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Face-Off: Russell Crowe vs. Ryan Gosling

05.17.2016by: Brian Bitner
In our previous Face-Off, we kicked off CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR with a look back at IRON MAN and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. Most of you agreed IRON MAN is the better film, with some of you citing it as your favorite in the MCU. Those of you who prefer and THE FIRST AVENGER made great cases for your opinion, though, so it's good to see there's plenty of love for Cap's first outing.

This week, Shane Black's THE NICE GUYS hits theaters, and the trailers make it clear the leads played by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling don't seem to get on very well, so let's see how the unlikely avian pair of crow and gosling fair in the arena. Gladiator vs. Mouseketeer... are you not entertained?!
LOOKS
Russell Crowe strikes a dashing figure and is one of the few major actors in Hollywood who can play both a burly imposing figure as well as a sensitive lead. People used to tell me I looked like Crowe when we were both sporting wavy hair, but then, I'm kinda funny looking.
Sorry, Russ, but Ryan Gosling is just a beautiful man. The actor has turned down People's "Sexiest Man Alive" multiple times and spawned a massive internet meme surrounding his handsomeness. Emma Stone telling a shirtless Gosling he looks Photoshopped comes to mind.
FILMOGRAPHY
PERSONALITY
Not to go down the rabbit hole of personal life tabloid bullshit, but this is one of those cases of an actor's temper and bad behavior making the news on several occasions. It would be nice to say this doesn't affect his status an actor, but it's difficult sometimes to separate the man from the actor. Remember seeing WAR OF THE WORLDS right after Tom Cruise's Oprah appearance?
On all accounts, Ryan Gosling is one hell of a nice guy. He's had very little in the way of public controversy, is extremely kind to his fans, and has repeatedly taken a stance for feminism. Granted, it's foolish to say we actually know what these guys are like in real life, but based on the stories out there, Mickey would be proud.
TALENT
Russell Crowe has knocked it out of the park time and time again, always giving exactly the performance asked of him and being recognized for his work multiple times. While he often plays similar characters, he has the range to play Maximus in GLADIATOR and John Nash in A BEAUTIFUL MIND and be awarded for both performances.
Ryan Gosling has also proven to be a damn fine actor, showing a natural talent from a young age and growing into more mature performances over the years. He tends to play the smooth, smirking heartthrob, but his performances in THE BELIEVER, STAY, and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL prove he's more than just a pretty face.
CHARISMA
Russell Crowe has quite a bit of charm when he turns it on, but it's not necessarily central to his on or off-screen personality. Check out A GOOD YEAR for an entertainingly smooth Crowe.
Ryan Gosling's charisma is one of the main gadgets in his utility belt. Both on-screen and off, the man can charm the pants off the best of us. Check out CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. and this Conan clip for good measure.
WRITING / DIRECTING
Crowe directed THE WATER DIVINER in 2014, which was met with lukewarm reviews and regarded as a shaky start for the first time director.
LOST RIVER, written and directed by Gosling also in 2014, received particularly poor reviews upon its release.

Even though Crowe's effort was somewhat more well-received, I'll call this one a tie, as it seems neither of these burgeoning filmmakers has found his footing in this department yet.
AWARDS
Oscars: 1 win, 2 nominations
Golden Globes: 1 win, 4 nominations
Screen Actors Guild: 1 win, 7 nominations
BAFTA: 1 win, 2 nominations
Oscars: 1 nomination
Golden Globes: 3 nominations
Screen Actors Guild: 3 nominations
SKINHEAD BONUS ROUND
RYAN GOSLING
These two aren't exactly going to be fighting over the same role very often, so it's not a one to one comparison. I'd rather see Russell Crowe play a warrior, and I'd rather see Ryan Gosling play the suave hotshot, but it feels like Russell Crowe's time in Hollywood has somewhat eroded his image and career over time, whereas Ryan Gosling's star is shining brighter than ever. Maybe we should come back in 15 years and compare a then 50 year-old Gosling to a now 50 year-old Crowe to be totally fair, but at the current moment I'm going with Gosling. What do you think? Am I way off? Let me hear it down below!



Agree? Disagree? Which do you prefer?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!

If you have a suggestion for a future Face-Off, let us know below or send me an email at brianbitner@joblo.com.

