Ryan Gosling has no idea how “Hey, Girl” even began.
The popular meme features a photo of Gosling and the phrase: “Hey, Girl” followed by any number of random sentiments that can range from “…To thine own self be true” to “…I always use a bookmark, I would never dog-ear your pages, girl.” It’s just one of many Internet sensations that focus on Gosling, despite, as he points out, “I’ve never said that.”
There’s also the 2013 Vine video entitled “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal,” in which user Ryan McHenry holds a spoon to the TV as clips of Gosling turning away play, making it look like he’s rejecting his breakfast. “That was strange,” he admits. “Just walking down the street, people would say, ‘Why won’t you eat your cereal? Are you too good for cereal?’” When McHenry passed away from cancer in May 2015, Gosling paid tribute by posting a Vine of him finally eating his cereal.
There are also several videos of a young Gosling, before his debut at age 12 on “The All New Mickey Mouse Club,” singing and dancing at various talent shows. “It’s a big surprise when they show up on the web,” he admits. Asked if he’s upset by them being posted, he pauses and says, “I’m confused — by how confident I was. That level of confidence was unearned.”
Even his “LaLa Land” costar Emma Stone is stumped. “I don’t even understand,” she says to him. “I mean, you’re great but why have you become this — why? Do you at least get paychecks on your coloring book?” (He does not, nor does he get a piece of the “Hey, Girl” book.)
Asked to elaborate on his feelings, Gosling muses, “Do you remember when Fabio got hit in the face with a pigeon on the roller coaster and it broke his nose. Sometimes I feel like I’m the pigeon and the internet is Fabio’s face.” Gosling pauses. “Actually, I don’t know if I’m the pigeon or I’m Fabio’s face. Depends on the day, I guess.”
Still, Gosling seems to have a sense of humor about the strangeness of it all. He even signed up for a Twitter account a couple years back, though that was largely to stop an imposter. “I got a Twitter because some guy was pretending to be me. Someone told me, ‘I follow you on Twitter, you’re tweeting all the time!’ And that day that person had tweeted: ‘Just had a taco downtown. Gotta love those Mexicans.’ I was like, ‘All right, this has got to stop.’”
Gosling started the process to get verified on Twitter and announced himself to the Twitterverse. “Immediately, I started getting angry tweets saying: ‘You’re a bad you. The other guy was a better you.’”