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Ryan Gosling Says He’s Turned Away from Darker Roles for His Family & Mental Health

Ryan Gosling Says He's Turned Away from Darker Roles for His Family & Mental Health


  • Ryan Gosling’s shift to lighter roles stemmed from family priorities, avoiding dark characters for better mental health.
  • La La Land
    marked the turning point for Gosling, as he embraced more inspiring and mainstream film projects.
  • The Fall Guy
    aligns with Gosling’s current priorities, offering a mix of comedy and action without bringing darkness home.

Given his recent movie choices, it might be hard to remember, but Ryan Gosling used to dabble in very dark and brooding roles primarily. From playing a neo-Nazi in 2001’s The Believer, to playing a serial killer in training in 2002’s Murder By Numbers, to playing a man in a marriage that is tragically dissolving in 2010’s Blue Valentine, Gosling was never afraid to tap into very serious and complex emotions. That has changed in recent years with lighter roles in Barbie and the recently released action comedy, The Fall Guy, and, as it turns out, there is a reason for that. The actor is stepping away from darker characters for the sake of his family and his mental health.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal Magazine, via Variety, Gosling revealed that he no longer chooses roles that are psychologically dark to maintain his mental health for the sake of his family, which includes partner Eva Mendes and their three daughters. The actor said:

“I don’t really take roles that are going to put me in some kind of dark place. This moment is what I feel like trying to read the room at home and feel like what is going to be best for all of us. The decisions I make, I make them with Eva and we make them with our family in mind first.”

Ryan Gosling’s Priorities Changed with La La Land

When discussing when this change took place, Gosling admitted it was when he did the 2016 musical La La Land, a role that garnered him a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

“I think ‘La La Land’ was the first. It was just sort of like, ‘Oh, this will be fun for them, too, because even though they’re not coming to set, we’re practicing piano every day or we’re dancing or we’re singing.’ Their interest in Barbie and their disinterest in Ken was an inspiration. I thought, they were already making little movies about their Barbies on the iPad when it happened, so the fact that I was going off to work to make one too, we just felt like we were aligned.”

If you look at Gosling’s roles post La La Land, the vast majority of them are either inspirational dramas (First Man) or more mainstream popcorn movies (Blade Runner 2049, The Gray Man, Barbie, The Fall Guy). It aligns perfectly with his desire to take on movies that won’t allow him to bring any darkness home to his family. While audiences might miss him in films like The Place Beyond the Pines, or Lars and the Real Girl, it makes sense for a man building a family, that he would want to make career choices that are best for them.


Ryan Gosling Jests The Fall Guy Is ‘Just a Giant Campaign to Get Stunts an Oscar’

Ryan Gosling portrays the unknown stuntman in The Fall Guy; he jokes that the film is an attempt to garner the profession an Academy Award.

The Fall Guy falls perfectly in place with Gosling’s recent mantra. Directed by David Leitch and written by Drew Pearce, the film is loosely based on the 1980s TV series about stunt performers and follows stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling), who is working on his ex-girlfriend’s (Emily Blunt) directorial debut action film. Due to a series of unfortunate events, Colt finds himself involved in a conspiracy surrounding the film’s lead actor, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), which leads to many hilarious situations. Critics have responded positively to the film, with it registering an 85 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Fall Guy
is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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