An unwritten rule for most Canadians is pointing out x celebrity is Canadian at any given opportunity. This rule sadly applies even if the celebrity in question is very publicly Canadian like Drake or Rachel McAdams. While it's becoming increasingly cooler to be Canadian (especially because it's getting cooler to not be American) this embarrassing behaviour will likely never go away. I myself am not above it. On a trip to New York I found myself saying, "Did you know they are Canadian?" multiple times without even realizing what I was doing—it's a hardwired behaviour. It's even worse when you consider how Canada as a whole directs the majority of their thirst for a celebrity who really doesn't give a shit, Ryan Gosling.
Any Canadian millennial has known Gosling way before he made it to the American mainstream. Before The Notebook he famously began his career on the Mickey Mouse Club alongside Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. But Canadians really know Gosling from Saturday afternoons watching YTV and catching Breaker High, a show about a bunch of American kids (played mostly by Canadians) on a cruise ship high school. Gosling played Sean Hanlon, truly the farthest thing from the heartthrob he is today and apparently when he first adopted his Brooklyn accent. We knew him before he was really anything, when he was just a skinny kid from Ontario meaning, we OWN HIM.
Canada thirsts for Gosling like no other star right now, not even the other Ryan (Reynolds). Canada's Walk of Fame (note to Americans, it's real) currently doesn't have a star for Gosling maybe because he doesn't give a shit. But I bet you anything if they could swing it, they would replace Glenn Gould so that Gosling's name could rest right beside Robert Goulet's. During this past award season, Canadian entertainment media was especially Gosling heavy, hoping perhaps our brightest star would win an Oscar and finally make us legit and (in our wildest dreams) shout out the Great White North.
Any time he's interviewed by Canadian press, they somehow find a way to bring it back to Canada even if it has nothing to do with us. In a recent interview with CBC while promoting La La Land, the interviewer asked him "You're from Canada, how does that perspective inform the way that you live this life?" What life? What is she even asking? What does being wildly successful have anything to do with him being Canadian? Graciously, Gosling responded in the best way he could to such a nonsensical question. Saying "uh" approximately 15 times, Gosling explained being from Canada helped him remember there's a world outside of Hollywood or something.
The thing is, Gosling doesn't actively or publicly hate Canada or Canadians. He just isn't all Drake about it. As far as A-list celebrities go, he's super private (nobody knows what his two children look like) meaning the most visibly Canadian he's been is dating Rachel McAdams and being photographed visiting his family in Ontario. He's never commented on Canadian elections, but interestingly enough has participated in American voting PSAs and even endorsed Hillary Clinton—and he's not even an American citizen. But while he's made no allusions to being ashamed of Canada—he certainly doesn't reciprocate the embarrassing thirst Canadian media seems to have for him.
You know who thirsts back? Ryan Reynolds. He reciprocates, he LOVES us. He's always in Vancouver doing shit, and yeah maybe it's because he's arguably the lesser Ryan but he still cares! It's a nice little relationship we have with Reynolds, even though his movies other than Deadpool have consistently flopped ( The Green Lantern, RIPD, and Self/Less are just a few) we still believe in him for some reason, and in return he loves us back.
Canada needs to start treating Gosling more like a high school crush. We need to start taking advice from teen magazines on how to win your crush over. According to a 2011 Seventeen Magazine guide the key is to flirt a bit, but not TOO much and then get him to walk us home somehow (??). It's not an exact science but we'll figure it out. Until then, we should all agree to stop reminding him he's Canadian at any chance we get.
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