15 Times We Fell In Love With Ryan Gosling

It's the actor's 40th birthday.

ryan gosling

by Ellie Wiseman |
Updated on

Not that we needed an excuse, but we have charted all the times Ryan Gosling has stolen our hearts. You're welcome.

1. As Noah In The Notebook

ryan gosling rachel mcadams the notebook
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Without a doubt, the only place to begin is The Notebook - the film to watch if you need to purge some pent-up tears and escape into a perfect love story. It was the first time Ryan cemented a place in our hearts, playing Noah Calhoun in the 2004 adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel. Intense but sensitive, poor but not lacking, and with more romance in him than we can only hope to know, Ryan’s Noah made our smitten hearts grow 10 sizes. He didn’t have a lot, but his love for Allie was all that mattered, and from the moment he hung from a ferris wheel in his boxers just to ask her out on a date, we were sold.

Ryan was originally cast as Noah because he wasn’t typically good looking, which may be difficult to comprehend now because obviously he is, but in hindsight the goofy and modest charm he gave to Noah's character made for a sweeter love between him and Allie Hamilton, played by the beautiful Rachel McAdams.

Remember the final tortured exchange between young Noah and Allie (now a meme favourite), the ‘what do you want? Goddammit what do you want?’ which resulted in the fairytale denouement? It was actually improvised by Ryan himself, aligning Ryan even closer to Noah’s character, thus making our admiration for Ryan even stronger.

2. His On And Off-Screen Romance With Rachel McAdams

It was like a dream come true to learn that following the filming of The Notebook, Ryan and Rachel took their love off-screen and dated on and off for four years. It wasn’t love at first sight, though, as the director, Nick Cassavetes, revealed the two did not get along on set, and often engaged in screaming rows when reading their lines.

Soon enough though, their dislike for one another subsided and their differences were forgotten (very much to our delight) and in 2005 the pair accepted the MTV award for ‘Best Kiss’ for The Notebook. They gave us all a treat by performing their kiss live on stage, with Rachel running and jumping into Ryan’s arms. One of the best TV moments for sure...we're still not sure we're over it.

It gets better. When talking about his relationship with Rachel, Ryan said: ‘I mean, God bless The Notebook. It introduced me to one of the great loves of my life. But, 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.’

Unfortunately, for us as much as for them, the couple did not last, so we’ll just have to give The Notebook yet another watch to get our Ryan and Rachel/Noah and Allie fix.

3. When He Proved He Is A Self-Proclaimed Feminist

There’s a lot that Ryan does that sparks our fancy, but the fact that he speaks so highly of women has won us over entirely. He told Evening Standard: ‘Women are better than men. They are stronger, more evolved. They are better than us; they make us better.’ Seriously, how many men do we know would say this with such conviction?

He said he’s attracted to strong women and strong female characters in films because throughout his whole life he has been surrounded by them. This is perhaps how his relationship with Rachel McAdams began, as according to director, Nick Cassavetes, Ryan respected how Rachel stood up for herself and for the character of Allie when filming The Notebook.

4. His Bromance With Justin Timberlake

Ryan gosling justin timberlake mickey mouse club

Ryan and Justin Timberlake met on The Mickey Mouse Club television show in 1993, aged just 12-years-old, along with other stars including Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. They were incredibly close, and Ryan even moved in with Justin and his mum Lynn during filming. They are still friends now, and both became new dads at similar times (Ryan in 2014 and Justin in 2015). Talking to Ellen DeGeneres last year, Justin said '[Ryan's] always been that charismatic and that talented.' We hope this bromance never dies.

5. As Jacob in Crazy, Stupid, Love

In Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), Ryan plays Jacob - a modern-day Lothario not short of confidence who takes a bewildered 40-something called Cal (Steve Carell) under his wing when his wife leaves, and teaches him his womanising ways.

In the film Jacob puts his moves on Hannah, played by Emma Stone, who he meets in a bar, and proceeds to attempt to woo her despite her incessant refusal to succumb to his charm. A shirtless moment ensues, and long story short, we fall for him all over again.

6. When He Became A Chrome Extension

In 2013 Ryan broke the Internet when his face became a Google Chrome plug-in. The extension was named 'Hey Girl' and if you downloaded it every picture you'd see on the Internet would be replaced by a picture of him - every news article, every Facebook friend and every picture on Pinterest, as proved by The Huffington Post US. A-ma-zing.

We have Web Developer Katherine Champagne to thank for this one. Although we're not sure it still works, we salute the concept.

