Inside Ryan Gosling And Eva Mendes' Relationship

In 2013 a vivacious Eva Mendes sat down for a promotional chit-chat about one of her many fashion-related side projects outside of her career as one of Hollywood's most stunning leading ladies. But when the subject of partner Ryan Gosling came up, things went off the rails. "I'm sorry. I'm shutting down," Mendes blushed to The Edit reporter (via E!). "I'm such a weirdo. I literally lose my ability to speak — and you were doing so well."

This interaction sums up the couple's public disposition since getting together in 2011. The two played it coy even after they were first spotted on a flirty day-date at Disneyland. By June of 2012, they were photographed at Ryan's mother's graduation ceremony and plausible deniability had waned.

That said, many years and two kids into this secretive relationship and there's really only one red carpet photo of the couple together — which tends to appear at the top of every speculative story about their low-key love life. As far as anyone knows, these movie stars who have been dedicated for over a decade have never tied the knot. Mendes is at least active on Instagram, but there's nary a clue there either: no pics of the kids, and nothing candid of her telegenic man; and Gosling isn't online at all. Point being, this power couple is incredibly hard to stalk. But here's what we do know about Hollywood's most intensely private lovebirds.

Eva Mendes tried to deny her feelings for Ryan Gosling

It's not hard to understand why hot Hollywood stars fall in love during the long months of filming major motion pictures. Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes did just that in 2011 on the set of the indie drama "The Place Beyond the Pines." Gosling plays a cash-strapped traveling motorcycle stuntman who gets caught up in a bank robbery scheme when he learns he's impregnated a small-town waitress, played by Mendes.

"It hasn't been a secret how excited Eva's been to film with him, and she's always joked with us about how gorgeous he is," a source told US Weekly. "She's never been shy about having the hots for him!" The stars were friends before filming began and Mendes says she did initially try to resist mixing business with pleasure, revealing on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that she kept telling herself, "'I'm not in love with him. I'm not in love with him. What? I'm not in love!' We were trying to be very professional."

Regardless, a magical kingdom of passion unfolded during filming as the two were spotted taking a very method-acting approach at Disneyland. "They were very playful," a witness told US Weekly. "Eva was skipping around like a little girl ... She would lean into him and she held his arm the entire time." Eva was even spotted feeding Ryan. Another source added, "There's always been this strong chemistry between them...this was just a matter of time!"

Why Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are so private

Some celebrity couples have admitted they conspire with paparazzi to publicize their faux spontaneous romantic dates. Reality star Spencer Pratt even told The Sun in 2021 that Kim Kardashian copied he and Heidi Montag's proven business model of alerting the media to their whereabouts.

This is not the life Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes wanted or needed. Both were mega-movie stars in their own right before hooking up, and they're a bit old-fashioned, so don't expect the film rights to their growing brood to be scooped up by Ryan Seacrest or the like.

"As far as Ryan [Gosling] and I, it just works for us this way to stay private," she wrote on Instagram (via Us Weekly) in response to a fan asking why Mendes never shares personal photos on her widely followed account. "I have always had a clear boundary when it comes to my man and my kids. I'll talk about them, of course, with limits, but I won't post pictures of our daily life ... And since my children are so little and don't understand what posting their image really means, I don't have their consent. And I won't post their image until they're old enough to give consent."

Eva Mendes reveals Ryan Gosling isn't an Instagram boyfriend

Instagram has probably ruined more relationships than adultery at this point. Just what are the rules, and does anyone know? Did you forget to tag your love? Did you post something unflattering? Did you post too much, not enough? Did something shady go down in the DM's?

Of course, if anyone would seem like an ideal Instagram boyfriend it's the handsome "Hey girl" gentleman himself, Ryan Gosling. Surely he would hit all the right angles and block all the right thots. But that's not Ryan's role in his relationship with Eva Mendes. Sometimes her two kids do the shooting, but there is not a single candid of Gosling's magnificent mug in Eva's feed, and not a single photo authored by the highly artistic actor. "None that I post," Mendes wrote in response to a fan on the gram (via People). "My friends take them and I take theirs. It's a girl thang :) "

Gosling has appeared on Mendes' Instagram, on rare occasions, but even snaps including the occasional #TBT of their blossoming romance on the set of "The Place Beyond The Pines"  and a starry-eyed shot of Mendes gazing up at Ryan's baby blues have gotten scrubbed from the account, as of this writing. "As far as Ryan, I'll only post flashbacks of things that are already 'out there'," Mendes wrote, again on the gram (via People). "My man and kids are private. That's important to me so thanks for getting that."

