Ryan Gosling on Why He Doesn’t Take on “Dark” Roles Anymore: “Family in Mind First”

Ryan Gosling takes a lot into consideration before choosing his next movie role.

The Oscar-nominated actor recently opened up to The Wall Street Journal about his decision to avoid taking on darker projects so that he can be present with his family.

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“I don’t really take roles that are going to put me in some kind of dark place,” he said. “This moment is what I feel like trying to read the room at home and feel like what is going to be best for all of us. The decisions I make, I make them with [wife] Eva [Mendes], and we make them with our family in mind first.”

Gosling and Mendes, who met prior to starring together in 2012’s The Place Beyond the Pines, share two daughters, Esmeralda Amada and Amada Lee.

The Barbie star added that 2016’s La La Land — which he starred in alongside Emma Stone — was the first film he signed onto with a different perspective in mind since having children.

“It was just sort of like, ‘Oh, this will be fun for them, too, because even though they’re not coming to set, we’re practicing piano every day or we’re dancing or we’re singing,'” Gosling explained of the roles he has accepted in recent years. “Their interest in Barbie and their disinterest in Ken was an inspiration. I thought they were already making little movies about their Barbies on the iPad when it happened, so the fact that I was going off to work to make one too, we just felt like we were aligned.”

Gosling noted that once he had children, he became “way more conscious of everything” that he’s done in life and potentially will do in the future.

“I’m trying to just figure out who they are and be there for them in the way that I can,” he said. “They’re such clear and distinct personalities that it’s sort of becoming obvious,” adding, “You just want to be everything they deserve.”

In addition to his family, The Gray Man actor said he also now focuses on taking roles that he’s actually passionate about, as well as movies that target a wider audience — such as his latest project, The Fall Guy, which hits theaters Friday.

“I want to make stuff that’s inclusive, and that’s not for an audience of one,” Gosling explained. “I think for so long I was just trying to pay the bills and work. It’s only recently that I feel like I realized that I have this opportunity to actually make the kind of films that made me love movies.”

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