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-1
6:08PM on 05/17/2016

Oh now this verdict makes me happy

Crowe is a talented guy, no questions there. However, he's one of those actors where 90% of his performances are really just slight variations on the same character. I mean, like many other very good actors (Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Jude Law ) he seems like he's essentially just playing himself most of the time. Gosling though really seems to give it is all and come up with an entirely different character nearly every time. I mean can't you picture someone like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise (or Russel
Crowe is a talented guy, no questions there. However, he's one of those actors where 90% of his performances are really just slight variations on the same character. I mean, like many other very good actors (Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Jude Law ) he seems like he's essentially just playing himself most of the time. Gosling though really seems to give it is all and come up with an entirely different character nearly every time. I mean can't you picture someone like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise (or Russel Crowe for that matter) doing a nice job in Drive and The Place Beyond the Pines but essentially playing the characters the same? On paper, totally get how the two could be played very similarly. But Gosling turns them into such completely different characters. This kid really brings his A-Game nearly every time and I truly believe that fifty years from now, he'll be regarded as one of the all-time greats.
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+2
5:58PM on 05/17/2016

WOW

You guys are absolutely OFF YOUR CHAIRS if you think ryan gosling is a better actor than Russell Crowe, LOL. Russell crowe is literally one of the greatest actors to inhabit a film screen. Ryan gosling is a great up-and-comer but he hasn't shown 1 iota the range that crowe has. Gosling kno'she's not even in the same class as crowe, and other actors his age know that too, they all hold crowe in the highest regard, so for their to even be a faceoff is absolutely riduculous between these 2.
You guys are absolutely OFF YOUR CHAIRS if you think ryan gosling is a better actor than Russell Crowe, LOL. Russell crowe is literally one of the greatest actors to inhabit a film screen. Ryan gosling is a great up-and-comer but he hasn't shown 1 iota the range that crowe has. Gosling kno'she's not even in the same class as crowe, and other actors his age know that too, they all hold crowe in the highest regard, so for their to even be a faceoff is absolutely riduculous between these 2. Crowe is a wrold-renowned dramatic actor with numerous top awards, and gosling is good too, but hes just a poster boy, and he knows it.
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6:21PM on 05/17/2016
I don't know, I completely disagree about the range thing. You compare Crowe's characters in The Insider, A Good Year, and State of Play, and yeah the plots are different, but if you had them (or many of Crowe's characters swap films) I doubt there'dbe much of a difference.It's kind of the same boat as Tom Hanks. Good actor? Absolutely. Very good actor? Heck yeah. But most of the characters he plays seem to more or less just be Tom Hanks. Only on rare occasions (Road to Perdition, Philadelphia
I don't know, I completely disagree about the range thing. You compare Crowe's characters in The Insider, A Good Year, and State of Play, and yeah the plots are different, but if you had them (or many of Crowe's characters swap films) I doubt there'dbe much of a difference.It's kind of the same boat as Tom Hanks. Good actor? Absolutely. Very good actor? Heck yeah. But most of the characters he plays seem to more or less just be Tom Hanks. Only on rare occasions (Road to Perdition, Philadelphia and yes.. to an extent, Forrest Gump) does he really deviate from his usual character and show off much range. Whereas, you compare Gosling's characters in Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines and Half-Nelson and they're all wildly different from each other (not just in terms of the situation they're but as an actual character) as well as being wildly different from what Gosling's actually like as a person. Even roles which sound like they should be similar on paper, (Motorcycle Stunt Driver in Pines and Automobile Stunt Driver in Drive) and which many fine actors probably would play very similarly, still end up being night and day different.
1:34PM on 05/17/2016
Russell Crowe has had an uneven run lately, but when the man is on, he is one of the best there is. I wouldn't say he's better than Gosling, but as you said, they aren't exactly competing for the same roles. And both have proven themselves some of the best actors in the business (I'd like to see Gosling challenge himself more a la Lars and the Real Girl and Half-Nelson), not that he wasn't great in The Big Short.
Russell Crowe has had an uneven run lately, but when the man is on, he is one of the best there is. I wouldn't say he's better than Gosling, but as you said, they aren't exactly competing for the same roles. And both have proven themselves some of the best actors in the business (I'd like to see Gosling challenge himself more a la Lars and the Real Girl and Half-Nelson), not that he wasn't great in The Big Short.
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1:20PM on 05/17/2016

Gosling

He's one of my favorite actors and is more consistent with his films and the characters he plays.

Crowe is good when he wants to be, but he's hit or miss with me with most of his films.
He's one of my favorite actors and is more consistent with his films and the characters he plays.

Crowe is good when he wants to be, but he's hit or miss with me with most of his films.
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6:27PM on 05/17/2016
Agreed.
Agreed.
11:20AM on 05/17/2016

Should have been a tie

Gosling is an interesting actor. He's not necessarily captivating nor unique in his ability to play characters, but then again, neither is Crowe. I think Gosling selects more interesting projects to be apart of, and I'm curious about his role in Blade Runner 2, but Crowe hasn't managed to be in consistently good movies.
Gosling is an interesting actor. He's not necessarily captivating nor unique in his ability to play characters, but then again, neither is Crowe. I think Gosling selects more interesting projects to be apart of, and I'm curious about his role in Blade Runner 2, but Crowe hasn't managed to be in consistently good movies.
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