The “Barbie” star knows what it takes to succeed and it starts at home.

Ryan Gosling, 43, and Eva Mendes, 49, may not have made a public appearance together since 2012, but don’t let that fool you.

The couple who share daughters Esmeralda Amada, 9, and Amada Lee, 7, are going stronger than ever—and their secret to a balanced relationship is…Ryan’s busy work schedule?

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Met Over 13 Years Ago

Ryan Gosling is best known for his performances in romances like The Notebook and Crazy, Stupid, Love—but little did the actor know his most life changing role would be for his lesser known filmThe Place Beyond the Pines.

His performance may not have earned him flashy any awards but what he took home was so much better.

During the shooting of the 2012 Crime-Thriller, Ryan worked alongside the woman who would become his partner for life—Eva Mendes.

Though Eva insists this isn’t your typical Hollywood love story!

Most assumed the two met on set of The Place Beyond The Pines, but Eva posted a clip of their on-screen meet cute with this cryptic caption:

“Magic is Real. We did not meet on set. The magic started way before but here’s a little magic captured on camera.”

Still, 2011 was a big year for Gosling and Mendes. They started off the year as co-stars and ended up tying the knot in a secret wedding ceremony!

They Kept Their Marriage Under Wraps—Over A Decade Later It Paid Off

The exact date they exchanged “I do’s” is unclear the public wasn’t even sure if Gosling and Mendes were even married at all. But during a 2022 interview, Eva set the record straight. The Hitch actress spilled she and Ryan had instant chemistry—and a short engagement!

While the couple themselves weren’t entirely sure if they were legally married—they confirmed the ceremony and sentiment was exactly the same.

Other than Eva’s sweet instagram tributes to her husband, very little is known about their relationship.

Both stars are A-Listers in their own right so the couple prefers to keep their private life private. Something we can all respect.

Still, Gosling—who’s the more “public figure” of the two—has never shied away from sharing the spotlight with his woman, even if she’s not beside him to bask in it.

Recently, Ryan attended the Santa Barbara International Film Festival where he received the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film.

While accepting an award for his latest film, Gosling took the opportunity to gush about Mendes, calling her his “dream girl.”

 “Most importantly, I got to meet the girl of my dreams, Eva Mendes, and have two dream children.”

He continued: “I dreamed of making movies and now movies have made my life a dream,” before concluding with: “No way I have contributed half as much to cinema as cinema has given to me.”

She’s Eva! He’s Just Ken

His latest role as Ken in Barbie (2023) may not be his most challenging, but it’s definitely been the most pressing…so to speak.

For A-List actors, the job isn’t done when the lights go down and the set gets packed up.

A big part of the job are press circuits, in hopes of marketing the film to audiences…and with Barbie’s 150M dollar marketing budget? The real job was off-camera.

But even though Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have a pact to not bring their home life to work (the couple haven’t made a public appearance since 2012) Gosling did the next best thing. He found the perfect way to have a piece of Eva with him on the red carpet.

In a sweet tribute to his wife, Gosling sported an “E” necklace during the Barbie premiere. The media was quick to connect the dots—and they couldn’t get enough!

Even though it may seem like a dream come true to exchange jokes with Jimmy Fallon all night—like any job, what’s shiny in the beginning can dull overtime.

All that traveling can be exhausting, especially if like Ryan, you’re the kind of person whose idea of a great night is being at home with your wife and kids instead of at a party.

So when Gosling accepted the Kirk Douglas Award at SBFF he was sure to make a toast to his “dream girl” and thank her for giving him his “dream life.”

Ahead of his award, the Film Festival Executive applauded Gosling as a true talent, commending him for being “both a dramatic and comedic force in front of the camera.”

But none of that would be possible without Eva.

Thanking His Wife, First

Ryan Gosling is one A-Lister the critics and the audiences can’t get enough of, but his busy work schedule is only possible because of the woman behind him—and he never forgets it.

When Gosling won the Golden Globe Award for his performance in La La Land (2017), he opened his acceptance speech with a witty one-liner: “this isn’t the first time I’ve been mistaken for Ryan Reynolds”, he quipped, making the audience laugh.

But with only so much time to say his speech, it didn’t take long for the Notebook actor to get real.

“You don’t get to be up here without standing on the shoulders of a mountain of people. There’s just no time to thank everyone, but I just want to try thank one person properly.” Gosling said.

“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 [Eva] was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer. If she hadn’t taken all that on so I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today.”

Ryan Gosling, Golden Globe Acceptance Speech (2017)

He ended his speech by looking into the camera sincerely and delivery a sweet closing sentiment.

“Sweetheart, thank you. To my daughters, Amada and Esmeralda, I love you. And if I may I’d like to dedicate this [award] to the memory of her brother Juan Carlos Mendez.”

True to character, his words weren’t just romantic…they were powerful too.

You Can Watch Ryan’s Full Speech Below:

Appreciating the Loved Ones We Have and the Life We Got

Sure, being a celebrity seems great (and it probably is).

Still, going away for months at a time to shoot in remote locations for long hours on different time schedules may not be the easiest thing for a relationship.

(Yes, the fat paycheck makes it easier).

But family man Ryan Gosling reminds us that sometimes the experiences that could tear us apart are the same experiences that can bring us together and make us closer than ever.

The more opportunities we have to show up for our loved ones, the truer and stronger our love becomes. Through thick and thing, good and bad, richer or poorer—all these messy human experiences build and strengthen the foundation of our relationships.

So, let’s all tip our hats to the fantastic Ryan Reynolds (kidding)!

Read more: Ryan Gosling’s Secret to Success? It’s Simple, Sharing the Spotlight With the Girl of His Dreams