Any great man has layers, and Ryan Gosling’s got them in spades. And while we like to think that we are the single greatest expert on all things Ryan, it's really more of a topographical expertise we boast than anything else. But like a majestic tree, Ryan only adds another layer every year, and so for his 33rd birthday, we thought we'd investigate a few of the more interesting (as if we could choose) things about the Baby Goose.
This unconventional Hollywood hunk may be all over the news these days, what with his insane beauty, upcoming movies, and hot romance with actress Eva Mendes, but here are some things you may not know about our favorite leading man.
1. He was homeschooled
Sounds like Ryan had the brooding troublemaker schtick down at a young age. After Ryan got into multiple fights at school that ultimately led to his suspension, his mom quit her job to focus on homeschooling the troublemaker. The experience left him with “a sense of autonomy that I’ve never really lost,” he told The Observer.
2. He grew up Mormon
Religion was a huge part of the Canadian-born actor’s upbringing. Both of his parents were Mormon, and although he never really identified with the beliefs, Ryan credits church with socializing him as a kid. We’re just happy he learned to play well with others.
3. Justin Timberlake’s mom was his legal guardian for 6 months
Ryan moved to Orlando, Florida, at the age of 12 to appear on The All New Mickey Mouse Club. Signed to a two-year contract, Ryan spent part of his second year living with castmate Justin Timberlake after his mother had to go back to Canada for work. Justin’s mother even signed on to be Ryan’s legal guardian for six months so he could finish out his time on the show! 'Scuse us while we go build a time machine and become a fly on that wall...
4. He’s in a band, sometimes children are too
Just when you thought Ryan couldn’t be more talented, Dead Man’s Bones proves you wrong. Formed in 2007 with friend Zach Shields (whom he met while he was dating Rachel McAdams and Zach was dating her sister, Kayleen), the duo released its debut album on ANTI- Records in 2009 to moderate acclaim. Ryan contributed piano, guitar, bass, cello, and vocals to the album. On at least one occasion, they've asked children to contribute vocals to their music. Swoon.
5. He lived in a tent for a while
While filming Mickey Mouse Club, he lived in Justin's house for a bit and in a trailer park with his family after that. But it was a lot more recent that Ryan shacked up in a tent. Before filming Fracture, production couldn't track him down to give him his script, he told MTV, because he was living off the grid in a tent. "It's a really long story. But it's true. I spent a bit of time in a tent, and I read the script in there," Ryan said back in 2007. It gets cold in tents, Ry, so if you ever need help with that sleeping bag zipper, send up a smoke signal and we'll be right there.
6. He has an accent, but not a Canadian one
We all dream of Ryan calling us up one day and saying, in that strange voice of his, Hey, Girl. But it turns out, that wouldn't be in his real voice, or at least not in his original one. "As a kid I decided that a Canadian accent doesn’t sound tough," Ryan told W Magazine in 2010. "I thought guys should sound like Marlon Brando. So now I have a phony accent that I can’t shake, so it’s not phony anymore. I’m going for the Madonna thing, the Lady Gaga thing — a phony accent that becomes your trademark." Well, we think it's downright charming, so keep it up.
7. He gave himself a tattoo of a monster cactus
Ryan played a heavily tatted motorcycle rider in The Place Beyond the Pines, with teardrops on his face and everything. But the ink we're really interested in is the one of a "monster hand and bloody heart" he tried to tattoo on his left bicep, using an at home kit. It turned out looking like a cactus, but we're still jealous that it gets to spend its life on his skin. Weird? Maybe, but that doesn't make it less true.
8. He was almost in a boyband — but not *NSYNC!
Just because he grew up with JC and Justin doesn't mean he coulda been in sync with them... in *NSYNC — but he could've been a Backstreet Boy! It turns out AJ McLean was The Gos' neighbor, and wanted his sweet dance moves and weird, charming voice in BSB, but Ryan turned him down! Why? Because he thought they were a New Kids on the Block rip-off. Then, when he reached out after they made it, he says AJ blew him off! While the boybander claims he didn't do such a thing, we can't help but shake the feeling that a JT/RyGos dance off would still be the best thing ever.
9. He practices ballet
Having been raised by his mother and sister, Ryan practically considers himself part-girl (trust us on this one, it gets even cuter). As a kid he learned to dance ballet, and the hobby has stuck with him ever since. He confessed to The Independent that he often fills up his spare time between acting gigs with trips to a L.A. ballet studio to “practice whenever I can.”
“I don’t even know what I like about it but it’s like acting, I'm just compelled to do it and I do it to find out why,” Ryan explained. Anyone know where we can pick up a nice pair of pointe shoes?
Even Gos thinks this is all hilarious, see?