Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are historically fiercely—and we mean fiercely—private about protecting both their marriage and the two daughters they share. But this weekend the couple has been a bit uncharacteristically gushy over one another in public—and we need more of this, please.
It all started with Gosling, actually, who spoke about Mendes on Saturday night at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Gosling was honored with the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film—becoming only the sixteenth recipient of the award—and spoke about how his career as an actor allowed him to portray various characters. Then, the kicker: “Most important, I got to meet the girl of my dreams, Eva Mendes, and have two dream children,” he said. “I dreamed of one day making movies, and now, movies have made my life a dream.” (Gosling and Mendes share nine-year-old daughter Esmeralda and seven-year-old daughter Amada.)
In receiving the Kirk Douglas Award, Gosling follows in the storied footsteps of actors like Michael Douglas (who also happens to be Kirk’s son—legendary acting chops run in the family), Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange, Harrison Ford, Jane Fonda, Martin Scorsese, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Yeoh, and John Travolta. Not a bad crowd at all, not to mention the acting legend the award is named for. Gosling is apparently still channeling his inner Ken from last summer’s Barbie, as he quipped when accepting the award that “It’s hard to imagine being at a point in my career where I’m standing up here tonight. It’s just that it’s Kirk Douglas. He’s one of the first true icons of cinema…he is completely and utterly in the class of his own, and I’m…just Ken?”
The next night, Gosling went from garnering headlines for his sweet comments about Mendes to literally going viral for his deadpan reaction to the camera at Sunday’s Critics Choice Awards. Gosling appeared to be stunned when his song from the Barbie soundtrack, “I’m Just Ken,” won best song at the ceremony, flashing a dubious look after presenters Bella Ramsey and Anthony Ramos named the song as the winner. (The look was incredibly on brand for his character.) “Gosling was seen to raise his eyebrows and look taken aback at the news,” People reports. “He then stood up and appeared to jokingly shake his head in disbelief.”
The song’s writers, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, then took the stage to accept the award. “Ryan Gosling, this is as much your award as ours,” Ronson said in his acceptance speech. “You made the audience fall in love with this song with your matchless performance, so thank you.”
Speaking of “fall in love,” Mendes took to Instagram yesterday to share a GIF of the viral moment of her longtime partner, captioning the clip (again, a bit uncharacteristically since they so rarely discuss their relationship) “I LOVE HIM!!!!” Hey, turnabout is fair play, we suppose, from Gosling’s own gush from Saturday night.
The two are so close to the vest about their relationship that, while there has been speculation for years that the couple are married—only fueled when Mendes referred to Gosling as her “husband” in 2022—they have yet to publicly confirm or deny. Though they have been a couple for nearly 13 years, they haven’t accompanied one another on a red carpet in over a decade, and Mendes explained on Instagram why the pair have opted to keep their relationship so private last April, after a fan asked if she would be joining Gosling during awards season.
“We don’t do those things together,” she replied. “Like these photos I’ve been posting, Im only comfortable posting because it’s already out there.” She added, “By ‘not comfortable,’ I mean exposing our very private life that we value. I’m still dying to do another movie with him though…” In a follow-up comment on the same post, Mendes added that she and Gosling actually did one public event together—while promoting The Place Beyond the Pines. “Oh wait -for those who may catch me in a ‘lie’ -we only were on the red carpet together once when promoting this film,” she wrote. (The Place Beyond the Pines came out in 2012.)
That said, “Despite keeping their relationship to themselves, Mendes often supports Gosling online by posting about his upcoming projects and successes,” Page Six writes. Commenting on his work is great, but commenting on their romance? Even better.