5 Best ‘Literally Me’ Ryan Gosling Performances, According to Fans!

The Canadian performer’s recent roles as lonely, misunderstood protagonists have resonated  with many fans and have resulted in some pretty funny memes and social commentary around the actor’s embodiment of the lone wolf archetype. 

Pre-existing Gosling’s stardom, the “literally me” concept of idealizing archetypal, lone wolf  characters can be traced back to the 1950s with Rebel Without A Cause (1956) and its countercultural stance on traditional masculinity in postwar America. 

The early 70s continued this trend with films like Clockwork Orange (1972) and Taxi Driver (1976); both of which include emotionally distraught, male characters with pent up rage and violent tendencies.

1999’s Fight Club took this genre to the next level, focusing more on the fragility of masculinity and how easily the lines blur between self-improvement and self-destruction for many young men. 

The Canadian performer’s roles as lonely, misunderstood protagonists have resonated with fans and led to some pretty funny memes and interesting social commentary, as a result. With this conceptual trend of his performances in mind, here are five Ryan Gosling performances that will have you feeling, well, literally like him!

Blade Runner 2049

Our first glance at Ryan Gosling’s lonely, cinematic personas comes from his role as K, an LAPD officer in Blade Runner 2049, portraying a bioengineered human, hellbent on hunting and “retiring” rogue replicants, or synthetic humans. 

Much like his role as the unnamed driver in 2011’s Drive, Gosling portrays K in a similarly cold demeanor and with just as much of a knack for violence.


This film epitomized Gosling’s “everyman” image for fans, Drive follows an unnamed, socially inept getaway driver who stumbles into trouble at every turn. Taking place in a fantastical, 1980s-inspired version of Los Angeles, the film’s central conflict comes in the driver’s realization that his criminal lifestyle is incompatible with that of his love interest, Irene, played by Carey Mulligan. 

After rejecting her and the chance to begin a life together, our unnamed driver is forced to accept that he cannot live with her, thus representing on-screen loneliness that many fans can identify with.

@dangerejl idk how many more ‘he’s literally me’ I got left in me #fypシ #fyp #sigma #ryangosling #edit #real #hesliterallyme #literallyme #outoftouch #movies #drive #movieedit #relatable #outoftouchthursday #memes #sadboy #thedriver ♬ оригинальный звук – что писать

@tokyo._.fxx “I don’t carry a gun. I drive” – Drive Edit #drive #idrive #ryangosling #literallyme #ryangoslingedit #movieedits ♬ original sound – Tokyo

@schoolboyq0 #real #ryangosling #literallyme #fyp #signa #driver #drive #irenedrive ♬ A Real Hero – College & Electric Youth

The Nice Guys

2016’s The Nice Guys hits more of a comedic tone within the “literally me” genre of Ryan Gosling films, as his goofy performance as Holland March tonally diverts from his previous, moody roles. 

Although not regarded by fans as his most “literally me” performance, Gosling’s comedic relief role as a failed detective is enough to win fans over!

@filmthusiastofficial “I’m not drinking tonight” 🥴 #theniceguys #ryangosling #memes ♬ original sound – filmthusiast

@idonthavealife44_ i was gonna come up with a funny caption but im out of ideas 😿#fyp #theniceguys #ryangosling ♬ Nightcall – 😋

La La Land

Showing off his musical skills and returning to his romantic comedy roots in La La Land, Gosling’s performance as Sebastian redefines the conceptual, loveless male character with the inclusion of Mia (Emma Stone) as his love interest.   

The two characters form a romantic relationship through song-and-dance against the fairytale backdrop of Los Angeles, only for their career aspirations to put a strain on the potential for a life together, under the city of stars. 

The actor’s role as the musically inclined Sebastian is a total departure from the type of brooding character fans have come to expect at this point in his career. However, it’s Sebastian’s undying love and devotion towards Mia that fits him right into the conceptual “literally me” archetype of lonely, male characters.

@goatedgoslingg La La Lands ending 😭 #ryangosling #literallyme #lalaland #lalalandmovie #lalalandending #real ♬ original sound – Ryan Gosling


Following the massive success of Gretta Gerwigs Barbie, Ken has become more of a relatable character for young men than ever before! Still have your doubts? Well, the Grammy-nominated hit song “I’m Just Ken” should help you to better understand Ken’s feelings of loneliness and uncertainty towards the world around him. 

Who knew a plastic doll, come to life, could join the ranks of Ryan Gosling’s most relatable “literally me” roles?

@ryangoslinger69 Ken Is Me #real #me #literallyme #ken #kenergy #iamkenough #ryan #gosling #ryangosling #barbie #barbiemovie #relatable #fyp #foryoupage #meirl #realandtrue #drive #idrive #literally #ryangosling ♬ Push – Ryan Gosling

About the Author

Avatar photo
Gregory Karp

Gregory S. Karp Jr. is a third-year multimedia journalism student at Cal Poly Pomona, with a passion for writing news, sports and culture articles.