7. When He Was A Real Life Hero

Heroes don't just exist on the big screen, as Ryan has demonstrated many times. In 2011 he broke up a street fight in New York; he dropped his shopping bags and got in between two men who were beginning to get violent towards one another, and quickly diffused the situation.

His good Samaritan behaviour didn't end there though, as in 2012 Ryan saved a journalist from being hit by a taxi. Yeah. Laurie Penny, a British journalist, walked out into the road in America, forgetting that cars drive on the right-hand-side over there, and was grabbed by Ryan and pulled to safety. She joked on Twitter saying, 'He did not say 'hey, girl.' He said, 'hey, watch out!'

Earlier this year he put his superhero cape back on yet again and rescued a dog that was stranded in the middle of a highway. All in a day's work for Ryan.

8. As Dean In Blue Valentine

From the dreamy fairytale love story in The Notebook to the opposite end of the spectrum in the anti-romance film Blue Valentine (2010), Ryan and Michelle Williams portray a couple whose love for each other becomes lost and broken. If you're wanting to feel warm and starry-eyed with romantic feels, Blue Valentine is not the film to watch as it dismantles the notion of true love. Yet, Ryan and Michelle's performances are so poignant that the film is unmissable - it's no wonder that they were both nominated for Golden Globes.

During one scene, Dean (Ryan) sweetly sings and plays the ukulele whilst Cindy (Michelle) tap dances - we didn't say there wasn't heartthrob moments though.

9. When He Met Eva Mendes On The Place Beyond The Pines

Ryan Gosling played Luke in The Place Beyond The Pines (released in 2012), where he met then-co-star and now-wife, Eva Mendes.

The crime drama tells the story of travelling motorbike stuntman, Luke, who finds out he has a son with ex-lover Romina (Eva) and then seeks to be a part of his son's life. The on-screen romance between Ryan and Eva trickled into real life, and the pair started dating in secret in 2011.

Ryan and Eva are an intensely private couple, and it was only recently revealed that they wed in secret earlier this year. Congratulations are in order!

10. When He Became A Dad-Of-Two

In 2014 Ryan and Eva welcomed their first daughter who they sweetly named Esmerelda Amada. Then earlier this year in 2016 they had a second baby girl, called Amada Lee. The name Amada, shared by both girls, is a testament to Eva's grandmother who went by the same name; it means 'beloved' in Spanish.

Talking to People magazine, Ryan expressed his elation at becoming a father of two saying, ‘I never knew life could be this great.'

If our hearts hadn't already melted, this has surely done the trick.

11. When We Watched La La Land

Back alongside co-star and friend Emma Stone, the pair filmed La La Land - a romantic musical set in Hollywood/ The film was directed by Damien Chazelle, the director of Whiplash (2014), and received rave reviews, including The Guardian who gave it 5 stars and called it a 'sun-drenched musical masterpiece.' Famously, it almost won the Best Film Oscar. Almost.

All the elements of La La Land (Ryan and Emma, the fact it's a musical (Rayn even learnt to play jazz piano for the role), the Hollywood setting, the romantic overtones...it goes on) made for a perfect film.

12. When He Went On Ellen And Gushed About His Girls

On Ellen's show Ryan talked about his three favourite girls and what Christmas has in store for them. Oh, and he picked Ellen up in a bridal carry. We love you, Ryan.

13. When He Said The Sweetest Thing About Eva Mendes

In an interview with US GQ, Gosling opened up about how starting a family has changed his life. ‘Your whole life, you hear what it's like to have kids, and all the clichés are true. I felt I knew that everything would be different, but until you experience that, there's no way to really know what people mean,’ Gosling said.

He also said some super lovely things about his wife, Eva Mendes. ‘Eva's the dream mother, and they're the dream babies. It's like a dream that I'm having right now. I'm dreaming it all,’ Ryan gushed. Could we love him anymore? We think not.

14. When he dedicated his Golden Globe to Eva Mendes

At the Golden Globes Ryan won the award for the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his performance in La La Land (no surprises there), and outdoing himself yet again he thanked his wife Eva in a heartfelt speech.

'I would like to try to thank one person properly and say 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 her second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer,' he said.

'If she hadn’t have taken all that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today. So sweetheart, thank you.’

15. His singing, again in Song to Song

Ryan also appeared in Terrence Malick's Texan drama Song to Song, also starring Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman. Set against the backdrop of the Texan music scene, the film tells the story of betrayal and seduction, and follows two couples chasing success in the rock 'n' roll scene. And yes, Ryan sung again.

Oh Ryan, we do love you.

READ MORE: A Complete Guide To Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dating History

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