Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, 16, Bop: these tween rags introduced us to all our first crushes. Every Tuesday, we remember the dudes that decorated our photo binders. This week: the early years of universal heartthrob and birthday boy Ryan Gosling.
Name: Ryan Thomas Gosling
We Called Him: Just Ryan Gosling at the time, but he's garnered many nicknames as his reputation as a bona-fide hottie-with-a-body has grown, including “The Gos” and “Baby Goose.”
How Old Is He Now: He turns 33 today! (Born November 12, 1980)
Claims to Fame: Like a fine wine, the Gos only gets better with age, and he's certainly achieved a whole new level of notoriety in his adult life. But for purposes of Teen Beat Tuesday, we're focusing on baby Baby Goose.
We first locked eyes with Ryan in 1993, when the 12-year-old landed a gig as a Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer after an open audition in Montreal.
After Mickey Mouse Club's cancellation, Ryan starred in a veritable cornucopia of favorite Canadian exports of our youth, including Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps (Goslingbumps?), and Breaker High.
Then, gorgeous waterfall of middle-part hair intact, he moved to New Zealand to star in Young Hercules.
This set him up for the fame he collected from The Notebook, which began his adulthood super-celeb status.
Why We Loved Him: To be fair, part of our childhood crush on Ryan Gosling was by association. After his mom had to move back to Canada, Justin Timberlake's mom briefly became Ryan's legal guardian, leading to what had to be the coolest clubhouse in the Sunshine State.
Ryan's two years on MMC, alongside Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez, made moments like this possible:
Seriously, though: post-MMC, Ryan was a cutie-patootie in his own right. On Breaker High, he played the endearingly scheme-y Sean Stanley Hanlon, where his early attempts at a Marlon Brando dialect kind of flopped — but definitely added to Sean's adorable incompetence.
Taking a turn into kiddie horror, Ryan starred in the "Say Cheese and Die" episode of Goosebumps, which was arguably the most popular Goosebumps book excepting maybe a tie with Piano Lessons Can Be Murder. He also starred in the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale of Station 109.1," where he, being a loveable prankster, showed us his winning smile.
Not to mention that he rocked the side part while everyone else was still in the middle. Although, it's not like he didn't look good with the official haircut of '90s teenage crushes, when his hair decided to fall that way.
If you didn't have a crush on him when you were a kid, then you definitely caught on by the time The Notebook came out, though. You cried a million tears as you planned your elaborate wedding to Ryan, and vowed to watch every single one of his movies until death do you part.
It's kind of funny that Ryan had trouble getting adult roles at first because of the child-actor stigma. I bet everyone who rejected him at age 20 is head-desking so hard right now. Although we're glad he was able to take a detour on the indie circuit, because as weird as the film was, he was adorable in Lars and the Real Girl.
Anyway, Baby Goose is great! He keeps doing things that show off his muscles, like wearing tank tops in Only God Forgives, or bursting out of T-shirts in Drive. And his time in indie films seems to have made him really, really good at choosing interesting projects — but he still throws us a romantic comedy bone once in a while with films like Crazy, Stupid, Love.