Ryan Gosling goes from Mickey Mouse Club member to rising
By Chris Betros
Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is on a roll.
Not only did People magazine pick him as one of the 50 Hottest
Bachelors of 2004, but he was also named the 2004 Sho West
Male Star of Tomorrow. On the screen, the 24-year-old has
been seen in Murder by Numbers, The Believer, The United States
of Leland and now, The Notebook. It looks like all the
attention has come at once, but its a natural progression,
he says quietly. Ive been acting since I was 12
and I feel like a lot of my life to date has been just being
in the right place at the right time.
Born in Ontario, Gosling got his showbiz break at 12 when
he appeared on televisions The Mickey Mouse Club. At
18, he landed the role of Zeus son in the popular TV
series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The Notebook gives
him his first romantic role. Based on the 1996 novel by Nicholas
Sparks, the film is directed by Nick Cassavetes and co-stars
James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Rachel McAdams, Sam Shepard and
Joan Allen. Covering two time periods, it opens with Noah,
an elderly man (Garner) reading a story to Allie, an elderly
woman (Rowlands) with Alzheimers, in a nursing home.
The story he reads is in reality a diary of their tumultuous
pre-World War II romance. Separated by the war and by Allies
parents, who dont approve of his working-class background,
the two lovers nevertheless are drawn back together by fate
and circumstances. The elderly Noah hopes that by reading
the diary it will bring back Allies memories.
I thought the book was cool. It was anti-pop culture.
Sparks is a ballsy guy, says Gosling. Pop culture
makes love seem like it is much more available than it probably
is. The film takes the point of view that you are not entitled
to love and that if you are lucky enough to find such a rare
love, you should stop at nothing to hold onto it. Its
a gift. Working with Cassavetes was a great learning
experience, Gosling says. He has a lot of passion. Its
a way of life, not a movie when you are making a film with
him. There is constant communication; everyone is involved.
Gosling likes to throw himself right into his roles. I
learned how to make furniture, for example, for this film,
because Noah is a carpenter. I learned Hebrew for The Believer.
When he is not working, Gosling likes to indulge in his other
passion: jazz. He is an accomplished guitarist, but says it
is more a hobby rather than a possible profession. M
Sweet Daruma Book Launch
Fujimamas hosts a party for Janice Youngs satirical
|Janice Youngs friends
and colleagues celebrate the publication of her first
book, Sweet Daruma: A Japanese Satire. Clockwise from
top left: Lisa Hew, Akiko Simonson, Tae Hatate; Drasta
Takada and Janice Young; Cheryl Devine and Satoshi Ishizaka,
Janices husband; some of the 70 revelers hosted
Catholic priest with a rosy outlook
Caring for the homeless, editing the Catholic weekly and
ministering to Tokyos foreign community have kept Maryknoll
missioner Bill Grimm, a native New Yorker, busy for the last
couple of decades.
When did you first come to Japan?
In 1973. I spent three years as a seminary student in Tokyo
studying the language.
Tell us about your work in the 1980s.
I helped organize a group called the Sanyu Kai to help the
homeless. We borrowed an unused church kindergarten to run
a night shelter, set up a soup kitchen and opened what was
the only privately-run free medical clinic in Japan.
Suppose the emperor called you and said: Grimm, we
want something done about the homeless. How would
Just because my name is Grimm, dont think
you can ask fairy tale questions! First, meet A-san, B-san
and the rest who are men and women who happen to be homeless.
Once you know them as people instead of problems, your heart
will tell you what to do.
Do you ever get asked odd questions by Japanese about being
The oddest question is related to celibacy. They ask about
my wife and kids. Another question is: Was your father
How do you feel about the way Japanese adopt Christian
symbols into their pop culture?
For example, crosses as fashion accessories. It doesnt
bother me. I know lots of Christians in various countries
who do the same thing. In fact, Im related to some of
Do you think Japanese are religious?
I find they have the same fears, doubts and hopes as the rest
of us. They also have hearts that can respond to the fears,
doubts and hopes of others. Thats part of the definition
of being religious, isnt it?
How do you respond to those who say foreign priests shouldnt
be trying to convert the Japanese?
Missionaries dont convert anyone as if it
were molding clay. We try to expand the realm of choices that
are before people. Obviously, some sort of conversion is needed
in this world. Were presenting an option that, if followed,
might someday make for mercifully boring headlines. CB M
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