Ryan Gosling is easily on of the most enigmatic actors in the Hollywood stratosphere. For most of us, he is the man that starred in one of the most memorable romantic movies of our youth. We still remember going to the cinema to see The Notebook in high school and watching everyone weep uncontrollably as Gosling screamed, “WHAT DO YOU WANT!?” over and over again at Rachel McAdams. As his career progressed, he became harder to nail down and the myths that began forming around him in a way that seems to escape most celebrities is bizarre, to say the least. The myths confirm something, though. Gosling is someone that just happens to be a famous movie actor and who seems all together unaware of his looks, mystique and of the spell he casts on everyone he comes in contact with.
15 He wanted Rachel McAdams kicked off the set of The Notebook
It’s been nearly 12 years since The Notebook was released, which makes the fact that we are still learning new details from the films production even more strange. Nick Cassavetes, the films director, revealed that there was a lot of tension between the leading actors in the film. Though Gosling and McAdams had unbelievable romantic chemistry in the film, there was a time in early production in which Gosling stopped a scene to beg the director to bring another female in to read with him. “I can’t. I can’t do it with her. I’m just not getting anything from this,” said Gosling. This eventually led to a private blowout between the two stars that changed the tides of their chemistry. Cassavetes was quoted as saying, “I think Ryan respected her for standing up for her character and Rachel was happy to get that out in the open.” McAdams and Gosling eventually ended up dating until 2008. It was a truly odd beginning to one of Hollywood’s most notorious couples.
14 Ryan Gosling was fired from The Lovely Bones (2009)
Most films are lucky to land Ryan Gosling as their leading man, but did you know the star was actually recast by Peter Jackson just a week before filming began for the 2009 film, The Lovely Bones? Oddly enough, notoriously handsome Gosling was actually fired for his appearance when he showed up for shoots weighing nearly 60 pounds heavier than when he auditioned. Apparently Gosling had a much different approach to how he felt the character of Jack Salmon, the grieving father of the film, should look.
Gosling spent weeks before the production drinking melted Häagen-Dazs ice cream to gain the weight because he “really believed that he should weigh 210 pounds.” Gosling noted that this disagreement was largely due a lack of communication in the pre-production process. Gosling’s role was eventually recast and Mark Wahlberg portrayed the role of Jack Salmon.
13 Gosling played spin the bottle with Britney Spears
In the early '90s, the Mickey Mouse Club was a melting point of youthful talent and would-be A-listers. Among them was Ryan Gosling and Britney Spears. Gosling has been quoted as referring to Britney as, “the little girl I used to play basketball and spin the bottle with.” Although she eventually moved on to fellow Mickey Mouse Club Cast member Justin Timberlake, there were no ill feelings between Gosling and Spears. Despite the fact that the Drive actor and pop singer don’t keep in contact any longer, Gosling still holds her in high regard. As far as nostalgia is concerned, playing spin the bottle with Britney Spears has to land pretty high among anyone’s childhood memories (whether you’re a Hollywood heartthrob or not).
12 Gosling tattooed himself
Home tattoo kits are hardly ever a good idea and the tattoos that they yield hardly ever look like they were intended to. We're sure you have at least one friend who thought tattooing the name of his beer pong team across his toes was a good idea. Don’t worry, though; even Ryan Gosling has dumb tattoos. Apparently Gosling decided to tattoo a “monster's hand dropping a bleeding heart,” but it turned out looking “more like a cactus.” He’s not too down on it and has been quoted as saying, “A tattoo should never be meaningful because at a certain point you’re going to hate it, and it might as well make you laugh.” It’s okay, Ryan—your cactus monster hand looks cooler than most normal people’s professional tattoos.
11 He could have been a Backstreet Boy
A.J. McLean and Ryan Gosling have known each other for a long time, having lived in the same apartment building before either of them were celebrities. The idea of the Backstreet Boys was something that A.J. had in mind for many years and Ryan gave an interview where he admitted that he was down on the idea of the boy band. Gosling claimed that it was a “New Kids rip off” and that they “didn’t have a chance in hell to make it big in the industry." As we all know, the Backstreet Boys eventually blew up in a big way, which lead Ryan to reach out to A.J. multiple times in a perceived attempt to be a part of the band. Those calls went unanswered and the Backstreet Boys managed to survive without Gosling. We guess Ryan did okay with his little movies, though.
10 He was the head of security for an Elvis impersonator
One of Gosling’s earliest forays into the entertainment industry was working for his Elvis impersonator uncle. “When I was a kid, my uncle was certainly the most interesting thing going on in the house. He made his own costumes, did all the sequins—it took months. And I became a bit like his shadow, helping him when I could,” said Gosling. Eventually, his uncle took notice and began to take Ryan along with him to shows, dubbing him “head of security” as a joke. While his position at head of security was a “joke,” Gosling surely picked up some pointers on showmanship from his uncle, which he has portrayed through his singing talents in Blue Valentine and the newly released, La La Land.
9 He’s a candy connoisseur
In an interview with Esquire, Gosling drove the writer of the article around Brooklyn to several bodegas in search of the perfect candy. "Hi-Chews! Look at these! It's the candy that never quits on you. This candy is always worth the price. There used to be a candy called Bonkers, which I believe to be the greatest candy of all time," Gosling said enthusiastically as he stacks up piles of candy at the counter of the store. Gosling purchased heaps of candy before pouring heaping amounts of pure sugar into a cup of coffee. “Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want.” Out of all the heavy addictions someone in Hollywood could develop, sugar certainly leans on the lighter side.
