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Ryan Gosling: This is how I hustled

Published 10/04/2015

Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling "didn't really have friends" when he was growing up.

The Notebook actor grew up in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, and couldn't read until he was ten years old. Ryan, who was diagnosed with ADHD, feared he'd be stuck working in a dead end job, but after discovering a knack for performing, he became a member of Disney's Mickey Mouse Club and started on his path to stardom.

"I had my hustle. It was whatever I could do to not end up working in a factory. If I had to shake it like a showgirl, I was going to do it," he admitted to British newspaper The Guardian.

Ryan featured alongside fellow stars-in-the-making Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Joining the programme meant he finally made friends, something he had struggled to do back in Cornwall.

"I didn’t really have friends back then," he admitted. "It was a tight little family unit. We rolled with each other.”

His childhood experiences are what influenced his first foray into directing, Lost River. The picture was slated by critics when it had its first screening in Cannes last year, but Ryan is proud of his directorial debut.

"I know people are surprised I’ve made it,” he said. “But it’s the movie I wanted to make. The environment in Detroit [where the film is set] can be threatening and ominous, and it reminded me of a feeling I had when I was a kid. Because my mother wasn’t just a single mother, she was also very beautiful. And men were like wolves. Just walking down the street with her was scary. There was a predatory vibe."

Ryan's parents divorced when he was 13. As the man in the house he desperately wanted to do what he could to look after his mother but was mostly terrified by the scenarios they found themselves in.

"Guys would whistle, or they’d circle in their cars ...” he recalled. "You want to protect your family, but you feel weak and helpless. And it ignites your imagination, because you start to picture scenarios in which you could defend her.”

© Cover Media

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