Skip Nav

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes's Kids

Ryan Gosling Explains Why His Kids Weren't Impressed With His Ken Role in "Barbie"

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 07: Actors (L-R) Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling attend

Ryan Gosling has a lot of praise for his partner, Eva Mendes, and how great she is with their two daughters. "They have the greatest mum of all time," Gosling told E! News in a 10 July interview. "So we just all follow her lead really," he explained. The longtime couple share two daughters, Esmeralda and Amada.

And yes, Gosling's daughters are big Barbie fans. "We do play Barbies," said Gosling, who portrays Ken in the new "Barbie" film. "It was amazing because when this script arrived into my life — when it landed from wherever it came from — it was right at this time when my kids were really deep into it. So all of the observations that they make about Barbie life. . . it's so incredible."

Gosling expanded on this in an interview with The New York Times published on 13 July, adding that despite his kids' love for Barbie, they weren't so impressed with his role as Ken because the doll is ultimately a "nonpresence in their world."

"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," Gosling explained to NYT. "They all have complicated backstories, lives, relationships, hopes, dreams. It's incredible how intricate the world is that they've created."

That's why his daughters wondered "Why Ken?" when they learned about his role. "They don't even call him Ken," Gosling added. "One of them is named Darrell. And Darrell works at a grocery store," Gosling said. Barbie's name, on the other hand, is "Gym Class." Gosling continued, "Gym Class met Darrell at the grocery store, but Gym Class, she's focusing on herself right now."

Gosling and Mendes are pretty dedicated to keeping their private lives out of the spotlight, but they have shared small tidbits about their views on parenthood through the years, admitting at some point that neither of them was set on having children until beginning their romance.

In his 2023 GQ cover story, published on May 31, Gosling spoke candidly about what (or who) convinced him to want to become a father. "When you asked me about Eva and kids, I think I said, I didn't think about kids until she told me she was pregnant," he said of Mendes. "That's not really true. I didn't want to overshare, but now I also don't want to misrepresent. I mean, it's true that I wasn't thinking about kids before I met her, but after I met Eva, I realised that I just didn't want to have kids without her."

Gosling also said there were some moments on the set of 2012's "The Place Beyond the Pines" — where the pair first met — in which he and Mendes "were pretending to be a family, and I didn't really want it to be pretend anymore." He added, "I realised that this would be a life I would be really lucky to have."

Mendes made similar statements back in 2019 in her Women's Health cover story, noting that she wasn't necessarily set on having children either — until "Ryan Gosling happened" (fair enough).

The couple have shared other windows into their lives as parents, too. In 2018, Gosling told Jimmy Kimmel that his kids won't let him watch anything other than shows with talking animals. Then, in an interview with British GQ published on 1 Jan., 2022, Gosling opened up again about his family, saying, that time is "something I think about a lot now" and that his "kids are growing up so fast I need to keep an eye on the clock in a way I never used to."

He also offered some details about his and Mendes's efforts to keep their kids entertained during quarantine, saying, "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." The actor also added that he and Mendes did "more acting in quarantine than in our films. Tougher crowd, though."

Gosling and Mendes were first linked in September 2011 after they were spotted enjoying a magical date at Disneyland. Since crossing paths on their film together, the two have stayed together, welcoming their daughters and sparking marriage rumours along the way.

Read ahead for everything we know about their kids.

Esmeralda Amada Gosling

Born on 12 Sept., 2014, Esmeralda is Gosling and Mendes's oldest child. While Gosling was filming 2018's "First Man," both Esmeralda and her little sister visited the set, and later, Esmeralda made a hilarious comment about her dad's profession. "I think they think I'm an astronaut. My oldest said the other day — she pointed to the moon and was like, 'That's where you work, right?'"

Amada Lee Gosling

Less than two years after having Esmeralda, the couple welcomed their second daughter, Amada, on 29 April, 2016. After her birth, Mendes told E! News of going from having one baby to two: "It's not that different because this little Amada — Amadita — is an angel. She's such an angel that it hasn't changed that much yet, but I feel like in a few months once she really starts having a voice . . . I think it'll be a little bit louder."

Because the girls are so close in age, which meant having two toddlers simultaneously, in 2019 Mendes told POPSUGAR, "It's so hard to get two little ones to leave the house. The struggle of the car seat and strollers is real; it's the thing I find the most challenging at this point. I wonder if other mothers know what I'm talking about. You can't just throw your kids in the car; you have to pack a bag, snacks, a 'just in case' diaper . . . "

Balancing Hollywood careers with two kids wasn't easy for Mendes and Gosling either. In fact, it's part of the reason why the latter stepped away from the spotlight for a few years. "I wanted to spend as much time as I could with them," Gosling told GQ, adding that he "would never want to go back" to life before kids. "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."

Additional reporting by Njera Perkins

Image Source: Getty / Sonia Recchia
Latest parenting