Ryan Gosling gives fans another acting "Valentine"

Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:01pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - By most accounts in Hollywood, he is one of the best actors of his generation, but for Ryan Gosling there will be no major studio movies, no comic book hero roles like Spider-Man or goofy romantic comedies.

At age 30, Gosling still prefers movies like his new "Blue Valentine," which debuts in theaters on Wednesday. It was made outside Hollywood's major studios and is an adult drama -- currently the most unappreciated film genre at box offices as audiences seek escapism and laughter in movie theaters around the holiday season.

But dramas generally offer the most challenging roles for actors and as much as anything else, Gosling loves a challenging acting job -- even if he's not quite sure why.

"Some people eat and eat and don't know how to stop," Gosling told Reuters. "For me, it's the same thing with film. I'm compelled to play these kinds of characters. Even when I'm in it, I have moments of lucidity where I'm like, 'Why am I doing this?' And I don't know why. Not knowing is what keeps me interested."

Gosling's only mainstream Hollywood movie hit was "The Notebook," a romantic drama based on the Nicholas Sparks novel that took in a surprising $81 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices. It told the tale of an older man telling audiences how he first fell in love with his wife many years before.

As a child actor, Gosling worked in TV before breaking out in "The Believer," a Sundance Film Festival darling in 2001 that earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for best actor playing a young Jewish man who is anti-Semitic.

By 2007, he had earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a drug addicted school teacher in another independently made movie, "Half Nelson," which followed his Golden Globe-nominated performance as a young man who falls in love with a sex doll in "Lars and the Real Girl."

Gosling does not consciously avoid big studio movies. Rather he said he feels "there's more freedom and more experimentation" in independent films. And "Blue Valentine" is no exception, thanks to an unorthodox filming process that proved to be the most experimental of Gosling's career yet.   Continued...