Eva Mendes never wanted kids before she fell in love with Ryan Gosling

It hasn't been so long since Eva Mendes was Hollywood's absolute It girl. Her 2005 romantic comedy "Hitch" with Will Smith smashed opening weekend records for the rom-com genre, according to Box Office Mojo. The film grossed a staggering $371 million. Even when her acting career was mostly wrapped up, so in demand was that one-of-a-kind face, she still inked a deal with the biggest cosmetics brand in the world, Estee Lauder, in 2015, according to Harper's Bazaar.

Even though she comes from a big family herself, Mendes says she was always career-focused first. "I was lucky enough to work my bum off for 20 years," she told Nova 96.9's "Fitzy & Wippa" (via People). But the star waited so long to start a family, she almost missed her chance. All that changed when she and Ryan Gosling fell in love in 2011. Gosling was 32, Mendes was 38, and time was of the essence. They quickly got to work.

"I never wanted babies before, until I fell in love with Ryan, and it kind of worked out to where I was 40 and having my first baby," she said on the Australian radio show. "I think I was 42 for the second one, so it worked out in that way that I had a career and then I [changed] my focus to my family."

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling named their first child after this beloved character

Rumors Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes were having their first child started oddly, in 2014 when the actor was spotted at an airport avoiding the X-Ray security devices. The star laughed off those reports. "It's so ridiculous," Mendes told "The Ellen Show" in February of that year, calling the machines "really creepy." She claimed her avoidance of that high-intensity spectrum of light was mostly about modesty, and a little about personal safety. "They basically see you naked, right? And not only that, but there's a radiation aspect to it, so I always opt-out."

However, by July of that year outlets like Us Weekly had sources saying the then 40-year-old actor was in fact with child — and expecting soon — claiming she was seven months pregnant. TMZ finally confirmed the baby news, obtaining the birth certificate in October 2014. So perhaps Mendes didn't want to announce her pregnancy on "Ellen," given it was so early.

Whatever the exact timeline, Gosling and Mendes had a healthy baby girl and named her after one of their favorite characters from literary fiction. "We both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and just think it's a beautiful name," Mendes told Violet Grey. "Her middle name is Amada, which was my grandmother's name. It means 'beloved' in Spanish," she said.

Evan Mendes and Ryan Gosling re-reunite after falling in love

For Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling, working together was so nice, they did it twice. Following the cult success and sizzling chemistry of 2012's "The Place Beyond the Pines" the couple reunited for another feature, but this time, Gosling was directing.

Mendes says their second project "Lost River" was "nothing short of a magical experience," in an interview with Oprah Daily. And she's very open to doing it all again. "I would love to either act opposite him again or be directed by him at some point. I just love working with him. In a career of 20+ years, to have my two most incredible creative experiences be with him, of course, I'd want a third."

Critics were however less enthusiastic about the final product giving "Lost River" a dire 31% splat rating, via Rotten Tomatoes. The film was blasted for being style over substance. "Either you will hate it for being pretentiously artsy or love it as a mesmerizing mess," wrote Theresa Smith of the Independent Online. Regardless, the couple was happy on set, "The two times we've collaborated, him and I, have been the two best experiences in my career," Mendes reiterated to Oprah's mag, later calling Gosling a "genius." The couple has nothing in the works, but Eva humbly told "Access," "I'd audition for him any day."

Ryan Gosling reveals he and Eva Mendes are still deeply in love

The length of the average modern relationship is just under three years according to one British study, via Daily Mail. An average American marriage lasts just eight, says the US Census Bureau. But recall, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes aren't actually hitched — though would they even tell us if they were?

