Ryan Gosling's Oscar dilemma: 'Drive' or 'The Ides of March'?


Image Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

When an actor delivers two strong performances in the same calendar year, it’s convenient when one is a lead role and the other is supporting so they don’t cannibalize each other in the awards race. Like when Jamie Foxx scored simultaneous nominations for Ray (Best Actor) and Collateral (Best Supporting Actor), for instance. But poor Ryan Gosling, who was undeniably robbed of a nod earlier this year for Blue Valentine (I’m still smarting over that one), has the misfortune of starring in this fall’s Drive and The Ides of March. Though he’s fantastic in both, Academy rules dictate that if the two roles are in the same category, he can only be nominated for one. So what’s he going to do? Pick Ides, which was directed by Oscar pro George Clooney? Or go with Drive, whose director, Nicolas Winding Refn, is so tight with Gosling that they’re already planning to work together again? I chatted with the actor here at the Toronto film festival about his curious dilemma.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: At some point, are you going to make a Sophie’s choice and pick one role to campaign for this season?
RYAN GOSLING: But I don’t feel like they are lead roles. To me they’re, like, ensemble pieces. I guess in Drive I’m in the lead. But when I read them, they felt like ensemble pieces. No?

No. You’re the lead in both of these movies.
You can’t really think about that stuff. Well, I guess you can, but you’ll drive yourself crazy. I guess you can choose one over the other to get behind. But honestly, I’m just thinking about it now because you’re asking me. I haven’t really thought about it.

You were something of an underdog Oscar nominee for Half Nelson, and then with Lars and the Real Girl and Blue Valentine you clearly came close but didn’t make it. Do you get invested in the whole thing?
Outside of the awareness that it brings to your film, I don’t really see what you get out of it. So for me, I was happy that it was involved in those dialogues, because it’s promotion for a film that for the most part can’t afford it.

Okay, so which movie do you think you’re better in: Drive or The Ides of March?
Uh…that’s…uh…[laughs] which one am I better in? Well, I can’t comment. I wish I could do them all again. It just takes a long time to get used to that that’s what you did with your shot. You just have to learn to accept it.

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

Comments (71 total) Add your comment
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  • Keith

    Dave. You didn’t honestly think he’d answer these questions, did you?

    • Renaton

      LOL, poor man. The questions these actors have to listen to…

      • tang2

        My problem with this hipster is that he is such a Try Hard at pretending he doesn’t care about the fame and Oscars yet plays the PR games like Clooney and Pitt too. Just admit it and don’t act as if you’re above it.BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a businessman!they met via Millionaireloving.C óM ..it is the largest and best club for rich people and their admirers to chat online. …You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

    • Allen

      Nominated for a cheap knockoff of The Fast and the Furious? Really? The Vin Diesel better polish off his mantle.

      • Steve

        You clearly have no idea what you are talking about as I have seen Drive and it reminds me more of The Godfather than and Fast and Furious movie. Try checking out a movie before you make idiotic statements.

      • lola

        Drive won the Best Director award and rave reviews at Cannes. Better check your research first.

      • Mikey M

        Cheap Knockoff? This has more story in the first ten minutes than any of the FATF movies.
        Actually defending a FATF movie?
        Are you kidding?
        Gosling is amazing in everything he does.

      • Robert E

        i can’t believe anyone actually bothered to challenge your point.
        It’s like bothering to say how much feces stinks: it’s quite obvious.

  • Bee

    Everytime he says something like “I don’t really see what you get out of it.”, his chances take another hit, which is a shame because he’s phenom in both Drive and Ides.

    It’s as much an ass-kissing game as anything else and, while I sort of appreciate the approach, Ryan really doesn’t even try to play it.

    • JP

      Have you seen both already?

  • schmed

    Don’t forget that Gosling could also get a supporting nod for “Crazy Stupid Love.” Especially if EW keeps featuring his nude-in-the-locker-room pic!

    • Asha

      Except that Crazy Stupid Love was pretty terrible. 2/3 of that movie could have been cut.

      • RJM

        But he was amazing in it.

      • graeme

        Huh? It was a fantastic movie. I’d love to see nods for Carell, Moore, and Gosling.

      • Taylor

        Totally agree. Can not understand all of the love directed at that film. I thought it was awful. There is no way that movie will be nominated for anything.

      • Strepsi

        BUT — don;t you think that a singular performance should be nominated, even in a crap movie? It’s one of the things that bugs me the most about the Oscars. Like, the score for “Land Of The Lost” was phenomenal, but no nomination as the film was kind of crap and not ‘prestige’ enough. So I hope for a supporting nod for “Crazy Stupid Love” too.

  • d

    My problem with this hipster is that he is such a Try Hard at pretending he doesn’t care about the fame and Oscars yet plays the PR games like Clooney and Pitt too. Just admit it and don’t act as if you’re above it.

    • B

      Promoting a movie isn’t the same as campaigning for an award, though. I’m sure a certain amount of publicity is required. Of course they want people to see their movies – that’s how they get to keep working. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re drooling for an award.

      • AK

        But his casualness is sometimes a little off-putting, as though he thinks he’s above the rest of Hollywood. He could easily be humble without getting obsessive over awards. All he has to say is that it’s flattering to be acknowledged for his work, and then move on. I can’t imagine that would be a lie.

