This has well and truly stuck around, hasn't it?
When the Gosling craze began in earnest in 2011, it seemed run-of-the-mill: another fleeting, Tumblr-powered fad that'd come and go like a super-dapper shooting star, and be unceremoniously succeeded by, oh, maybe Michael Fassbender, six months later.
But it hasn't been succeeded. It's barely cooled. Gosling has flirted with the zeitgeist for going on three years now – all while never (really) becoming tired or clichéd or the object of ridicule.
More importantly: Gosling has flirted with the female population at large. And they – and most of the rest of us – still can't get enough.
But how? It's not like other actors don't have talented PR teams. What is it about Gosling that inspires the female masses to what is surely the most refined, cultivated hysteria of the Internet generation?
Because there are certainly better looking actors. There are certainly better dressed actors. And, yes, there are certainly better actors.
What are the lessons to be learned? How can we steal his charisma – his je ne sais quoi-the-hell-is-so-mesmerising-about-this-guy?
Esquire's thorough, intensive and wholly empirical research has revealed the following.
There's a reason Gosling is both sex symbol and feminist icon. Unless you're a pop culture hermit, you've seen the memes of Gosling overlayed with feminist theory. The fairer sex's adoration for Gosling is deep and complex and varied – but it might have its roots in a letter. After his raw indie flick Blue Valentine was given an NC-17 rating in the States, all owing to a single scene of (consentual), non-graphic cunnilingus, he wrote the following:
"You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It's misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman's sexual presentation of self."
While a grown man doesn't get into fights, he can most certainly break them up. (Wherever possible, perform your peacekeeping act while wearing a wife-beater, for that extra punch of dissonance.)
Just so everyone knows you can.
Esquire's comprehensive guide!
Step 1: Neutralise your face.
Step 2: Channel the moment you realised that you forgot to turn off the iron.
Being able to sing in a sweet, affected voice: a bonus.
Esquire's interactive guide, with commentary by fashion director Catherine Hayward.
(Hover over to begin.)
Because there were a helluva lot of projects between The Notebook and Drive.
Try Lars and the Real Girl. Logline: Man falls in love with doll. Result? Convincing, honest, and – incredibly – not a punch line.
Next up? Blue Valentine. A lyrical, brutally real portrayal of love, bleak and candid enough to make you question every relationship you've ever entered into. Oof.
It's not that either of these films – or his other low-budget projects, like Half Nelson – were stop-the-presses superlative.
It's that after the sustained success of The Notebook (now clearly the Titanic of '00s date movies), Gosling could have opted for the low-hanging, high-reward fruits of the motion picture industry: the assembly line rom-coms, the mind-numbing, Michael Bay popcorn flicks. Make no mistake, he could have spent his past decade on the silver screen nailing a smorgasbord of sexy actresses du jour, spouting out of-the-moment pop culture references in smug post-coital bliss. Let's be real: it's the career path 99% of us would have taken.
But take a look at Gosling's ratio of easy wins to small-town doll romance dramas: the man's discerning. The man's got principles.
And chicks dig principles.
With the caveat of knowing your limits, and knowing there's approximately two dudes that can pull this off. (The other lives in the bunny mansion.)
A substantially more difficult style to acquire.
Total running time of Ryan Gosling's dialogue in Drive: about 5 minutes.
Because girls have loved this since forever.
Because girls have also loved this since forever.
Because girls have loved this since before forever.
From an interview with W Magazine: "As a kid I decided that having a Canadian accent doesn't sound tough. I thought guys should sound like Marlon Brando. So now I have a phony accent that I can't shake, so it's not phony anymore."