It is the debate that has divided a nation and it all comes down to two words: Which Ryan? We surveyed Canadians and 58 percent hearted Ryan Reynolds over Ryan Gosling, but our office remains split. In an effort to settle this hotter than hot topic once and for all, we asked two of our most esteemed colleagues to state their case for both Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds and TBH, it was a hard-fought battle.
The Case for Ryan Gosling
There are few things that divide Canadians more than the Ryan debate: is Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling the hottest hero of our northern land? Fear no more, fellow Canucks, because I’m here to clear up any dispute. Gosling is the only Ryan that matters.
Unlike the D-list Reynolds, Gosling is an actor with true talent. He makes us feel things. As secretly sensitive bad boy Luke in The Place Beyond the Pines, Gosling made us want to get face tattoos and buy a motorcycle. In Drive, he made a life of crime look sexy. As the hella’ romantic Noah in The Notebook, he made us cry for two hours non-stop while convincing us that true love does exist. What emotions has Reynolds ever evoked apart from the urge to throw the TV out the window any time Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place came on?
Speaking of talent, 36-year-old Gosling has won a Golden Globe—Reynolds has not. His role as Sebastian in La La Land earned him ONE OF THE HIGHEST AWARDS IN HOLLYWOOD. How are your MTV popcorn trophies keeping, Reynolds?
The man also has skills outside of acting. Gosling and his pal Zach Shields have a band called Dead Man’s Bones, in which the hottie sings and plays a bajillion instruments. Unlike most celeb-fueled bands, Pitchfork said the group’s self-titled debut album was actually good. Reynolds, as per usual, falls short in the musically inclined category. His painfully bad rendition of his ex-fiancée Alanis Morissette’s hit, Ironic, on the Today show was an embarrassment for him, her, and the entire nation. We must never forgive, or forget.
Gosling—bless his heart—is also a family man. The hunk has two half-Canadian cuties, Esmeralda and Amada, with talented partner Eva Mendes—whom he fully supports professionally. As you may recall, Scarlett Johansson suggested her marriage to Reynolds ended in 2011 due to his competitive nature and jealousy of her career. Given the fact the pair were together around the time Definitely, Maybe and The Proposal were released, it’s safe to assume she wasn’t wrong.
As if you needed yet another reason to swoon, Gosling does legit humanitarian work. He’s been involved with the Enough Project, an organization that advocates for peace and justice in worn-torn places in Africa, for more than a decade. He’s visited refugee camps in Chad and spent time with the homeless in Uganda. It’s as if he’s incapable of being a selfish person.
The God-given gift that is Ryan Gosling should not be taken for granted. As Canadians, we need to acknowledge and appreciate all he has—and continues to do—for us. Not only has he given his hometown London, Ont., a much-needed reputation boost, Gosling is proud to be from this humble land. He embodies all of Canada’s important values, like great hair, rugged charm and an affinity for plaid shirts. And even though Canada is a massive country, geographically speaking, we only have room one Ryan in our hearts—and that, my friends, is Mr. Ryan Gosling. —Laura Hensley, staff writer
The Case for Ryan Reynolds
When asking oneself who the superior Canadian Ryan is, one would be forgiven for jumping too quickly to “Gosling, obvs.” He’s handsome, bashful, private and pure meme-bait, not to mention a super talented actor—what’s not to love, right? I get it! He’s pretty wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate the Gos! But there was one handsome Canuck Ryan that came before him and damn it, it’s time we give him the respect he deserves.
His name is Ryan Reynolds and as far as I’m concerned, the sun literally shines out of his tight, hot dad ass. Sure, he hasn’t won a Golden Globe and he’s pretty much been typecast as either the hot goof or a superhero but he’s still numero uno to me. Here are six airtight reasons Reynolds is the superior Ryan (and do not even think about fighting me on this, my arguments are nothing if not perfectly sound). TBD on whether I’ll be able to forgive my colleague and former friend for her hurtful anti-Reynolds statements.
He’s a hardcore family man
He will literally talk about his wife, fellow impossibly attractive human Blake Lively, and their two insanely cute daughters any chance he gets but it’s never too mushy, case in point: “I never admitted it out loud, to myself or my wife, but I really wanted a little girl. It’s the best.” SWOON.
He was engaged to Alanis Morissette! #CanadaProud
If you didn’t grow up thrashing emotionally whilst listening to Jagged Little Pill, I’m not sure how to relate to you. JK but in all seriousness, Alanis’ 1995 reinvention (don’t believe me? Google “Alanis Morissette Too Hot”) was legit epic. And Reynolds was engaged to her for years. Yes, you read that right. They were betrothed from 2004 to 2007 and even walked the 2004 Juno Awards red carpet together in quintessential early aughts outfits (that spikey gelled hair!) which was extremely Canadian and nothing short of iconic.
He’s funny in a way that Gosling could never dream (and, admittedly, might never want to be since he’s a respectable actor)
OK, so maybe I love college humour, so sue me! (But actually don’t, I’m fully aware my weakness for early 2000s bro-comedies opens me up to considerable criticism). Reynolds is a silly, silly man and I am 100 percent always here for it. See numbers 4 and 5.
Yes, this is a movie about a college dude who stays at school like 11 years longer than he needs to because, boo hoo, he’d be lonely otherwise and really enjoys being the “big man on campus” and sure, there are some of the dumbest frat boy-friendly moments in a comedy ever (like this explosively idiotic scene), BUT I loved it so much when it first came out that I will love it always. It’s straight-up embarrassing but hey, I’m nothing if not loyal. (Full disclosure: I watched like 23 clips on YouTube trying to find one that’s still funny and… did not succeed.)
Again, as an adult human woman, I can recognize the “fat guy friend zoned” trope is tired and offensive but my nostalgia for this silliness overrules all reason.
He was my first (celebrity) love
Sure, I liked every member of NKOTB at one point time as a wee child (#OfAdvancedMillennialAge) and pined for many embarrassing men in my day—ahem, Vin Diesel circa the OG The Fast and the Furious, ahem—but the first time I felt real, true, celebrity-crush love was with Ryan Reynolds. He first appeared on the small screen in 1998, on the instant classic Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place alongside three literal unknowns (sorry, Traylor Howard and Richard Ruccolo but you didn’t have the otherworldly good looks of my Ryan to propel you to superstardom) and the rest, as they say, is history. —Jennifer Berry, staff writer
This post is part of The Canada Project, a representative survey of Canadians from across the country. You can find out more right here.