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Hollywood Stardom: Battle of the Ryans

Art by Karen Lin

The question of the decade, puzzling scientists, creatives, and all known species of animal with the brain capacity to calculate at least the first 5 digits of pi. Women, men, the other ones, we all have to face it nearly every day. It’s a well-known fact that once a year, every American citizen disrupts their nightly rest with this pervasive thought, eyes wide, forehead, armpits, and other body parts sweating profusely. We all find ourselves asking: who’s better, Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling?

I’m here to tell you that this is not a simple question, and when you reach your answer, many will fight you on it. If you want to be prepared for the arguments that plague every adult’s life, you have to know the facts. I present: The Official Guide to the Ryans of Hollywood.


Humor is complex and many would argue that what one finds funny is fundamentally linked to their psyche and the conditions of their early development. However, in today’s hustle and bustle, there is hardly time to look into all that (in addition, I have far too few qualifications for that junk). Instead, I have simply looked up my victims on Google’s Youtube and used the keyphrase: “Ryan ___ funny moments.” These out-of-context clips have given me vital insight into the type of stuff these guys like to joke about. So I present my findings… in infographic form.

R. Gosling:

R. Reynolds:


Both actors have been in a myriad of projects. I’m talking TV, movies, short films, plays, anything you could think of. I mean anything. Kidding, both actors have had long and very successful careers, but no man is complete without his faults. Without further ado: The Ryans’ media stats (information via Rotten Tomatoes, take it up with them movie lovers).

Mr. Gosling

Mr. Reynolds


Ah, acting style, it’s so complex… and… uh, interesting. Just makes you wanna talk about it for (yawn) hours… Hm. Ryan Gosling acts subtly and sometimes funny, Ryan Reynolds acts goofy and sometimes serious. Now that that’s over, we can get into the real definition of style: out of context paparazzi photos! Let’s see those outfits fellas!


Wow look at him go!

Nice work Ryan, looking great!

Anyway, that was great! Has anyone seen my medication?


As previously mentioned, you will have to fight for your opinion. The world is full of diverse and nuanced opinions but when it comes to Ryans, people don’t back down. I will try to summarize the demographics of each without sounding like that girl on TikTok who was talking about autistic golden retriever boys or something… but self-awareness saves you nothing, so we’ll have to see.

Reynolds has procured a mainly straight, male audience; it’s a safe choice for them, in my opinion. They don’t want to endanger themselves by having a complicated and fleshed-out opinion on a plethora of men’s looks, so they go kinda base level. Reynolds feels like a safe space for men who are in toxic masculinity rehab. They’re not crazy sexist anymore, so I support them in their efforts and won’t deny them their man.

Gosling has a wider reach but feels pretty disconnected from them. I think Gosling has a notably more female fanbase. However, Gosling also has quite the following on TikTok, with many (presumably) depressed, teenage boys posting videos about how they relate to Gosling's brooding and distant characters. There is definitely a deeper commentary about the mental health of young men today, however, that is not what this is and feels entirely inappropriate here.


Rex and Eden (local journalists)

“We like that he is geese in a skin suit.”

Sasha (confused man)

“Is Ryan Reynolds the guy from the Netflix movie [The Nice Guys]? I know that a lot of straight guys like Reynolds, so I think I’ll go with him.”

Owen (liar)

“Ryan Reynolds asked my mom out once, no joke, it’s confirmed.”

Jasper (hater of the elderly/gay)

“Ryan Gosling is hot, and Ryan Reynolds kinda creeps me out (he just feels like he’s really old and it’s kinda weird… in a sense).”

Alex (local letterboxd user)

“Ryan Reynolds is only popular because of his insanely hot wife, Blake Lively. Ryan Gosling filmography includes La La Land and Reynolds has Pikachu, riddle me that liberals.”

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