Ryan Gosling, everyone’s favorite cuddly bundle of sunbeam kittens, was the subject of this month’s Esquire cover story, and as always, there’s plenty to learn about the one we call Baby Goose. He’s so complex but pleasant, getting to know Baby Goose is like peeling an onion, only inside every layer there’s a cadbury cream egg. Actually, maybe he’s more like an Advent calendar — plenty of compartments, but inside each one, PURE SWEETNESS!
To the quotes!
Ryan Gosling reveals: His apartment is full of skeletons. “I give them nervous systems made from Christmas lights.” He pulls out his phone, thumbs his way through his photos, and says, “Look.” It is the second floor of his apartment, and there is a skeleton, bone white and incandescent, standing, or hanging somehow in the window. “I made the table, too,” Gosling says. “From a church door.”
Hey, girl, even the dead deserve Christmas presents. Here, I made you a personalized hymn book. On the last page, there’s one I wrote for you.
Know this much about Ryan Gosling: Man loves candy. He speaks of it the way rich men discuss wine; he picks it from the shelves like he’s working piano keys. He knows where it lives on the racks — low or high, above what display, betwixt whatever chocolates squat there. (Gosling has no use for chocolate.) Five stops at bodegas, and one at this 7-Eleven, and in each case Ryan Gosling sniffs out the florid Japanese gelatin as if he lived on the block, as if he shopped there every damned day. Its very presence seems to comfort him. “This is the stuff,” he says, in aisle two of four. Then he piles them on the countertop. Kazoozles atop Nerds Ropes, twin packs of Hi-Chews, green apple and grape. He also feels strongly about Haribos, especially the multiflavored bag. “I like to call this the next level of candy,” he says. “Hi-Chews! Look at these! It’s the candy that never quits on you. This candy is always worth the price. There used to be a candy called Bonkers, which I believe to be the greatest candy of all time.” He pours coffee for both of us, with as much sugar as he can get in, and turns to the register before he continues. “For some reason, they discontinued Bonkers. These are good, you’ll see,” he says, holding up the Hi-Chews. Then he hands me my coffee and says with a smile, “Sugar till you die.”
My God, he’s like Will Ferrell in Elf. Not an Earthling, but a visitor from the land of whimsy, a blinding ray of pure innocence.
Finally, Gosling jumps off the chair into the sand, jogs to the water, picks his way out to the end of a jetty, and appears to take a leak. He faces the huge, boatless expanse with his hands on his hips, so that from behind he might just be some guy regarding the ocean as if the whole thing were his.
“I failed,” he says. “Too much pressure, even though nobody’s watching. I gotta find a john.” He zips up and turns his back on the sea.
Haha, I can’t pee in the sea, girl. That’s where fish build their houses!
He knows cars, having himself rebuilt the car he commanded in Drive while working at a garage in Hollywood. “It took forever,” Gosling says. “This guy Pedro would sit there and tell me what to do, but he wouldn’t touch the car. He just barked orders, and I followed them. But when we get to the transmission, he replaced the whole thing without telling me. I was angry, upset. I got all teared up. And Pedro said, ‘I just put that transmission up in there because I had to get some real jobs in here.’ I respected that, but I told him, ‘I have one chance in my life to take the time to learn this.’ “
Never be afraid to cry, girl. You can’t have spring time without the rains.
“If you could create a theme park, what would your theme be?” He quarter-turns his head and waits for an answer.
It’s hard to accept that he’s really asking, that he isn’t just finding a way to turn the Q&A tables by making an excuse to unveil his own idea. He means it. He wants the answer. The notion dawns that Gosling is a seeker. He doesn’t give a sh*t what seems naive.
Hey, girl, the theme of my theme park would be hugs. And on the way in, everyone gets a puppy! We could do double dutch with the neighborhood kids while eating cotton candy… We’d make up rhymes, and all of them would end in “best friends forever.”
“I went through puberty in a theme park,” he says. He means Disney World, his stint as a Mouseketeer. “I’m grateful. That place was a landscape to me. I had adventures every day.”
Gosling eats Kazoozles. He swears by them some more, then says, “My theme park would be a theme park about living in a theme park.” [Esquire]
Haha, get it, girl? I was just being meta. But the point is, life is an adventure!