In December of 2015, Hollywood's most private couple had one child down and was rounding that statistically troubling three-year mark. Gosling, however, had no doubts as he looked forward to the holiday with Eva and daughter Esmerelda, telling Hello!, "This will be our first Christmas where [my daughter] is sort of taking it all in, so that's exciting." He even dished a rare personal detail about little Ezzy's musical taste, "She's obsessed with the Hanson Christmas album! No disrespect to Hanson, they're very talented kids, but I think I've heard that record enough."

Gosling has a long record of making other men look bad by comparison — like the time he rescued a journalist from being hit by a car or when he broke up a fight on the streets of NYC, muscles bulging out of his tank top. Of the challenges of fatherhood, Ryan says simply, "it's not rocket science." Also an easy equation, his love for Eva: "I know that I'm with the person I'm supposed to be with." Gosling's only criteria is "that she's Eva Mendes. There's nothing else I'm looking for."

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes had a second child in secret

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes managed to have baby number two without an intensely interested media catching a whiff until they'd already welcomed the new addition to their family. The couple attended a "Saturday Night Live" cast party in December 2015 after Gosling hosted the show while Mendes was around 5 months pregnant. Mendes slyly stayed very covered with the paparazzi insight and the baby the news didn't break!

Of course, TMZ eventually got the deets — but a full two weeks after the birth. The three-mile-zone gadflies finally obtained little Amada Lee Gosling's birth certificate, who joined the growing family in April of 2016.

Eva explained the name of their second daughter is a family homage. "My grandmother's name is Amada, and Esmeralda Amada is the name of our oldest," the actor and model told Latina magazine (via Hello!) of the duplicated naming convenient between their two kids. She went on to explain, "we had a few names picked out for our new baby, and when she was born, we didn't feel like those names were her. In true Latin fashion, we reuse names all the time. I actually told Ryan, 'This is common in Latin culture, so it wouldn't be crazy.'"

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are encouraging their kids to be artists

Considering both Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes dedicated their lives to an art form that, let's be honest, had a very low chance of paying off — but did — maybe it's no surprise they're encouraging their kids to go down a similar path as well.

Mendes, in classic form, declined to describe daughters Esmerelda and Amanda to Oprah Daily in 2019, but did reveal "we definitely encourage the arts." And Mendes makes having creatively inclined parents sound pretty cool indeed. "There's crayons in every room and there's always paper available so that they can create. I just think it's so beautiful that children are natural creators, and they are, too. They just want to make stuff, which is so cool. I'm just really into that phase right now."

And so far so good. Gosling joked while on "The Ellen Show" in 2016 that "as a younger man" he briefly dabbled with a career as a graffiti artist. He and his daughters love to frequent the local parks and use their chalk on the sidewalks. But when another kid wrote over the outline of his daughter's name, Gosling explained he finally had the opportunity to be in a proper graffiti battle, and enjoyed every moment of it, even if his little ones weren't exactly aware. "This kid has access to an unfair amount of chalk," Gosling riffed. "They're disrespecting your mother. She gave you this name, and they're erasing it!"

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling don't want their kids to know they're famous

Celebrities have attempted various strategies to shield their children from public scrutiny — after all, the kids of the famous didn't sign up to be hounded in public. Under intense media scrutiny, Michael Jackson, for instance, famously dangled his son over a hotel balcony but veiled both his young children for years. Interesting combination of techniques, the latter of which daughter Paris told Oprah in 2012 (via Reuters), "I was really confused."

Maybe nobody is or will ever be as famous as MJ, so for now, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have been able to adopt an entirely different strategy. Mendes says her kids are actually totally oblivious to how adored their parents are. "They are not aware," Eva told Oprah Daily. "We are definitely just mom and dad to them, and we're trying to keep it that way as long as possible. They haven't shown any interest in that, so we haven't really had that conversation yet. It's not like we have our own movies playing or anything like that!"

Gosling and Mendes are keeping things extremely simple. As of 2019, Eva was emphasizing normalcy at home above all else. "Right now, I'm at: Eat your greens! I'm sure I will have different life lessons when they are not 3 and 4, but right now, it's the eat your greens lesson."

