The whole world can owe Ryan Gosling’s kids a “thank you” for helping him get the role of Ken in the new Barbie movie.
The Golden Globe-winning actor has two daughters with actress Eva Mendes after they costarred in The Place Beyond the Pines in 2011. He often talked about how he found their messed up Ken in his backyard and it led him to tell the male doll’s story. “I kept finding their Ken dolls discarded, so the whole idea that nobody plays with Ken is true,” he told People.
He elaborated more on the process and his daughter’s involvement in the film to The New York Times. “Barbie landed in my house at the same time as the script, basically. What was interesting to me is that my kids don’t just brush their hair and dress them up. None of them have names that are Barbie. They all have complicated backstories, lives, relationships, hopes, dreams. It’s incredible how intricate the world is that they’ve created.”
And what they call their Kens is not exactly Ken. “One of them is named Darrell. And Darrell works at a grocery store. One of the Barbies’ names is Gym Class. And Gym Class met Darrell at the grocery store, but Gym Class, she’s focusing on herself right now.”
They also were Gossling’s biggest influences when they were filming Barbie. “When they came to set,” Gosling recalled, “they were behind the camera, like my coaches. It was pretty cool.”
Gosling and Mendes are awfully proud of their two young ones, but they keep their lives pretty private. Here’s what we know of Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling’s kids.
Esmeralda Amada Gosling (born 2014)
Esmeralda Amada Gosling is Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes’ first child. She was born on September 12, 2014.
“Ryan is madly in love with the baby,” an insider told People shortly after her birth. “[Mendes is] absolutely in heaven being a mom. She’s never been happier … She and Ryan are just in awe of this beautiful person they created. It’s a really special time for them.”
Mendes told Byrdie in 2022, “I really feel like when we’re bored — not stimulated by a phone, or an iPad, or computer or television — that’s when ideas come in. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s dangerous, and sometimes it’s enlightening. I really want it to be the summer of boredom.”
She praised her daughters’ craft skills during their young years. “Right now, they have every bug,” she said of their daughters’ interests. “They just like a lot of arts and crafts, a lot of painting. We have instruments around. They pick them up, and we can’t say they actually play anything, but you know, it’s just a playful environment, and it’s a lot of fun but who knows?”
Another fun fact about the little one is that she is bilingual. “Esmeralda mostly speaks Spanglish right now. It’s really cute. She’s definitely bilingual, and it’s really important for us to make sure that she’s not only just familiar with the language, but also with the culture,” Mendes told People. “My mom, who lives 15 minutes away, makes it easy because she speaks to the girls in Spanish and cooks them Cuban food. And we’re always listening to Cuban music. It really is a big part of our way of life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Though she lovingly shares their habits to the press or social media, she won’t post pictures of them without their consent. “My man and kids are private,” the actress said in a response to an Instagram comment, adding that she will only share photos of them that are already available online as “flashbacks.” “That’s important to me so thanks for getting that.”
“Oh gosh, it’s so fun and beautiful and maddening. It’s maddening,” she told Access Hollywood. “It’s so hard, of course. But it’s like that feeling of like, really, you end your day, you put them to bed, and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, ‘We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed, you know?’”
Amada Lee Gosling (born 2016)
Amada Lee Gosling is Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes’s second child and daughter. Gosling dedicated his Golden Globe win to his daughters, to his partner, and her brother who died of cancer while filming La La Land. “You don’t get to be up here without standing on the shoulders of a mountain of people,” he said, “and there’s just no time to thank everyone I just would like to try and thank one person properly and say that while I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer. If she hadn’t have taken all that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today. So, sweetheart, thank you. To my daughters, Amada and Esmeralda, I love you and if I may I’d like to dedicate this to the memory of her brother, Juan Carlos Mendes.”
In the middle of the COVID-19 Lockdowns in 2020, Mendes posted a video of her jamming out with her family to pass the time and Amada has a knack for instruments. “Trying to keep things light at home with my two little ones,” she captioned a video of a vinyl record. “Nothing like some old Cuban music to do the trick. And yes that’s my 3-year-old [Amada] on the piano. I think she thinks the music is coming from her. And I’m not about to correct her.”
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