Happy birthday, Ryan Gosling!
Leading man Ryan Gosling has plenty of on-screen peaks (see: his Academy Award-nominated turns in Half Nelson and La La Land, the weepie that is The Notebook, and the joy of Crazy, Stupid, Love), but he is just as much of a gem when the cameras aren’t rolling. Ahead, 13 of Gosling’s best moments.
That time he broke up a fight
Gosling became a real-life superhero in 2011, when he broke up a fight on the streets of New York City. A bystander (and presumed Gosling fan) took video of the incident, inspiring a response from the actor on the matter. “I’m embarrassed,” he told MTV the following month. “I think the guy really was stealing that other guy’s painting, so, I should have just kept my nose out of it. It was sad, because it turns out, I said to the guy, ‘Why are you doing this?’ He said, ‘Well, he tried to steal my painting,’ I said, ‘How do you know?’ He said, ‘Well, he comes here everyday and looks at my paintings,’ which means the guy was a fan and he wanted the painting so bad he had to steal it cause he couldn’t afford it. So he finally steals his painting and then he’s getting his ass kicked by his hero. And then the guy from The Notebook shows up and makes it weirder… Nobody wins, nobody won.”
That time he continued his superhero streak
Gosling played knight in shining armor to British journalist Laurie Penny in 2012. The writer tweeted about the matter at the time, writing that she was in New York City, “crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig.” She went on to add, “[I wasn’t] looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi… I literally, LITERALLY just got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling. Literally. That actually just happened.”
That time he paid tribute in the best way
The actor served as inspiration for the late filmmaker Ryan McHenry, who made viral videos in 2013 with footage of Gosling in his movies. As McHenry played the clips, he would hold a spoonful of cereal close to the actor’s face on the screen, thus creating, “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal.” McHenry died of cancer in 2015, and Gosling took a moment to pay tribute to him. The star posted a Vine of himself pouring a bowl of cereal, filling the bowl with milk, lifting his spoon to McHenry, and finally eating his cereal.
When he had the time of his life
Gosling proved serious competition for Patrick Swayze with the 2011 release of Crazy, Stupid, Love. In the movie, his character of Jacob Palmer lifts up Emma Stone’s Hannah Weaver Dirty Dancing-style to show off his big romantic move. Al Roker put Gosling’s skills to the test on Today when he was promoting the film, leaping into his arms for the lift.
When he was just a member of the Mickey Mouse Club
Then just a 12-year-old Canadian kid with big dreams, a young Gosling landed a spot on the Mickey Mouse Club alongside a few other future stars. He spent a couple of years in the early 1990s singing the hits and doing some serious dance moves with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and then-roommate Justin Timberlake.
That time he became a rock star
The movie star doesn’t just limit his creative expressions to acting. Gosling mixes it up as the lead singer for the band Dead Man’s Bones. Formed with musician and writer Zach Shields, Gosling’s duo released a self-titled album in 2009.
That time he saved the cows
A vocal animal lover, Gosling wrote a letter in support of the well-being of cows in 2013. Sent to the National Milk Producers Federation and reprinted by PETA, the note asked the dairy farmers to stay away from the practice of dehorning the animals – a method which he called “cruel” and “unnecessary.”
That time he uked hard with Jimmy Kimmel
Gosling stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2011 and did a little duet with Kimmel himself. The actor picked up a ukulele and sang the classic “You Always Hurt The One You Love” with the comedian.
When he got way too into the holiday spirit
Gosling teamed up his love Eva Mendes and comedian Jim Carrey in December 2011 to star in Funny Or Die’s “Drunk History Christmas.” A festive spin on the Drunk History series, the actor is shown in cap and all, settling in for that long winter’s nap.
That time he and Rachel McAdams brought down the house
One of the greatest couples in on-screen, off-screen history, Gosling and his Notebook costar and then-girlfriend Rachel McAdams won the esteemed honor of Best Kiss at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. The two stars showed just how much they earned said award at the live ceremony, running across the stage for an epic smooch before they accepted the statuette.
That time he was dog's best friend
Gosling brought a special guest with him to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in 2011: his trusty dog George. The mixed breed accompanied the movie star to the program, giving a couple of wags and barks and eating pieces of apple that Gosling bit off from an apple himself.
When he took a loose interpretation of red carpet attire
Never one to take himself too seriously, Gosling took on his own dress code of seasonal jammie attire at 2011’s Cannes Film Festival. The star paired a pajama-inspired top with white pants and dress shoes while promoting his movie Drive, looking comfortable and confident as ever in the flock of black-tie attendees.
When he became his own biggest fan
Gosling was forced to confront his biggest meme in an interview with MTV in 2013. He examined a pile of “Hey Girl…” images from the illustrious Tumblr F–k Yeah! Ryan Gosling and couldn’t help but giggle with glee. After joking that he was, in fact, the author of the memes, he cracked up over a shirtless shot of himself reading, “Hey Girl, sorry my shirt fell off.”