Eva Mendes reveals her comeback plans after kids with Ryan Gosling

Eva Mendes has not made a film since "Lost River" in 2014. Ryan Gosling is obviously tremendously supportive, but has continued a movie star schedule during the rearing of the couple's girls — hence his grateful gushing over his supportive partner at the Golden Globes in 2017

Mendes says she was happy to make this tradeoff. "I feel like, as far as my ambition, it didn't go away, it just shifted onto the children," she told The Sydney Morning Herald. "I applaud and look up to those women who can do it all, but I'm not one of them." She added a note of gratitude, "I realize how fortunate I am ... I've been so happy to be able to incubate with my babies, but now ... I'm starting to feel like my ambition is coming back."

As early as 2019, Mendes was mulling a movie comeback. "It's still totally insane with two children," she told Oprah Daily, "but now that we are getting out of the baby and the super young toddler phase, I'm slowly starting to feel human again." But motherhood, she says, did change the projects she's interested in, "The list is getting shorter and shorter of stuff that I'd do," she told Nova 96.9's "Fitzy & Wippa" (via People) in 2020. "I don't want to do anything violent. I don't want to do something risqué. I think the only thing that's left is Disney!"

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling love having a chaotic house full of kids

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have very different backgrounds. Mendes hails from a big, rambunctious Cuban family. "One of my earliest memories, around age 11, was having a girlfriend call me," Mendes told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2020. "She could hear my family in the background and said, 'Oh, I'll call you back later, it sounds like you guys are fighting.' I said, 'No, we're not fighting, we're having dinner!' "

Gosling on the other hand was raised by a single mother and had only his sister at his side. So being outnumbered by women at home isn't exactly new for Gosling. He explained to the Wisconsin Gazette in 2015 that his way of "looking at the world was shaped by a female perspective."

Mendes compares having two young kids at home to "running some kind of bed-and-breakfast with very drunk and aggressive guests ... And by the time they go to sleep, we're left to just clean up and talk about how they've treated us that day!" In 2016 Gosling described his family life as a beautiful "dream," telling GQ he's found exactly what he's always been seeking. "There's a kind of chaos in it that I love. Maybe in my life I sort of put myself in situations that were chaotic, outside of my life. And now I have it at home, and I don't have to go looking for it."

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling mourned her brother together

Ryan Gosling has also stepped into a larger extended family with his love Eva Mendes. In 2016, Eva's older brother Carlo Mendes tragically died from cancer. On her Instagram (via From The Stage), Mendes called their relationship "rocky ... at times," but said in a post honoring his memory, "He made me tough as nails. And I thank him for that daily."

During Carlo's illness, Gosling was shooting "La La Land," for which he won the Golden Globe for best actor. In a rare public shout-out, Gosling honored Carlo in his speech. "While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I've ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer," the actor said from the stage. "So sweetheart, thank you. And to my daughters, Amada and Esmeralda, I love you. And if I may, I'd like to dedicate this to the memory of her brother, Juan Carlos Mendez."

Eva seemed taken aback by this touching speech. "I was home feeding our six-month-old baby and couldn't even be there that night," she told The Sydney Morning Herald. "I was in the other room when my sister started screaming for me to come in and she was crying, so we rewound and watched and it was such a beautiful, surreal moment, especially for my family to hear Ryan say my brother's name."

How Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling keep the romance going after kids

"[Kids] are the only reason for this his whole man-woman drama ... men, women, it's not supposed to work, except to make kids," advises a wisened Matthew McConaughey in the iconically philosophical series "True Detective." Ryan Gosling might not be taking this view exactly, but admits his joy has only expanded as his two daughters have joined his household. "It's heaven. It's like walking through a field of flowers every day," he joked on "Good Morning America" of being outnumbered by women at home. "I live with angels," he said knowingly.

Gosling does admit though it's hard to get that time for adult things with two toddlers running wild, as he explained on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in 2018, "Let's be honest, I'm not watching anything that doesn't have a talking tiger in it."

Mendes agrees romance has become a logistical challenge, "it takes a lot of prep, you got to make sure you have everything all lined up," she told "Access" in 2019. But for these two parents, the sacrifice has given their relationship continued satisfaction, and of course, deeper meaning. "It's so hard of course but it's like that feeling ... you end your day, you put them to bed," Mendes revealed, "and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'Ah, we did it! We came out relatively unscathed!'"