Ryan Gosling in March. (Getty Images)
It's hard to pinpoint exactly when the Canadian export made the jump from Mouseketeer to Meme King, but his role in 2004's "The Notebook" (and real-life relationship with co-star Rachel McAdams) certainly propelled him on the way and, by 2008, the "F--k Yeah! Ryan Gosling" Tumblr blog, featuring photos of the actor with swoony captions beginning with the words "Hey, girl," was born. Suddenly kittens were no longer the cutest, cuddliest things on the Internet!
In celebration of the Gos's big day, which we can only assume he's spending celebrating with gal pal Eva Mendes, we present you with 11 reasons he's so gosh darn awesome. And, yes, it took an amazing amount of sweat and tears to whittle the list down to such a small number.
1. Well, let's start with this. Pardon our total superficiality, but come on. How can these abs not be celebrated? They are a true masterpiece.
2. He's in touch with his feminine side. When he landed his role in "The Mickey Mouse Club" (along with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera), he moved from Ontario to Florida with his mother, Donna, while his father stayed up north. His parents eventually divorced and he and his sister, Mandi, were raised by their mom.
"I think like a girl, I think. I was literally raised by my mother and my sister. And I feel like I wouldn't know how to think any other way," he told the British newspaper The Independent. "My sister was my best friend and my hero growing up. Because I was home-schooled, I didn't have a lot of friends and I did ballet, which was always just girls. All that stuff had an effect on my brain."
Gosling's mom deserves special thanks. (Getty Images)
3. He's a real-life superhero. Step aside, Ben Affleck! The "Lars and the Real Girl" and "Blue Valentine" star doesn't need a movie role to get him saving lives. In 2012, British journalist Laurie Penny was crossing a Manhattan street and was almost road kill until Super Gosling saved the day.
"I literally, LITERALLY just got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling. Literally. That actually just happened," she tweeted. "I was crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig. Not looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi." She didn't realize it was the actor until it was "confirmed by girl near me, who said 'you lucky b---h.'" Indeed.
4. He's an international peace negotiator. Why didn't he replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State we'll never know. In 2011, the “Drive" star was walking home from a Manhattan gym when he saw two men fighting in the street and he intervened. Was it his cut arms in his striped tank top? The way he blinked his baby blues? Either way, he helped diffuse the drama — and excite the spectators on the sidewalk who burst into a fit of giggles to see "'The Notebook' guy" breaking up the spat.
5. His dog is just as cool as he is. Does your dog have a Mohawk? Wear socks? Eat apples? Appear on late night TV? Have Eva Mendes as a dog walker? Didn't think so. George Gosling, Ryan's canine companion for the last 11 years, is as cool as he is. The dog is winning.
6. He inspires copycats. Every few months there seems to be a new "Ryan Gosling look-alike" — none of which really live up to the real deal. In the news today is Grant Hazell, a 35-year-old professional Ryan Gosling fake, who can earn hundreds a day portraying the star at hired gigs in Australia. In June it was a kid named Doug in Detroit. And don't forget about Joey Thompson and his "Guide to Looking like Ryan Gosling."
Sorry boys – you just don't compare.
7. He's like a real-life Mr. Miyagi. During an interview earlier this year, he caught a fly mid-sentence and it didn't break his train of thought. Nothing flusters this movie star — not even pesky insects.
8. He makes fun of himself. Did ya see him reading his own "Hey Girl" memes? In between his fits of laughter, he listed some of his faves, including this infamous "Golden Girls" one. We laughed with him, at him, and then laughed some more.
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9. He was a heartthrob even at 10. Sure he's found global success since becoming a hotshot movie star, but the ladies still went crazy for him back in 1991. As proof, we offer you this: The star singing and dancing at a talent show at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Cornwall, Ontario. You're welcome.
10. He's loyal. Ryan has been wearing the same pair of faded black boots for years. When he commits, he commits.
11. He has a childlike love of Disney. As he's gotten older, his love for Mickey Mouse hasn't faded. He often makes the trip to Anaheim, California, solo to go on the rides because he loves it so much. He's also brought his Eva to the theme park as well as Blake Lively and Kat Dennings. A guy with a hint of childhood wonder intact? We'll take it.
Happy birthday, Ryan!
- Arts & Entertainment
- Ryan Gosling
- Eva Mendes