After being linked to Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst, Gosling reunites with ex-girlfriend Rachel McAdams. The on-again duo is first spotted at Gosling's deejay debut in Hollywood and then getting cozy over breakfast in Toronto. But in December, a source tells PEOPLE that the pair split: "He still loves Rachel and Rachel still loves him, but the timing is off and they can't make each other happy right now."
After taking a breather to work on his music project Dead Man's Bones, Gosling returns to the screen with Michelle Williams in the romantic drama, Blue Valentine, which makes a splash at the Sundance Film Festival – and earns both actors Golden Globe nominations. "Two of the most beautiful blonds in the business are also two of their generation’s most fascinating actors – and it's a thrill to see them working together," New York magazine gushes.
With his romance with McAdams behind him, Gosling is spotted at Disneyland with Gossip Girl star Blake Lively, sparking romance rumors that spread when the actress attends the New York premiere party of his film, Blue Valentine, in December. "She's an incredible actress; she's a good friend," Gosling tells PEOPLE. "You're not allowed to have friends in this business."
Gosling, who creates Oscar buzz with his turn in Blue Valentine, kicks off the New Year with his second GQ cover, where he expresses shock at the trajectory of his career. "Look, this is crazy. I don't understand how I'm here, living this life, wearing this suit," he says. "I assume I'm going to pay for it someday."
Gosling cements his "leading man status," according to The Hollywood Reporter, as womanizing Jacob in the rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love, opposite Steve Carell and Emma Stone. "When an Oscar-worthy actor takes a devastatingly sexy role just for kicks," gushes PEOPLE's movie critic, "It's ice cream and unicorns for all."
Gosling, 30, and Eva Mendes, 37, who recently filmed The Place Beyond the Pines together in New York, take their onscreen romance off camera, with a PDA-filled date at Disneyland's California Adventure Park in Anaheim, Calif. "Ryan seemed to pay a lot of attention to her," an onlooker tells PEOPLE of the pair, who held hands during their date.
Weeks after the critically acclaimed Drive is released, Gosling teams up with George Clooney for the political drama The Ides of March. "He’s like Bugs Bunny," Gosling tells New York magazine of working with Clooney, who directed the Oscar buzz-generating film. "He’s good at everything and nothing really fazes him."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): INF; Davi Russo; Stephen Lovekin/Getty, Krista Kennell/Sipa; Courtesy GQ; Warner Bros.; Ahmad Elatab/Splash News Online; Saeed Adyani/Sony Pictures; Dave Allocca/Startraks