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Words by Mr Chris Laverty

How come we don't hate Mr Gosling? We should do - for the reasons stated above - but, because unlike so many pretenders to the throne, he's not smug, vain or shilling something he isn't, we find ourselves able to forgive him. And, to be fair, he's one helluva good actor who's made a host of admirable movie - and style - choices.

Until recently one of the most underrated talents working in Hollywood, Mr Gosling's mad array of roles reveals him as our new real-life ideal: a man constantly remaking himself to fit new opportunities. His skill and confidence means he can ace roles other actors shy away from: a Nazi who is actually a Jew (The Believer, a role he did at the age of 20), a drug-addicted inner-city teacher (Half Nelson, which earned him an Oscar nomination) or a guy who publicly dates a blow-up doll (Lars and the Real Girl). He can do straight drama (The Notebook, his feature film breakthrough - and one many of you will see even if you don't want to). We know he can do romance (Blue Valentine). We know he can do thriller (All Good Things).

With his new film, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Mr Gosling, 30, revs romantic-comedy to a roar. As the young buck who plays romantic advisor to broken-hearted Mr Steve Carell, Mr Gosling is right on the money when it comes to giving Mr Carell's character a new look: "You're sitting there with a Supercuts haircut and you're wearing a 44 when you should be wearing a 42 regular," he says, taking his critique right down to Mr Carell's ugly Velcro wallet.

Mr Ryan Gosling works his charm on love interest Ms Emma Stone as Mr Steve Carell looks on in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love

Mr Ryan Gosling works his charm on love interest Ms Emma Stone as Mr Steve Carell looks on in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love

Starting out as a child actor and Disney "Mouseketeer" along with Ms Britney and Mr Justin Timberlake, Mr Gosling dropped out of high school at 17 to pursue acting. With years of TV work behind him, the Canadian initially looked like a lanky wimpy indie guy who was paying his dues. If you look carefully, though, he's always owned his style. After only a handful of supporting roles in respectable feature films, Mr Gosling took on pivotal characters in offbeat indie productions - leading roles so vital that if he failed, the film would too. Mr Gosling, however, has yet to fail. He digs deep for extra dimensions in all of his roles, lending depth to characters we'd otherwise scoff at.

Echoing his experimental role choices, Mr Gosling's early style was all over the place. Arriving at premieres in ill-fitting dinner suits teamed with Converse trainers, he was subversive for all the wrong reasons. In 2006, he even stepped out in a tuxedo T-shirt - refuge of the high-school joker taking a pot shot at elegance. However, this sense of humour gives him an edge over more contrived fashion contemporaries. Mr Gosling has often demonstrated a fondness for three-piece plaid suits, worn without a tie - possibly a rebellion too far and yet reminiscent of Mr Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair.

crazy, stupid, love trailer


Claiming, "I feel like everything has happened naturally," Mr Gosling is all about making major look minor. He excels at pulling it off with a demeanour as relaxed as his performances. In July, Mr Gosling appeared on Letterman in a Gucci brown mohair suit with two of his five cuff buttons unfastened; a subtle dose of sprezzatura.

But wild plaid suits and unbuttoned cuffs aside, Mr Gosling's real trademark is his silhouette: slender, verging on skinny, fitted white cotton tees with low-rise trousers or jeans and two - or one-button single-breasted jackets. With his band, Dead Man's Bones, he wears slim grown-up suits with an indie leaning. By the time the wool ties and candy stripes arrived in 2010, he had embraced the suit.

The man who breezed through Drive's Cannes photo call in 2011, however, had nothing left to prove. In narrow white trousers, two-tone brogues and a short sleeved navy blue and white trimmed beach shirt, Mr Gosling appeared in the French sunshine like a modern day Mr McQueen.

With his relaxed charm, bad boy tattoos and suppressed smile Mr Gosling isn't afraid to try something new as he evolves - in both his career and his style - from indie adventurer to elegant man about town.

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