Ryan Gosling Reveals the Moment He Knew He Wanted Kids With Eva Mendes

The actor gives a rare and heartfelt look at his personal life in a new magazine feature for 'GQ.'

Ryan Gosling is giving a rare and heartfelt look into his personal life. In a new cover story for GQ's Global Summer issue, the Barbie actor opens up about his relationship with Eva Mendes, their journey into parenthood, and how it's impacted his career. 

In the magazine, on newsstands June 13, Gosling says that his fortuitous role opposite Mendes in 2012's The Place Beyond the Pines is what made him want to have kids -- and with her, specifically. 

"I wasn’t thinking about kids before I met her, but after I met Eva, I realized that I just didn’t want to have kids without her," he shares. "And there were moments on The Place Beyond the Pines where we were pretending to be a family, and I didn’t really want it to be pretend anymore. I realized that this would be a life I would be really lucky to have."

The couple welcomed their first child together, daughter Esmeralda, in 2014. They had a second daughter, Amada, in 2016. 

As Gosling became a father, his career also began to shift. The now-42-year-old star began moving away from independent film and more toward big-budget studio fare like La La Land and Blade Runner 2049. But after Amada's birth, he stepped away from the spotlight entirely for several years.

"I wanted to spend as much time as I could with them," he said of his growing family. 

Today, the GQ writer notes, Gosling aims to shoot just one movie per year, as he brings his family along on location. He and Mendes do not have a nanny and prefer to spend most of their time at home. 

"I would never want to go back, you know?" Gosling says of his life before children. "I’m glad I didn’t have control over my destiny in that way, because it was so much better than I ever had dreamed for myself."

When it comes to parenting, Gosling praises Mendes as the one to help steer the ship whenever he's unsure about what to do. 

"I just lean on Eva," he says. "She knows what's important, always. She just somehow knows. So if ever I'm in my head about it, I just ask her." 

Gregory Harris/GQ

Gosling returned to the screen in last year's The Gray Man. Now, he's slipping into Ken's denim as the other-half to Margot Robbie's titular Barbie in Greta Gerwig's upcoming film. 

"I treat it more like work now, and not like it’s, you know, therapy," he says of the roles he's taken since becoming a dad. "It's a job, and I think in a way that allows me to be better at it because there’s less interference."

Meanwhile, his daughters undoubtedly had a hand -- albeit, unknowingly -- in Gosling's decision to star in Barbie.

"I kind of respond to scripts, I guess, or characters, where there's that kind of dynamic. I recognize it," he says of the film, noting that he appreciated the chance to work with a group of women on a project that puts female characters at the forefront. 

Gosling also reiterates a story he's shared previously about seeing a forsaken Ken doll in his own backyard. 

"I did see him, like, face down in the mud outside one day, next to a squished lemon," the actor says, "and it was like, This guy’s story does need to be told, you know?" 

Gregory Harris/GQ

The project is putting Gosling in touch with his own childhood, as well, having grown up loving flashy blockbuster films. 

"That’s why I loved movies. It’s those films that made me want to do this. Like, obviously I learned more about film, and I feel very lucky to have gotten to make the movies that I’ve made. But it’s cool to be in a phase of my life where I’m getting to make the kinds of things that inspired me to make film in general," he shares, noting that the kid-version of himself "would like Barbie more than The Believer, you know?"

"I really had to go back and touch base with that little dude," he muses, "and say thank you, and ask for his help."

For what it's worth, Mendes appears to be a big fan of his latest project. The 49-year-old actress recently shared a photo of herself rocking a T-shirt emblazoned with an image of Gosling in character as Ken.

"Got that real big Kenergy," Mendes wrote in a cheeky Instagram caption. "Coz girls is players too."

Gosling is also diving into new territory with Barbie, lending his voice to an original song on the film's soundtrack. 

In a newly-released trailer for the film, Ken tags along as Barbie embarks on a quest to discover life's truth in the "Real World." 

The star-studded cast also includes America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Emerald Fennell, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Hari Nef, Ariana Greenblatt, Sharon Rooney, Scott Evans, Rhea Pearlman, Will Ferrell, and more.

Barbie hits theaters on July 21.