True Story: I Met Ryan Gosling Twice
This piece was originally published at xoJane. Yes, Amelia is very, very, very jealous.
The first time we met, I had no clue who the short, skinny white guy with the scruffy looking beard was.
It was 2005 and me and two of my besties from high school were catching up at the Golden Gopher, a what’s-that-smell? dive bar in downtown LA with OG video games for tables and no food.
We’d just ordered a pizza from to be delivery right to our Pac Man table when the aforementioned random white boy rolled up.
“Hey girls.” Not used to being hit on downtown (this was waaay before it got cool), I figured he was probably a homeless teenager, but my friends were awestruck.
“Do you mind if I borrow this?” he said with his hand already gripping the back of a chair. Still staring my friends issued some breathless assurances while I, ever the asshole, said something like, “For how much?”
He laughed and swung the chair over to his own table/videogame.
“Do you know who that was?”
“That was someone?” I mocked. I mean, we’re from LA; we don’t get excited about “people.”
“Ryan Gosling? The actor? From ‘The Notebook’? Hello?”
Apparently, the whole romance-and-Alzheimers craze totally passed me by. I’d moved cities, gone to grad school, gone broke and moved again. No, I had no clue who Ryan Gosling was.
To his credit, when I told him that story a few years later he laughed, sincerely. I couldn’t remember the name of the bar at all. Some place that smelled and had Ms. Pac-man? “The Golden Gopher,” Gosling remembered with a smile, almost as if he remembered me, too. He didn’t, though.
Back when I was a political reporter (I know) I interviewed Gosling for a story on “actorvists” (I know), celebrities who gave a damn about stuff besides their own navels. He was in Washington lending some shine to the issue of genocide and child soldiering in Uganda. And he actually knew his shit.
He was over six-feet tall, slim like a dancer, poured into a pair of jeans and sneakily smart. Out on the street, he probably wouldn’t get more than a passing “He could get it,” but in that conference room Ryan Gosling was everything, ya’ll.
The best part of that night though was when he 1) held a glass door open for me (and, okay fine, a bunch of other people who no longer existed to me) with his elbow and a wink and 2) when after spotting me in a room upstairs, Gosling looked me straight in the eye and seriously said, “Hey you.” Ryan Gosling looked me in the eyes and said “Hey you.” I just thought that needed repeating.
So, yeah, I’m a fan.
And so are a lot of people. The man’s got talent on the big screen, sure, but there’s something else about this Canuck that folks just can’t get enough of. From the “feminist Ryan Gosling” meme that went from a funny Tumblr to a book you can buy at Urban Outfitters to a newly released “contemporary colouring book.”
When I heard about the “Colour Me Good” Gosling edition, my first reaction was something like or exactly like, “Can I colour him black?” Because wouldn’t that be kind of awesome? Totally unnecessary and possibly low key racist, but kinda awesome nonetheless. Ryan Gosling for the win.
I know not everyone can say the Gos straight eyeball-fucked them during a serious journalistic interview about Africa, but everyone (yes, I mean everyone) can say they’ve had a Gosling moment. That moment when you realize this 30-something-year-old who could pass for a homeless teenager is somehow sexier than John Travolta in “Grease” dipped in fudge and hog-tied with manly rainbows.
Am I right?
Helena Andrews is an author and screenwriter based in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Marie Claire and a bunch of other places. Helena’s memoir-in-essays, Bitch is the New Black, was published by HarperCollins in June 2010 and is now available in paperback. Creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” Shonda Rhimes optioned the book for the big screen through Fox Searchlight Pictures.