After starring in 2001's The Believer, he broke through in 2004's The Notebook. Last year, he cemented his place in the mainstream with critically successful pictures including Drive and The Ides Of March. His next film, Gangster Squad, will be released on October 19.
Here are ten fast facts about the man himself below:
1. Ryan Gosling was born on November 12, 1980 in London, Ontario. Son of Thomas, a travelling salesman for a paper company, and Donna, who was then a secretary and is now a high school teacher.
2. Gosling had a difficult childhood. His parents divorced at an early age, so he moved in with his mum and older sister Mandi. He suffered bullying at elementary and high school, and had few friends until he was 15. He was also unable to read and was diagnosed with ADHD, before being put into a class for special needs students. He was taken out of school and home-schooled by his mother for a year.
3. Influenced by the film First Blood, Ryan once took steak knives into school and threw them at other children during recess. This led to a suspension.
4. At the age of 12, Justin Timberlake's mother became legal guardian of Gosling for six months after he won an audition for The Mickey Mouse Club, where he then worked alongside Justin, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera for two years.
5. His passion for performing also came from an early age when he worked with his uncle, an Elvis Presley impersonator, performing on stage. Disliking his Canadian accent, he decided to change it and modelled his speaking manner on Marlon Brando. He dropped out of high school at 17 to focus on acting.
6. A big break for Ryan came in 2004 when he was cast in romantic hit The Notebook. He didn't have to audition because director Nick Cassavetes believed he wasn't cool. "I want you to play this role because you're not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You're not handsome, you're not cool, you're just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts." We think that's a compliment!
7. In 2007, Gosling was cast as a father in the Peter Jackson-produced film The Lovely Bones. Uneasy about his age, Jackson was convinced make-up could make him look older. In preparation, but not in co-ordinance with the producers, he gained four stone (60lbs) for the role and grew a beard. He was then replaced, and producer Fran Walsh explained: "He was so uncomfortable moving forward, and we began to feel he was not right. It was our blindness." This led to a three-year gap from acting.
8. Since 2009, Ryan Gosling has apparently dated Kat Dennings, Blake Lively and Olivia Wilde. He is reportedly now with Eva Mendes.
9. Gosling is an active supporter of social causes. He worked with PETA to get fast-food chains to use improved methods of chicken slaughter, volunteered to help following Hurricane Katrina, has travelled to refugee camps, discussed Darfur at conferences, visited Uganda and the eastern Congo.
10. Ryan loves the colour blue.