Fascinating Details About Ryan Gosling

It's safe to say that Ryan Gosling has been one of Hollywood's biggest stars for almost two decades. Yet, the London, Ontario native has been acting since at least 1995, when he made his debut on an episode of Nickelodeon's "Are You Afraid of the Dark." Over the years, Gosling has been able to transform his career from TV child star to an Academy Award-winning A-lister, starring in fan-favorite movies like "The Notebook," Blockbusters like "Blade Runner 2049," and critically-acclaimed musicals like "La La Land."

Despite Gosling's success, it appears the "Crazy Stupid Love" actor isn't all that into fame and has been able to keep a low profile throughout his hot career because of it. While being a movie star and fame do go hand-in-hand, he told GQ that he doesn't act to be the center of attention. He explained, "I feel more often than not that what drives you to become an actor is an instinct to disappear. To become someone else. Not yourself."

Ironically, it appears that a lot of people are interested in who Gosling is as himself, even if that's something he didn't see coming. He once told The Guardian, "It's not like people looked at me and thought: 'Here's a movie star.'" He added, "People are being very supportive, and that's against my plan. I was planning on being ostracized!" You could say those supportive fans probably even want to know more about the notoriously private star. So let's break down some fascinating details about Ryan Gosling.

Ryan Gosling was raised religious

Many fans may not know that Ryan Gosling was raised Mormon by his parents. In fact, he told The Guardian, "We were brought up pretty religious. My mother admits it: She says, 'you were raised by a religious zealot.'" He continued, "She's different now, but at the time, it was a part of everything — what they ate, how they thought." Gosling reiterated to the Independent how their Mormonism had impacted his entire childhood, which is a time he doesn't look back on too fondly. He explained to GQ that he had just wanted to get his life "started" then, adding, "I also didn't like the arbitrariness of control that people seemed to have over me."

Despite Gosling's feelings of lack of control, he did tell Beliefnet that his family didn't push their faith on him since he never saw himself as Mormon. He explained, "I wasn't really Mormon; my parents were. My mom was really cool. She said, 'This is an option, but this isn't the only option ... You have to find your own truth.' I never really could identify with it."

The "First Man" actor did see some benefits of his religious upbringing though, which he's carried into his adulthood. Gosling dished, "There's good things about going to church. [Being Mormon] socialized me at a young age." He went on to recall, "You have to pray in public, shake a lot of hands, talk in public, sing in church, stuff like that. It has definitely stayed with me."

Ryan Gosling had a tough time at school

Ryan Gosling may be a super popular movie star these days but "The Gray Man" actor actually had a pretty lonely childhood growing up. According to The Guardian, Gosling not only didn't have friends at school but was bullied so much so that he got the nickname "Trouble" for his tendency to get into fights. He reflected on one particular incident to GQ that happened in kindergarten when he brought knives to school to throw at kids after seeing it in the movie "Rambo." "I just remember there being, like, some injustices on the playground," he recalled. "My mother was mortified," he added.

Gosling also had a tough time inside the classroom. He revealed, "I just couldn't remember what the teachers were talking about." He continued, " I felt like it looked easier for everyone else, and it was harder for me. It affected my self-worth." Some of Gosling's teachers apparently made things even worse too. He dished, "I had one teacher, because I was dancing, he thought that was funny, and he would make jokes about it in class."

Eventually, Gosling left school at age 10 to be homeschooled by his mother. "I guess I realized that there were other ways to do it," he said. He later dropped out at age 17 to pursue acting, which made sense since, during his youth, he had found solace in movies. He even told The National Post, "For two summers, I watched four movies every day."

Ryan Gosling was on The Mickey Mouse Club

It appears that things started to look up for a young Ryan Gosling after he joined Disney's "The Mickey Mouse Club" at age 12. "The Nice Guys" star even confirmed to the Independent that it was "the happiest time of his life." He went on to describe that period as "When everything was like a wonderland. Everything was new and magical."

Gosling was among a cast of other young stars that included Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. When it came to the future pop queens, Gosling recalled to The Guardian that he was a bit of a bad influence on them in that he told them about sex. He dished, "I just told them what I heard — like positions and stuff." Regarding Spears in particular, he added, "I feel somewhat responsible for how sexual she is now. When I see her with a snake around her neck, I think: Did I do that?"

