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- January 23, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 3
Ryan Gosling: World's Hottest Boyfriend
He Loves Candy, Disneyland and Cemetery Strolls. How He's Romancing Actress Eva Mendes, and What Makes the Sexy Stars Click
These days, though, Gosling only has eyes for Mendes, 37, whom he met last summer on the set of their upcoming drama The Place Beyond the Pines. "Ryan loves that Eva isn't prissy," says the close source. "She's like a dude. Guys die over her." In a clear sign of how seriously things have progressed between the pair, Gosling recently opted to ring in the New Year with Mendes and his other leading lady, mom Donna, with all three catching a movie together. Both stars were raised by single moms and, just like Mendes, Ryan is "very close to his mom," says the source. "It's important that his girlfriends get along with her."
Not only has Mendes passed the critical "mom test" but she's also game to share some of her boyfriend's more eccentric interests. In November Gosling flew to Paris to join Mendes, who was working on the indie film Holly Motors, and the pair turned the city's cemeteries and catacombs into a lover's paradise. "She is incredibly beautiful and obviously likes him," says an observer who saw them at the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery. "They laugh together and share some weird fascination for the macabre. It's a good fit." But it's not all gravestones and grand gestures-like the single rose Gosling bought Mendes at the Eiffel Tower. Gosling and Mendes first bonded over beer and bowling last August on the Schenectady, N.Y., set of Pines. "You could tell they were smitten," says Blaise Lawyer, a manager at Boulevard Bowl in Schenectady. When Mendes scored a series of strikes, "Ryan high-fived her," he says. "They were flirting."
Intensely curious and surprisingly sentimental, Gosling-who has dated Sandra Bullock, Rachel McAdams and Blake Lively (see box)-"likes interesting girls," says his friend. Mendes, who was born in Miami and raised in the L.A. suburbs, broke out in 2001's Training Day and flaunted her curves in seductive Calvin Klein ads. She ended a nine-year relationship with music producer George Augusto in '11 and stepped out briefly with Jason Sudeikis before falling for Gosling. "She's ambitious," says public-relations manager Steve Valentine, for whom Mendes worked as an assistant in the early '90s. "Whatever she wants, she goes after it and gets it."
While Mendes was desk-side, Gosling was cracking one-liners on The Mickey Mouse Club alongside future stars Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. "He wasn't one of the cool kids," says a source who knew him then. "All the girls ignored him because he was a dweeb."
He's come a long way since then, evolving into a formidable actor who scored his first Oscar nod at age 26. (He has two Golden Globe noms this year, for Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Ides of March.) Still, he proudly maintains his inner child. "Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult," he told Esquire, "is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever you want."
Currently at work in L.A. on the action film Only God Forgives, eventually, Gosling has said, he'd like to add doting dad to his repertoire. "I'll make movies until I make babies," he told Britain's The Times in September. (Mendes herself has expressed ambivalence about having kids.) For now, though, he seems content to enjoy his role as Eva's boyfriend. "She's very independent, and Ryan is too," says the friend. "Things are going really well."
- Aili Nahas/Los Angeles,
- Jennifer Garcia/Los Angeles,
- Sara Hammel/Los Angeles,
- Peter Mikelbank/Paris,
- K.C. Baker/New York,
- Alicia Dennis/Austin.
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