Almost every actor in Hollywood is clearly either a publicity-winning movie star first and an actor second, or a craft-focused actor first and a movie star second, says Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly. Ryan Gosling, however, is the rare person who is "equally both at once." Unlike Brad Pitt (movie star first) or Sean Penn (Actor with a capital A), Gosling boasts an "extraordinary fusion of acting chops and classic Hollywood magnetism." He may just be the first actor of that breed since Jack Nicholson, as evidenced in films like The Notebook, Fracture, and Blue Valentine. His career is busier than ever, too. Gosling has two Oscar contenders coming out in the fall: The George Clooney political drama The Ides of March and the hit Sundance thriller Drive. And Gosling's performance as a ladykiller in last weekend's Crazy Stupid Love really illustrates how he's both an actor and a movie star:
Gosling makes the audience eager to see the person beneath the lie beneath the I may be a jerk but you know you want me! come-on. He’s the rare actor who can play a pickup-bar stud and also turn his performance into a pinpoint study of just that sort of dude. In every movie he makes, Ryan Gosling treats acting deadly seriously, as a game that is also an art...
[H]is consistency, by and large, is extraordinary, as is his range, as is his taste in roles. He knows how to layer showmanship and art until you can't tell the difference.
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