Gosling had lived with Timberlake during filming since his mother became Gosling's legal guardian when his own mother had to stay in Canada. Timberlake looked back at that time on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" revealing, per People, "We were probably a little closer than the rest of the kids just because we had to share a bathroom." He also admitted that he and Gosling were a couple of troublemakers on set. "We stole the golf cart, and we drove into MGM Studios, which is totally illegal by the way," he said.

The Gray Man actor had a band

Ryan Gosling is definitely known as an actor, but some fans may be surprised to learn that he's a musician too. Sure, he's shown off that he can sing in films like "Lars and the Real Girl," "Blue Valentine," and "La La Land," but it's something he's been doing since he was a kid. In fact, he performed songs for "The Mickey Mouse Club," and before that, he was taking the stage at talent shows and weddings. When it came to the latter, he told Interview magazine (via Yahoo), "We would sing 'When a Man Loves a Woman' to the bride."

Gosling even formed a band with a friend in 2009 called Dead Man's Bones. "We didn't know how to play instruments, so we took a year to learn to play instruments, and then we made the record. So suddenly, we were a band," Gosling told The National Post. The duo released a spooky, monster-themed album and went on tour, enlisting local children's choirs to dress up in Halloween costumes to join them. "You have to make sure they have pizza and go to the bathroom. It's not very rock 'n' roll," he joked.

While Gosling told the Independent in 2013 that they were still working on a second album, he apparently went on to pursue other musical ventures through "La La Land." That's because the already accomplished guitarist played jazz piano for the film, which per BBC, took him three months of practicing every day to learn.

The Notebook star dated Rachel McAdams

Chances are, if you watched the 2005 VMAS, then you know that Ryan Gosling dated Rachel McAdams, his co-star in the popular romance, "The Notebook." Yet a lot of fans don't know that the couple didn't get together until after they finished the movie since they didn't actually like each other during filming. The director, Nick Cassavetes, revealed to VH1 that Gosling even claimed at one point that he couldn't work with McAdams before they eventually hashed it out. "We went into a room with a producer; they started screaming and yelling at each other ... And it got better after that," Cassavetes said.

McAdams downplayed their disdain, telling the Independent, "We weren't throwing Ming vases at each other, so it wasn't loathing, but our relationship was not what you saw on the screen." Gosling gave his take to The Guardian, too, saying, "We inspired the worst in each other. It was a strange experience, making a love story and not getting along with your co-star in any way."

However, things changed after filming. Gosling explained, "Two years later, I saw her in New York, and we started getting the idea that maybe we were wrong about each other." Their relationship didn't end up working out, but Gosling looked back at it fondly. He gushed to GQ, "People do Rachel and me a disservice by assuming we were anything like the people in that movie. Rachel and my love story is a hell of a lot more romantic than that." 

Ryan Gosling owns a restaurant and loves to cook

It seems that Ryan Gosling has a surprising side hustle, considering that when he's not on the big screen, he runs a restaurant business. According to Morocco World News, the "Gangster Squad" actor owns a Moroccan restaurant with his friend Chef Ben Benameur in Beverly Hills called Tagine. The duo had opened the restaurant shortly after they met back in 2004, with Gosling investing $50,000 into it against the advice of his lawyers. "He was a little kid who was just trying to establish himself," Benameur recalled.

The restaurant seemed to be worth the investment, though, since Benameur told Morocco World News in another interview, "It became one of the best destinations in the city," adding, "All celebrities, kings, and emirs come here." Despite Gosling being a celebrity himself, he often joins Benameur in the kitchen, which isn't new for him since he once worked making sandwiches at a convenience store, per The Guardian.

When Gosling isn't in the restaurant, he's seemingly wowing his family with his skills at home. His partner, Eva Mendes, took to her Instagram to gush (via E!), "Ryan is an amazing chef AND baker." She added, "For reals. Incredible. No joke. I'm not sure that what I do is cooking. It's more like steaming veggies and juicing and making rice. He really cooks." Ironically though, Gosling's favorite food is apparently candy. His former co-star Emma Stone even told People, "Ryan can eat more Twizzlers than anyone you've ever met."

Ryan Gosling may be married to Eva Mendes

Ryan Gosling has seemingly found "the one" in his "The Place Beyond The Pines" co-star Eva Mendes. The two met on the film's set in 2011 and have been together ever since. They've managed to keep their relationship very private over the years, so it's unclear if they ever got married. Yet Mendes has dropped hints, like when she shared her "de Gosling," which could mean Mrs. Gosling in Spanish. Then there's when she was on an Australian TV show and said, per Daily Mail, "My husband Ryan is here, and we are having the best time."

