An Associated Press profile of actor, hero, and meme Ryan Gosling sent fans into a tizzy with the suggestion that the heartthrob might be taking a "break" from acting. But hold up. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. There are some caveats to this statement, which imply that we should not mourn the loss of the Gos from our lives quite yet.
Looking at IMDb you'll find that, there's actually quite a bit of Gosling on the horizon. First up his is teaming up again with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance for The Place Beyond the Pines, which opens March 29. So there's some red-carpeting to be done there. And then Gosling has two movies listed in post-production: Only God Forgives, made by Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and featuring that poster with Gosling's face beaten up, and an untitled Terrence Malick movie. So that's a lot of upcoming screen time for us to share with Gosling, and a lot of press he'll have to do. You'll be seeing plenty of this guy, even if he won't be "working" per se. And besides, his next project is How to Catch a Monster, which he's directing himself, and that brings us to...
It seems to us that we might be taking the money quote out of context. The AP's Jake Coyle writes:
Soon to direct his first film, he's looking forward to taking a step back just when moviegoers can't get enough.
"I've been doing it too much," he says of acting. "I've lost perspective on what I'm doing. I think it's good for me to take a break and reassess why I'm doing it and how I'm doing it. And I think this is probably a good way to learn about that. I need a break from myself as much as I imagine the audience does."
What's unclear is whether he's taking a step back following his directorial debut or whether that film actually is his step back, since he won't be appearing on screen. Gosling's interview with The Hollywood Reporter's Jordan Zakarin, out today, gives us some more clues. Zakarin writes:
In all, he is slated to feature in four films this year, and suggests that the world is a bit sick of him. That seems impossible -- slightly enigmatic with a devilish grin but a personal life clean of scandal, he holds an unending reservoir of goodwill from critics and fans alike -- but he's absolutely earnest. It’s part of the reason he says he won’t be acting in his directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster, which begins shooting this spring.
"I just need a little break from myself," Gosling admits. "I got into the habit of just having a lot of options, and then suddenly getting option anxiety, and I need to get a little distance and give myself and the audience a little break."
"I think I’ve kind of over-saturated myself with myself, made a lot of movies and have lost a little perspective on what I’m doing. So this is a way for me to still make a film but have a new experience doing it. And see it from another perspective, which I think I need right now," he adds, hinting at a certain exhaustion with being in front of the camera.
Well, that seems to clear things up a bit, no? Gosling sees stepping behind the camera, and out of the limelight, as his "break" from acting, right? Not acting would be a "break from myself" for method actor Gosling, right? Right???
He's Been Gone Before
Okay, well even if the Gos is going somewhere where we can't gazing longingly at him, the man—post-Notebook, pre-meme, still handsom—has taken a leave of public absence before. In a 2010 article by Logan Hill for New York, Hill pointed out that exiting the The Lovely Bones (he was supposed to play the father) brought "Gosling's grand total of movies since 2006 to a whopping two." Indeed, following Half Nelson, for which he got an Oscar nomination, Gosling made just Lars and the Real Girl and Fracture, both of which were released in 2007. Then he was absent from the big screen until Blue Valentine and All Good Things in 2010. Since then we've gotten used to a steady stream of Gosling, but we should remember that we once survived with his absence.
Plus, he's been known to pursue other passions and odd jobs. Brett Martin's 2011 GQ profile revealed that following The Notebook, Gosling got a job in a sandwich shop. Martin explained:
Since then, he’s taken on other jobs: He spent a year learning to play the instruments for his band, Dead Man’s Bones. On an impulse, he bought a Moroccan restaurant and then had no money left to renovate, so he spent six months laying plumbing. After Hurricane Katrina, he packed a car filled with supplies and headed alone for Biloxi, Mississippi, to help rebuild a monastery.
We wouldn't love Gosling as much if he wasn't the type to pursue his odd passion projects. (Martin also revealed he frequents the Magic Castle in Hollywood—Neil Patrick Harris is the president of the Academy of Magical Arts there.)
So even if he's only semi-taking a break, let's let the poor man do so. Perhaps then he'll do more things like breaking up fights in the East Village, and that's what we want from him anyway.