His most commercially successful movie to date is 2004's romantic drama The Notebook. 2011 was a landmark year for the actor as he appeared in three mainstream films: romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, action movie Drive and political drama The Ides of March. His band, Dead Man's Bones, released their self-titled debut album in 2009.
Ryan Gosling was born in London, Ontario but grew up in Cornwall. He is the son of Donna, a secretary, and Thomas Gosling, a paper mill worker. His parents divorced when he was a child; he and his older sister were raised by their mother. He has commented, "I grew up with my mother and my sister so I've just been programmed to think like a girl. I'm attracted to films that have strong female characters because there are strong female characters in my life."
His parents were Mormons. "We were brought up pretty religious. My mother admits it: She says, you were raised by a religious zealot. She's different now, but at the time, it was a part of everything - what they ate, how they thought".
He had "no pals" as a child and was bullied in elementary school. "I hated being a kid. I didn't like being told what to do, I didn't like my body, I didn't like any of it. Being a kid and playing and all that stuff just drove me nuts." In Grade 1, having been heavily influenced by the film Rambo, he brought steak knives to school and threw them at other children during recess. This incident lead to a suspension. While attending Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School, he was diagnosed with ADHD, prescribed Ritalin and was placed in a class for special needs students. Consequently, his mother quit her job and homeschooled him for a year. Ryan Gosling has said that homeschooling gave him "a sense of autonomy that I've never really lost".
Ryan Gosling performed from an early age. He and his older sister, Mandi, sang together at weddings; he performed with his uncle's Elvis Presley tribute act, Elvis Perry, and he was involved with a local dance company. He spent part of his childhood in Florida, USA after successfully auditioning for a part on The Mickey Mouse Club at the age of twelve in Montreal Quebec at an open audition.
Ryan Gosling developed an idiosyncratic accent as a child, later explaining, "As a kid I thought having a Canadian accent didn'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." He dropped out of high school at the age of seventeen to focus on his acting career.