Despite their private nature, Mendes has also gushed about Gosling on Instagram. For example, in 2020, she wrote to a fan, "Rather be home with my man than anywhere else in the world." In 2022, she even posted a photo of Gosling in character for his role in "Barbie," writing in the caption, "#Thatsmyken."

Gosling has praised Mendes as well, like when he told Hello!, "I know that I'm with the person I'm supposed to be with." In terms of what he looks for in a woman, he then said, "that she's Eva Mendes. There's nothing else I'm looking for." Gosling also dedicated the Golden Globe he won for "La La Land" to her. He shared, per People, "While I was singing and dancing ... my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother with his battle with cancer."

The First Man star is a dad first

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes share two daughters, Esmeralda, who they welcomed in 2014, and Amada, who was born two years later. Gosling appears to have really taken to being a father, gushing to GQ, "You hear what it's like to have kids, and all the clichés are true." He went on to say, "Eva's the dream mother, and they're dream babies, and it's like a dream that I'm having right now."

Of course, parenting isn't always easy, which is why Gosling told GQ in another interview, "We spend a lot of our time trying to keep them entertained." That seemed to be especially hard during the pandemic. He recalled, "Our kids were at a difficult age not to be able to see other kids and interact with people, even though Eva and I did our best."

Now that Gosling is working again, he brings his family along on his movie shoots so they can experience different parts of the world with him. He even told Heat (via Daily Mail), "I'm like a dad first, and part of the reason for doing the film [The Gray Man] was this opportunity for us to go to these interesting places and be there with my kids." They've even started to realize what he does for work too. Gosling explained, "Well, 'Barbie' was a way to do that. Not necessarily like I'm making it for them, but it's the first time I think they kind of are understanding."

Ryan Gosling once dated Sandra Bullock

Many people probably don't remember that Ryan Gosling once dated Sandra Bullock early in his career. The two had a bit of an age gap since, at the time, the 21-year-old Gosling was 16 years younger than Bullock. Like many of Gosling's girlfriends, though, the two met on the set of a film, which in their case was 2001's "Murder by Numbers."  While neither of them ever confirmed their romance, In Style reports that they did snuggle up on a few red carpets, which made their relationship status pretty clear.

Bullock had also suggested that they were together when asked by Cosmopolitan if they were "just friends" in 2003. She answered, "If you were to add the word just, it would probably be a bit of a lie. So I'd say we're friends." She even gushed that Gosling had taught her to "chill." "I live my life at a manic pace, and he's taught me to disregard all that isn't important. He's like a little Buddha," she said.

Unfortunately, the two split later that year but appeared to have left things on good terms. That's because Gosling reportedly referred to her and his other ex, Rachel McAdams, when he told The Times, per Us Weekly, in 2011, "I had two of the greatest girlfriends of all time." As for why they didn't work out, Gosling explained, "When both people are in show business, it's too much show business. It takes all of the light, so nothing else can grow."

The La La Land star is a trained dancer

Ryan Gosling is obviously a man of many talents, which surprisingly includes dancing. The "Song To Song" actor had begun taking ballet as a kid and never lost his love for the art form. He explained to GQ, "I liked being in the studio and being in a class. And I like dancers — I like their energy." He continued, "I really liked them as a kid — I loved hanging out with them ... I love to see the way that they embody the music."

Because of that, Gosling continued to take dance classes as an adult, even if it was a little strange for a movie star hunk to be at the ballet barre. "A lot of the students are young girls, so they're there with their moms, but they just kind of watch and tell me to keep it up," he told the Independent. Of course, Gosling doesn't have a lot of days off but does make time to dance when he can. He dished, "I'm just compelled to do it, and I do it to find out why. The not knowing is interesting."

Gosling's dancing skills came in handy for the movie musical "La La Land" since he trained with former "Dancing With the Stars" pro Jenna Johnson to learn some routines for the film. Johnson gushed to People, "I was so shocked at how incredible he was at picking up things." She added, "He understood the concept and the beauty of the movement."

Ryan Gosling took a break from acting after getting fired

Like most people, Ryan Gosling has had a career setback, yet his happened after he was already famous. That's because, in 2007, Gosling was fired from "The Lovely Bones" after he surprised the film's director, Peter Jackson, by drastically changing his appearance. Gosling explained to The Hollywood Reporter (via ABC News), "I was 150 pounds when [Jackson] hired me, and I showed up on set 210 pounds." He continued, "We had a different idea of how the character should look."