      • lola

        In other words, you want him to be George Clooney.

    • Rex

      Maybe he really doesn’t care about it.

      • dee

        He’s an actor, he cares.

      • alan of montreal

        He’s a Mormon; he’s not supposed to care

      • Lily

        He has said in the past that his parents were Mormons not him, despite being raised in a Latter Day Saint household. His parents divorced and he was raised by his Mom. He does not consider himself to be Mormon.

      • Matt

        He went to Lester B Pearson Highschool in Burlington Ontario, its behind my parents home. That is a public highschool, so no he isn’t a mormon.

      • Lisa

        Seriously Matt? Mormons can’t go to public school? I have a few friends who are the very definition of Mormon(no caffeine, no swearing, no R rated movies), and we met in public school!

  • Nick

    I’d hoping he’ll be nominated for Drive over The Ides of March. Ides seems to be your typical Oscar-bait drama, whereas Drive is a bit more of an unconventional film for the Oscars, being an action thriller. It’s always nice to see films like this break into the Oscar ceremony. I know action movies and thrillers have received nominations in the past, but it still seems like it’s not the norm.

    • punch drunk fool

      haha I totally agree but I feel like the oscars always favor political dramas over dramatic thrillers or even a “different” movie so even he gets the nod for ‘drive’ very unlikely IMHO but he’s got to probably go up against actors like Goerge clooney for the descendants and idk bout Leo but if he gives a strong enough performance for Hoover he might get a nom (actually who knows maybe it’s his year?) and in best supporting if gosling chooses to run with idea of march then I think he’s got to run against brad Pitt who gave an amazing performance in tree of life. My bets are on him. Anyways I love gosling just this year seems tough but it could change (:

  • Andy

    I finally saw Crazy Stupid Love last night and absolutely loved it. Ryan Gosling and the reast of the cast were just perfect. A great film all the way.

  • Radzinsky

    Except for the fact that Jamie Foxx was a Lead in “Collateral” as well and the Academy committed category fraud by putting that performance in Supporting.

    • filmboymichael

      thank you…that was the first thing i thought when i read that….

    • Rex

      Nobody else in a Tom Cruise movie is or ever will be (whether it’s right or wrong) considered a lead. The lead is Tom and everybody else, regardless of prominence or amount of screen time, is supporting.

      • Mina


      • huh

        funny, tom cruise was nominated for best supporting actor for magnolia (which he actually deserved, though you can’t be too upset michael caine won). so yeah, he can be a supporting actor.

    • bob

      yeah, but that’s fairly common with the oscars. it’s all political in the end. remember the jennifer hudson as supporting actress in dreamgirls campaign? i mean, yes it was an ensemble piece, and beyonce, jamie foxx, and eddie murphy were all way bigger stars, but that was HER movie. for christ’s sake, the actress that played the same role on b’way won a tony for best actress in a musical that year. i think we’ll see something like what happened to foxx at the oscars this year with a misnomer for ides as supporting nod.

  • flynn

    Haven’t seen either of Gosling’s new films, but I wish him luck. He was robbed an Oscar for Half Nelson.

  • Renaton

    Sorry, but I have to say. Those questions were really rude.

  • tnsmoke

    Crazy, Stupid Love will probably get a Golden Globe nod. Ides of March sound great and hope Clooney gets a best director and Ryan finally gets an Oscar win but he’s been SO much in the media the past year that it could make the voters fickle and snub him again. I think he is sincere when he says he doesn’t think about awards. He’s an actor, like Brando, DeNiro, Pacino, Newman, Penn, who just wants to work for directors that move him and scripts that appeal to him and then let the chips fall where they may.

    • DTO

      I liked CRAZY STUPID LOVE and Gosling and Carell were great in it, but the last quarter of that movie got really, gratingly contrived (the graduation speech . . . UGH!). It went from being a smart movie about relationships to being a a barely better than run-of-the-mill romcom in its final minutes. What is it about comedies these days where, with few exceptions, they fall apart in the last half hour?

      • m1

        That graduation speech scene was a missed opportunity. It could have-and should have-been much more emotional and meaningful. Instead, it was cheesy and contrived. I still enjoyed the film, though.

  • Do

    Drive, please. Ides just seems overly typical, although it does look like it will be good.

    • DTO

      I haven’t seen DRIVE yet, but that and TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY are my two most anticipated movies of the fall. I’d like to see IDES as well, but that’s more because of the collection of talent involved than the story itself, which may be good but isn’t exactly saying anything new. Politics is dirty and idealistic people aren’t always what they appear to be? Who knew? Thanks for the lesson, George.

    • Mikey M

      Look at the good ratings it is getting. This is no typical film.

  • Jared

    “No. You’re the lead in both of these movies.”

    hahaha! Dave, you kill me!

    • Lily

      Loved that comment too. LOL

    • Strepsi

      +100 for Karger

  • JP

    Dave, you’re the one creating this “dilemma.” Not every actor makes winning an Oscar their main priority, some just like to deliver quality work

  • Ebbie

    It doesn’t sound like Ryan Gosling considers this a dilemma.

  • PJ

    He shouldn’t of been nominated for Blue Valentine…he just played himself.

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