Opinion
By Séamus Smyth

As the fictional model/philosopher Derek Zoolander once declared, “That Hansel; he’s so hot right now.” The same can be said of current dreamboat, hunka-saurous Ryan Gosling whose arrival to the pyramids of Cool has been impossible to ignore.

Besides being defined as attractive by his growing legion of female sycophants, he is potentially the “coolest” actor in the league at the moment. To clear out any ambiguity, the term “cool” has evolved over the years as it was once known as “heavy” in the 80s by our mamas and papas and is currently being disguised by today’s twisted youth under the pseudonym “sick.” Yet the term “cool” remains the Keith Richards of compliments as it just won’t die and remains the defining word for mortal worship.

So how did Gosling manage to penetrate pop culture’s icicle gates i.e. become unanimously “cool”? I call it the Justin Timberlake (JT) formula.

Both entertainers began strictly as heartthrobs, or characters that appealed strictly to women and what I can only assume, homosexual males. And more importantly both had a memorable and significant breaking point where they crossed over to not only appeal to the ladies, but eventually were celebrated by males who could no longer ignore the brilliance of JT and RGI.

Timberlake’s climatic breakthrough was the release of “Cry me a River.” No longer was he a curly-haired teeny-bopper, but he had amazingly become a leather-jacket wearing, stubble-sporting alpha male. The ubiquitous adoration of Timberlake began with “Cry me a River” and has not halted since.

Gosling’s trek up the mountain of idolatry was slightly more complex, but perhaps even more impressive.

This is an actor who initially became known for playing a hopeless geek on the semi-popular teen drama, Breaker High. He didn’t really capture the collective attention of the pop culture stratosphere until the estrogen-heavy sob fest, The Notebook.

He had people talking, except these individuals mostly sported purses and lipstick. Loved by women, but loathed by men. How did he possibly become the hottest man-crush in the business today? In a subtle, yet astonishingly well executed manner, he hammered back the Timberlake Kool-Aid and took on roles with a little bit more “balls.”

The Timberlake potion was guzzled, and out came Half-Nelson and Fracture, both films with the potential to be loved and cherished by both sides of the sexual equator.

The Gosling “Cry me a River” moment would finally come in 2011. It was the moment where he was forever immortalized in the freezers of Cool, a layer where Johnny Depp rests at the throne, and slowly allows males to enter when sufficient effort is perceived.

The release of the film Drive was where Gosling became the greatest convert of poster-boy to male idol since Timberlake transpired.

Drive was no talk and all walk. It wasn’t just leather jackets, but leather gloves too. It was muscles, guts, sexy ladies and knife fights. In other words it was everything a man wishes he was and wishes he could do (minus the knives), served on a surround-sound movie screen.

The Timberlake brew is a liquid very few have access to, and very few ever concoct just right. Becoming universally “cool” is a science and one that Gosling recently received his PHD in. Whether or not he will relinquish the honours is debatable but highly doubtful.

As Zoolander’s agent, Maury Ballstein once said of Mugatu, the same can be applied to Gosling:

“He’s so hot right now he could take a crap, wrap it in tinfoil, put a couple fish hooks on it and sell it to Queen Elizabeth as earrings.”

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