He was dropped by his agent and initially found it difficult to secure work because of the "stigma" attached to children's television.After a supporting role in the football drama Remember the Titans, Gosling secured a lead role as a young Jewish neo-Nazi in 2001's The Believer.He is a co-owner of Tagine, a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills, California.Gosling is a supporter of PETA, Invisible Children, and the Enough Project and has traveled to Chad, Uganda and eastern Congo to raise awareness about conflicts in the regions.Bullock played the detective tasked with investigating the crime.Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly described him as "a phenomenal talent even in junk like this" His second screen appearance of 2002 was in The Slaughter Rule with David Morse which explores the relationship between a high school football player and his troubled coach in rural Montana.His directorial debut, Lost River, was released to poor reviews in 2014.
Gosling co-starred in three mainstream films in 2011–the romantic comedy-drama Crazy, Stupid, Love, the political drama The Ides of March, and the neo-noir crime thriller Drive–and received two more Golden Globe Award nominations.
He was drawn to the role because it was unusual to find a character that was "emotionally disconnected for the whole film." Gosling came to the attention of a mainstream audience in 2004 after starring opposite fellow Canadian Rachel Mc Adams in the romantic drama film The Notebook, a film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel of the same name, directed by Nick Cassavetes.
In 2005, Gosling appeared as a disturbed young art student in Stay, a psychological thriller film co-starring Naomi Watts and Ewan Mc Gregor. I'm just as proud if someone says, 'Hey, you made me sick in that movie,' as if they say I made them cry.” Gosling next starred in 2006's Half Nelson as a drug-addicted junior high school teacher who forms a bond with a young student.
Timberlake's mother became Gosling's legal guardian after his mother returned to Canada for work reasons.
In 2002, he told the Vancouver Sun that he initially enjoyed working on the show, but began to care too much about the series, so it was no longer fun for him.