8 He once bought all the cookies from a Girl Scout
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Gosling was asked about the time he decided to purchase hundreds of boxes of cookies from several unsuspecting Girl Scouts outside of a Ralph’s Grocery store in the Los Angeles area. Apparently the motivation behind the purchase came from his childhood, where his father tasked him to sell a gigantic back stock of saran wrap to his peers, teachers and whomever else he could convince. “I had a dream that someone would come and buy it all from me, but it never ended up happening,” he said. Gosling was seen handing out boxes of cookies from his car window, leaving many drivers curious as to why Ryan Gosling had a car full of Girl Scout cookies. Was this story true? Maybe, but what if this was an elaborate cover up to conceal his helpless sugar addiction (see above)?
7 Ryan Gosling actually built the car he used in Drive
Gosling’s portrayal as “The Driver” in Nicolas Winding Refn’s critically acclaimed film Drive is arguably one Gosling’s most iconic roles. To better get into the character of “The Driver’s” head, Gosling chose to build the grey Chevy Malibu that he used in the film himself. “He took it apart and put it back together,” said Refn. Similar to the car he built in Drive, Gosling was also responsible for building the wooden table the he and McAdam’s consummated their relationship on in The Notebook. Though Gosling is notorious for immersing himself in his movie roles, these technical feats take that to a level most actors are unwilling to go to.
6 He was cast in The Notebook because he wasn’t “handsome” or “cool”
While it borders on blasphemy to consider Gosling as not “handsome” or “cool” these days, he was relatively unknown when he was cast by Nick Cassavetes to star in The Notebook. The then indie film actor was asked to meet the director at his house. When Gosling made his way into the backyard, Cassavetes immediately asked him to star in the film, citing that Gosling was “just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts." Cassavetes had no idea that he was plucking an actor out of obscurity that would go on to become one of the most enigmatic Hollywood stars in the industry for the next decade. Gosling’s role in The Notebook was just the beginning of his storied acting career.
5 Ryan dated Sandra Bullock
On the set of Murder By Numbers, age was nothing but a number for Ryan Gosling and Sandra Bullock. A 16-year age difference didn’t stop the two actors from entering into a year-long relationship. The relationship was significant for Gosling despite the gap. He was quoted as saying, “I had two of the greatest girlfriends of all time,” referring to Bullock and his more long-term girlfriend, Rachel McAdams. While Gosling holds the relationship close to his heart, seeing a picture of the pair is slightly creepy due to the drastic age difference. It can only be assumed that Gosling learned a lot about the film industry from A-lister, Sandra Bullock, that would go on to favor his career as it blossomed in the years to come.
4 Gosling lived off the grid for two months
In 2007, Gosling was sought out by producer Charles Weinstock to be a part of the film Fracture. There were some problems, though, as Gosling was about as unattainable as someone could be at the time. Apparently Gosling had opted to live off the grid in a tent out in the woods for two months for reasons that he “wouldn’t disclose.” So if you’re keeping score, Ryan Gosling is a handsome Hollywood heartthrob who has a knack for immersive acting, working with his hands, as well as wilderness survival. As is usually the case with Hollywood actors who prefer to stay in the shadows and out of the limelight, peculiar myths seem to swirl around Gosling whenever he does decide to pop up.
3 Gosling worked in a deli after The Notebook
So, Ryan Gosling has it all. He’s smart, handsome and, as it turns out, unbelievably humble. After filming for The Notebook wrapped, Gosling immediately went back out into the "real world" and got a job at one of the most regular places you could think of: a deli. “I’d never had a real job,” Gosling said. “The problem with Hollywood is that nobody works. They have meals. They go to Pilates. But it’s not enough. So they do drugs. If everybody had a pile of rocks in their backyard and spent every day moving them from one side of the yard to the other, it would be a much happier place." Gosling's humble personality only serves to make him more endearing as a performer.
2 He went bankrupt opening a Moroccan restaurant
In 2004, Gosling went to a Moroccan restaurant with three friends and was so blown away by the food that he decided to open up his own. “It’s the food I want to eat for the rest of my life!” said Gosling shortly after finishing his meal. But there was a problem; there wasn’t a restaurant in the Los Angeles area that served up cuisine of this type. On a whim, Gosling and two of his friends decided to open up Tagine in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles. The process of opening the restaurant was daunting and Gosling soon found himself maintaining the plumbing of the restaurant, as well as occasionally washing dishes. Lately Gosling hasn’t been seen in the restaurant much, though he is still touted as a co-founder on Tagine’s website.
1 Ryan Gosling is actually a superhero
Okay, so he doesn’t wear tights or a cape, but Ryan Gosling has done some pretty heroic things. From his work with PETA (on a campaign to compel KFC to use a more humane method of slaughtering chickens for their food), to traveling to Mississippi in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina, his humanitarian spirit seems to know no bounds. He has also dealt with more street-level injustices, like the time he was videotaped breaking up a street fight in New York on a YouTube video that has nearly 2 millions views, to pulling a journalist out of the way from an oncoming cab. So what’s the catch, Ryan? You’re smart, talented, handsome, kind AND a badass?