Despite Gosling doing what he thought was best for his character, he was replaced by Mark Wahlberg. "Then I was fat and unemployed," Gosling recalled. It appears because of that, the "Only God Forgives" star decided to take a break from acting, which went on to last three years. He dished to the Independent, "That break did me good in the sense that taking some time out meant I had some experience of life. Experience of normal life, I mean, that you can then reflect in a movie." He added, "It's hard to play a real person when you've been in jets and town cars for three years."

During that time off, Gosling moved away from Hollywood to New York City after turning 30. The change of scenery ended up being good for Gosling too. He explained, "In Los Angeles, it's easy to lose touch with everything ... In New York, you're forced to deal with life; it's there in front of you on a daily basis."

The former Mouseketeer loves dogs

If you thought you couldn't love Ryan Gosling enough, think again because the man loves dogs. In fact, he had a special bond with his late dog, George, who was consistently by his side in the mid-2000s, with Gosling even taking him to work. He once told the Independent, "I wanted George here today, you know, doing interviews with me. Normally, I take him everywhere; I have special paperwork so he can travel with me wherever I go." He also talked about George to The Guardian, saying, "He looks like a little guy in a suit, and he doesn't like it that he's a dog, you can tell."

Gosling also once brought George on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." "He's more interesting than I am, so I just thought it would be helpful," he said. Sadly, though, George died in 2016 at age 17. Gosling paid tribute to him on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," reflecting, "He was a good friend to me ... There was something about George where he always, I think he felt being a dog was beneath him."

Gosling eventually went on to adopt a Doberman with his partner, Eva Mendes, in 2019. According to People, Mendes introduced their pup on Instagram, where she wrote, "Meet Lucho. The newest member of our family." It seems Gosling loves Lucho just as much as he did George since, in 2022, he was captured by the Daily Mail, giving Lucho a big smooch while out running errands with his dog. 

The Barbie actor has gone viral

You could say Ryan Gosling is more than just a movie star since he has found fame on the internet. We're talking about the handful of times the "Remember The Titans" actor has gone viral, which seemingly began back in 2013 when he became a meme. According to The Verge, that was thanks to a series of Vine videos created by filmmaker Ryan McHenry called "Ryan Gosling won't eat his cereal." "The only conclusion I can see out of this whole thing is to have Ryan Gosling respond to this. Even if it's just him eating cereal," McHenry said. And that's exactly what Gosling did two years later in 2015 as a tribute to McHenry, who later died from cancer.

That wasn't the only time the internet made Gosling do something either, since in 2018, he visited a Toronto coffee shop because of a Twitter campaign. E! reports that the owners of Grinder Coffee had posted photos of a cardboard cut out of Gosling there, tweeting things like "10 days of posting of why you should have coffee with us." Once Gosling did show up, they tweeted, "What a good sport, a well-brought-up Canadian boy."

More recently, in 2022, a photo of Gosling in character as Ken for his film "Barbie" went viral. Jimmy Fallon even told him on "The Tonight Show" that he "broke the internet." Gosling responded, "Well, you know, the internet's been trying to break me for years." And it really seems it has.

Ryan Gosling wanted to tell Ken's story

It's no secret that Ryan Gosling comes off as the serious actor type, which is probably why it surprised a lot of folks that he decided to play Ken in the "Barbie" movie. Yet the father-of-two had a good reason for taking the role, which he explained on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." He recalled, "Best script I've ever read. I walk out in the backyard and, do you know where I found Ken, Jimmy? Face down in the mud next to a squished lemon." His daughters' disregard for the doll had apparently inspired Gosling since he said he then texted a photo of the beaten down Ken to the film's director, writing, "I shall be your Ken, for this story must be told."

It seems that Gosling had a good time playing Ken, though, since he joked to Variety, "This has been coming my whole life ... It was amazing," even adding, "I felt seen." Yet his daughters aren't necessarily as excited as he is about his role. "They can't for the life them understand why I want to play Ken because nobody plays with Ken! But that's why we must tell his story," Gosling told Heat magazine (via Daily Mail).

It's pretty clear that while Gosling is an award-winning actor, he doesn't take himself too seriously. Between that sense of humor, his array of talents, and how he speaks of others, it's safe to assume that Gosling will remain a fan favorite for years to come.