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Ryan Gosling admits he’s a mummy’s boy

Home-schooled Ryan Gosling reveals being raised by women has its strengths. The Notebook star opens up about his unconventional upbringing.
Ryan Gosling

He’s been melting women’s hearts since 2004 when he starred as lovelorn Noah in romantic movie The Notebook. Now Ryan Gosling has revealed the reason that he thinks he’s able to bring such sensitivity to many of his leading-man roles. It’s all down to his childhood.

“I grew up with two incredible women – my mother and my sister – and naturally my way of looking at the world was shaped by a female perspective,” says Ryan (34), whose parents split up when he was a child. “I’m sure it made me very protective and caring with women, and I’ve always enjoyed their company and that kind of emotional openness. That’s also the kind of fundamental quality you need to bring to your work as an actor.”

The actor with two of his favourite ladies, his big sister Mandi and mum Donna.

Ryan was home-schooled by his mother Donna after he was bullied for being a child actor – he appeared in the kids’ TV show The Mickey Mouse Club from the age of 12 – and he says spending so much time in her company had a profound effect.

“I think like a girl,” says the Canadian-born star of Drive. “I was raised by mother and my sister. I feel like I wouldn’t know how to think any other way. My sister Mandi was my best friend and hero growing up. Because I was home-schooled, I did not have a lot of friends and I did ballet, which was always just girls. All of that had an effect on my brain.”

Ryan also admits that his mum was part of the inspiration behind Lost River, the movie he has just written, directed and produced, which stars Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks as a single mother struggling to make ends meet.

“When you’re a kid and have a single mom, all men feel like wolves,” he recalls. “It was very predatory and threatening. As a kid, I felt helpless, so you start to imagine all these [scenarios] where you can do something. You see the world through the filter of your imagination.”

Ryan is glad to have wife Eva Mendes by his side.

There are now two more special girls in his life – his partner, actress Eva Mendes, and their six-month-old daughter Esmeralda. Ryan is thrilled to be a dad and is said to be infatuated with his baby girl. “Ryan sings to the baby,” says a family friend. “He loves her. Sometimes he’ll make up his own songs and include her name in them. It’s sweet.”

“It’s really nice [to be a dad],” says Ryan. “I’ve thought a long time about starting a family. I am a romantic and I’m lucky to have the right woman at my side.”

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