Everything We Know About Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes' Private Romance

They're Barbie and Ken IRL.
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling
Photo: Getty Images,Design: Natalie Romine
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Jan 11, 2024

Ryan Gosling and his wife Eva Mendes are one of Hollywood's most notoriously private couples. The actors met shortly before they portrayed a husband-and-wife duo in the 2011 film The Place Beyond the Pines, and, well, the rest is history. Their on-screen chemistry translated to real life, and today Ryan Gosling, 43, and Eva Mendes, 49, share two daughters together.

Although you won't find this famous couple walking red carpets together, they occasionally open up about their incredible romance on social media and in rare public interviews. Considering their commitment to each other and their daughters, there's so much to love about Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling—and we're breaking down all the details about their romance here, including the truth about whether or not they're *actually* married.

  • Although it's believed that Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes met in 2011 on the set of The Place Between the Pines, the actress revealed to Oprah Magazine that they had known each other before the movie began shooting.
  • Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have two daughters, Esmeralda and Amada, born in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
  • Are Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes married? Although they've never spoken about their wedding, Eva Mendes referred to Ryan Gosling as her husband during a November 2022 interview.

In this article:

How Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Met

For years, many believed that Ryan Gosling and his wife Eva Mendes met in 2011 on the set of The Place Between the Pines, in which they portrayed a couple struggling to provide for their children. But, interestingly enough, the actress debunked this theory in a 2019 interview with Oprah Magazine. "There's such special work in The Place Beyond the Pines," she explained. "We had known each other for a while already, so to work together was really exciting."

In 2023, ten years after the release of the film that brought them together, Ryan Gosling told GQ that his experience on set made him want to have a family with Mendes. "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 explained to the outlet. "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."

He added: "I realized that this would be a life I would be really lucky to have."

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes' Relationship Timeline

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes at Toronto International Film Festival 2012
Photo: Sonia Recchia | Getty Images

2011: Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Begin Dating

After landing roles as co-stars in The Place Beyond the Pines, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes' on-screen chemistry translated to real life. Throughout the fall of 2011, they were seen holding hands at Disneyland and galavanting around Hollywood. In November, Gosling even flew to Paris to spend Thanksgiving with his rumored girlfriend. They also rang in the new year together at the Bowery Hotel in New York City.

September 2012: Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Walk the Red Carpet Together

Though they had yet to confirm their relationship status, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling kept it cool as co-stars while walking the TIFF red carpet to promote The Place Between the Pines.

But, nearly 10 years later during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Mendes opened up about how challenging that red carpet walk really was. "That's literally me going, 'I'm not in love with him. What? I'm not in love.' 'Cause we were trying to be very professional," she said.

2014: Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Reunite for Lost River

The couple teamed up again in 2014 for the film Lost River, which marked Gosling's directorial debut. Mendes had a role in the fantasy thriller, and Gosling spoke about her contributions (which included buying costumes from local thrift stores) in an interview with Sunday Style. "She hates credit and she'll even be mad that I'm giving her that credit," he said. "But she was very helpful in so many ways."

September 2014: Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling Welcome Their First Child

As their public careers skyrocketed, the couple's romance was also thriving in private. Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling's first daughter, Esmeralda, was born on September 12, 2014.

Five years later in an interview with Women's Health, Mendes said she didn't want kids until she started dating the A-list actor. "Ryan Gosling happened," she told the outlet. "I mean, falling in love with him. Then it made sense for me to have...not kids, but his kids. It was very specific to him."

December 2015: Ryan Gosling Praises Eva Mendes

During a candid conversation with Hello! in 2015, Gosling openly gushed about his feelings for Mendes: "I know that I'm with the person I'm supposed to be with." When asked about the prerequisites he looks for in women, Gosling noted, "That she's Eva Mendes. There's nothing else I'm looking for."

April 2016: Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Welcome Their Second Child

The couple's family grew once again on April 29, 2016, with the birth of their second daughter, Amada, who was named after Mendes' grandmother.

January 2017: Ryan Gosling Thanks Eva Mendes at the Golden Globes

Ryan Gosling thanking Eva Mendes at the Golden Globes
Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal | Getty Images

In 2017, Ryan Gosling won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for his portrayal of Sebastian opposite Emma Stone in La La Land. During his acceptance speech, he acknowledged the role his longtime love played in his success. "While I was singing and dancing and playing piano…my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother with his battle with cancer," he said. He went on to dedicate the award to her brother, Juan, who passed away in April 2016.

October 2020: Eva Mendes Opens Up About Life With Ryan Gosling

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eva Mendes had a cheeky response when one social media follower told her that Ryan Gosling should take her out more. "Rather be home with my man than anywhere else in the world," she said.

The following year, Gosling told GQ how he and Mendes adapted their parenting skills during lockdown. "Our kids were at a difficult age not to be able to see other kids and interact with people, even though Eva and I did our best," he explained, adding that they did more "acting" at home than they did on previous film sets. "Tougher crowd, though," he quipped.

June 2022: Eva Mendes Celebrates Ryan Gosling's Role as Ken in Barbie

When the first photos of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling on the set of Barbie arrived in the summer of 2022, the internet nearly broke. Eva Mendes celebrated her love's success by sharing a photo of him in character on Instagram, writing, "So. F. Funny. So. F. Good. So F excited for you to see this…#Thatsmyken."

November 2022: Eva Mendes Calls Ryan Gosling Her "Husband"

Are Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes married? The closest thing we ever got to an official confirmation came in November 2022, when Mendes dropped the h-word during an appearance on Channel Nine's Today. "Everyone is so welcoming here and my husband Ryan is here, and we are having the best time," she said.

That same month, she also addressed her "de Gosling" tattoo, which sent fans into a frenzy when she shared a photo of the ink on Instagram. (In Hispanic culture, "de" often unites the woman's last name with her husband's after marriage. In this context, the tattoo seemingly could be referenced as Mrs. Gosling.) "I got it years ago, but I posted a picture and I've gotten a lot of funny questions," Mendes said on The Kyle and Jackie O Show, adding that she prefers to keep her relationship status "mysterious."

April 2023: Eva Mendes Shares Why She Doesn't Walk Red Carpets with Ryan Gosling

Ahead of the highly-anticipated release of Barbie, fans were hoping that Ryan Gosling and his wife would walk a few red carpets together. But when a follower left a comment about the matter on Mendes' Instagram page, she confirmed that it won't happen any time soon. "We don't do those things together," Mendes wrote in response. She added that she's "not comfortable" sharing her "very private life" online. But, she said, "I'm still dying to do another movie with him though…♥️." So, who knows—perhaps we'll get to see this power duo on our screens once again!

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes' Wedding

Did Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes ever have a wedding? The answer is unclear. Although she refers to Gosling as her "husband" and has a tattoo that seemingly confirms their marital status, the couple has never publicly confirmed if a wedding took place.

How Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling Handle Life in the Spotlight

If you've ever wondered why Ryan Gosling and his wife Eva Mendes are so private, the actress shed light on their decision in a 2019 interview with Oprah Magazine—and it all comes down to their children. "We just want to make sure our kids are protected and have somewhat of a normal kid experience," she said. "So, keeping them out of the public as much as possible, just feels right and normal to us."

When asked if their daughters have any sense of their parents' stardom, Mendes said, "They are not aware. We are definitely just mom and dad to them, and we're trying to keep it that way as long as possible. They haven't shown any interest in that, so we haven't really had that conversation yet. It's not like we have our own movies playing or anything like that! We are just mom and dad, so we are having fun just being that to them."

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