Mark Wahlberg and Ryan Gosling put spotlight on education
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Mark Wahlberg and Ryan Gosling put spotlight on education

New York City : NY : USA | Jun 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM PDT
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Mark Wahlberg interview

What do Ryan Gosling and Mark Wahlberg have in common? Well, it’s more than just very successful careers in show business. Both Gosling and Wahlberg were troubled youngsters, and both of these Hollywood hunks are high school drop-outs.

The youngest of 9 children, Wahlberg was well on his way to building himself a significant ‘rap’ sheet before a stint in jail turned him around. First as a member of the 80s pop sensation, New Kids on the Block, and later recording as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Wahlberg began to pull out of his tailspin and start to build a career. Dropping the “Marky’ moniker, he began accepting acting assignments, started earning some glowing reviews, and found himself going toe-to-toe with industry heavyweights like George Clooney, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Leonardo di Caprio.

In addition to his work in front of the lens, Wahlberg has become a respected and successful producer. His most recent achievements include producing a trifecta of hits for HBO, “Entourage,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “How To Make It In America.” Now the 41 year old father of four has decided to take on a new challenge. As he told David Letterman, he finally is ready to go back to school and get his high school diploma. Not that he’ll be registering at his local school --- Wahlberg is going to re-ignite his high school career by taking online courses.

As for Gosling -- his parents split up when he was a youngster and he and his older sister were raised by their mother, Donna, in a small Ontario town. Enrolled in school, Gosling was bullied, diagnosed with ADHD, medicated and put in a ‘special ed’ classroom. Suspended from school for some bad behavior, his mother had decided enough was enough. Dedicating herself to her son’s education, this single mom began homeschooling young Ryan. The experience was life-forming, and as Gosling has said, homeschooling gave him "a sense of autonomy that I've never really lost.”

Gosling was bitten by the show biz bug early, and auditioned and won a place on The MIckey Mouse Club beside castmates Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. In his late teens, anxious to establish a career outside the realm of family entertainment, he began pushing for more demanding roles. Now, more than a decade later, Gosling has established himself as one of the best actors in his generation, earning Oscar, Golden Globe nominations and accolades from reviewers, with one likening him to Marlon Brando.

Recently Gosling stepped out of the spotlight to play a supporting role, traveling back home to Canada to be there as his mother received her long-awaited college diploma. As Donna Gosling was awarded her Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University, her proud son stood in the crowd, cheering and snapping photographs. He was gracious but declined to be interviewed, saying, "This is my mom's day." According to Gosling, his mother is going to be a superb teacher, and he should know. But so far, there is no indication that Gosling is going to follow in his mother’s -- or Wahlberg’s -- footsteps, and get his own diploma.

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Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg
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