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“I was fat and unemployed”: Ryan Gosling Lost Acting Role to Mark Wahlberg For Gaining 60 lbs, Went From Most Desirable Man to Ugly Mess

ryan gosling mark wahlberg

Ryan Gosling, the actor, singer, writer, producer, director, and a sight for sore eyes, was once turned away from a film’s set after he showed up a little too fat for the director’s liking. However, that was not the only reason behind his getting fired. The La La Land actor established his authority over the creative representation of the character that he was set to portray in a 2009 Peter Jackson film.

Considering the fact that back then, Gosling still hadn’t garnered the reputation he now has in Hollywood, it was easy to mark him as expendable in favor of the better-known Mark Wahlberg in what would later become an Academy Award-winning film, The Lovely Bones.

Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling

Also read: “Would you take her out of here?”: Ryan Gosling Absolutely Hated Ex-Girlfriend Rachel McAdams During ‘The Notebook’, Pleaded With Director to Throw Her Out 

Ryan Gosling Was Once Fired From a Film For Being Fat

It might be a difficult prerogative for an actor to be asked to retain a certain physical image in order to secure a certain role but it wasn’t the first time such a demand had been asked in Hollywood. The film and television business has always traded in physicality, beauty, and representation, and Christian Bale is a fine attestation of the fact that the industry appreciates perfection when it comes to a character’s onscreen physical representation.

Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones (2009)
Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones (2009)

Also read: “That’s my Ken”: Eva Mendes Gushes Over Ryan Gosling’s Insane New Look in Barbie

When Ryan Gosling was cast in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones as Jack Salmon, the grieving and vengeful father of the murdered girl, Susie Salmon, Gosling idealized the character as being a bit overweight and scruffy-looking with an overgrown beard. The thought was logical since Gosling’s character would be older and debilitated by his knowledge of the truth behind Susie’s murder and the grief that he was unable to overcome. As such, the frustrated, overwhelmed, and guilt-riddled man was not expected to look like, well, the Crazy, Stupid, Love version of Ryan Gosling.

And so, when the actor showed up on set looking 60 lbs over his natural weight, Peter Jackson turned him away and hired Mark Wahlberg as the replacement. Gosling later claimed, “I just showed up on set, and I had gotten it wrong. Then I was fat and unemployed,” and that it was an important realization for me: not to let your ego get involved.” He left the production in 2007, two days before the film was scheduled to begin shooting.

Ryan Gosling’s Fascinating Rise in Hollywood: 1993-Present

Ryan Gosling’s Hollywood career began as a child actor after he was cast in Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera. He later moved on from his Disney actor image to establish himself in indie films. The early 2000s films, Remember the Titans and The Believer placed him on Hollywood’s radar, and Gosling’s performance in both was received with rave critical reviews.

Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner: 2049
Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner: 2049

Also read: “Hope he rips people in half like in the comics”: Ecstatic Fans React to Thunderbolts Reportedly Bringing in Ryan Gosling as The Sentry

The Canadian actor has now become a globally recognized star with an impressive roster of film and television credits attached to his name. But a decade ago, Ryan Gosling had just begun his rise in the mainstream industry with a chilling and stoic performance in Drive (2011). However, his breakout role came much before with the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’s best-selling novel, The Notebook in 2004. With Drive, breaking out of the mold of the eye candy romantic lead was a definitive step up and established Gosling as a prominent up-and-coming talent within Hollywood.

The decade that followed witnessed some of his best roles in films like Gangster Squad (2013), The Big Short (2015), The Nice Guys (2016), La La Land (2016), Blade Runner: 2049 (2017), and The Gray Man (2022). Gosling’s upcoming project includes Greta Gerwig’s Barbie in which he portrays Ken opposite Margot Robbie’s titular Barbie. The film is set to release on 21 July 2023.

The Lovely Bones is available for streaming on Hulu.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.