep you updated as more details on his new projects come out.