Tragic Details About Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling is known for charming audiences across the globe with his on-screen performances, finding tremendous success in Hollywood. He has a penchant for dazzling viewers with his versatility as an actor in movies such as "The Notebook," "Blade Runner," "The Big Short," and "The Believer." Yet while Gosling often comes across in real life as sunny and light-hearted, fans would be shocked to learn of his tragic upbringing while growing up in Ontario, Canada.

From the tumultuous family drama he endured throughout his childhood to the torment he faced at school, the former "Mickey Mouse Club" actor couldn't wait for the day that he could finally leave his hometown for good. In fact, his life back at home could get so difficult for Gosling that he would do just about anything to escape reality. One of the best ways to do that, he later found, was through acting.

"I feel more often than not that what drives you to become an actor is an instinct to disappear," he revealed in an interview with GQ. "To become someone else. Not yourself." And although Gosling is now much more comfortable with being himself, this was certainly not always the case. The heartthrob's tragic backstory could have played a part into making him the empathetic and loving family man he is today.

Ryan Gosling struggled growing up in a religious household

What many fans of Ryan Gosling don't know is that he was raised in an extremely devout Mormon household. According to the actor, his religion played a massive role in his life, to the point where it controlled each little detail of his day-to-day routine. "We were brought up pretty religious," said Gosling in a 2007 interview with The Guardian. "My mother admits it: She says, you were raised by a religious zealot. She's different now, but at the time, it was a part of everything — what they ate, how they thought ..."

As the "La La Land" actor admits, he genuinely struggled growing up in such a religious environment because he hated feeling so restricted from getting the opportunity to be his true self. But now, he is able to look back at his faith with a lot more fondness and respect. Although he isn't as connected to religion as the rest of his family, he admires the faith of the Mormon people. "My parents were more Mormon than I was, but it did help me understand," he explained. "I see how happy it makes my mother and sister, and I think it's beautiful. Maybe I'm too selfish, or I'm jealous of their humility — that somebody can say, yeah, it doesn't make sense, but I'm going to believe it anyway."

He acted out on his frustrations

Despite the newfound respect for his upbringing, growing up in such a strict Mormon household did little to keep Ryan Gosling in check. In fact, Gosling was so keen on defying the restraints of his childhood that he acted out in school and took his frustrations out on his classmates, earning the nickname "trouble."

But the "Drive" actor wasn't your typical schoolyard bully. In the first grade, Gosling felt such a desperate need to rebel that he once hid a bundle of steak knives in his schoolbag to use as weapons on the playground. According to the "Nice Guys" actor, he had been inspired by the movie "Rambo," which he admits he was much too young to watch.

Gosling ended up getting suspended for throwing the steak knives at his classmates during recess. This was a huge wake-up call for him, who experienced great remorse for his harmful actions. But the knife-throwing incident wasn't the last of his bad behavior. According to Gosling, he was responsible for other life-threatening behavior during his formative years. "From as early as 2 years old, I was sneaking out the house never wearing my clothes, breaking things, putting the cat in the dryer, and setting the house on fire," he admitted to The Telegraph.

The actor was bullied at school and dropped out

Although Ryan Gosling was a bit of a bully growing up, it didn't make him immune to being the target of torment himself. It was serious enough that he chose to drop out of public school, and he pursued homeschooling with his mother as his teacher instead.

Gosling confessed to Company Magazine, "I was a lonely child, I didn't do well at school and TV was my only friend" (via New York Daily News). Unsurprisingly, Gosling was so enamored by what went on inside his television set, he knew at a young age how much he wanted to be an actor. And in high school, he gave up his formal education to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. 

While it takes most actors years to find a sliver of success in show business, Gosling had enough talent and charisma to get started in Hollywood at the age of 12. He got his lucky break when he landed the role as an official cast member in the Mickey Mouse Club. Starring alongside the likes of big names such as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, he was finally able to find like-minded people whom he considered his friends.

Ryan Gosling felt ashamed of his learning disability

While having a learning disability is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, Ryan Gosling couldn't help but feel incredibly self-conscious about the fact that he required special help during his school days. The fact that Gosling's classmates and peers would tease him relentlessly for his disability didn't make matters any easier. And as he confessed in an interview with GQ, "I was struggling in school and simply couldn't recall what the teachers were saying. I thought it was difficult for me even though it appeared to be easier for everyone else. My sense of worth was impacted." The talented actor, who struggles with ADHD and reading, added, "I know, they started feathering me into some special education classes and things like that."

He added that his struggles in school were a big factor into why he felt the need to rebel so much. "I didn't feel very smart. They kept passing me in school even though I didn't know how to do things I should have known how to do. Like, I couldn't read ... I couldn't absorb any of the information, so I caused trouble." 

Gosling is not alone. According to Learning Disabilities Association of America, 20% of the population has difficulties with learning.

His parents' divorce took a toll on him

When Ryan Gosling was a teenager, his parents went through a messy divorce that took a massive toll on his well-being. The split was so hard on the "Nice Guys" star that he continued to act out in the same ways he had during his childhood. But knowing the details of his parents' divorce, it's easy to empathize with him. Canadian court papers unveil all the ugly details of his parents' split, which include allegations of domestic violence on both sides. Bearing witness to physical assault unleashed a side of Gosling that ended up being detrimental to his safety as well as the safety of others. "I was doing crazy things because I felt claustrophobic and panicky," the actor admitted in reference to his upbringing during an interview with The Telegraph.

However, he doesn't blame his home life for his actions. He told the outlet that he simply felt stifled by the restrictive environment and wanted to grow up faster. "It was more that I just wanted to be a man, have a job, a real place, date girls and get on with it ... If I hadn't got out and started working, I'd be in a lot of trouble now. I'd probably be dead," he said.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

He had to get a restraining order against a stalker

It's no secret that Ryan Gosling has garnered millions of fans over the years from his movie star status. His dashing good looks and good-spirited charisma have fans calling him "boyfriend material," as well as the world's very first internet boyfriend. His status as a heartthrob became so widespread and meme-ified that Gosling himself has commented on it. In an interview with GQ, "The Notebook" actor said that the reason he must be so adored comes down to his nationality. Specifically, his "Canadianness."

And while Gosling is flattered by the praise from his loyal fans, sometimes the extent of their dedication can border on frightening. This was the case when "The Big Short" actor and his entire family fell victim to one of his stalkers. He and his entire family were harassed by the woman who claimed she and Gosling were "twin flames" as well as "soulmates." To ensure his safety and the safety of his family, Gosling got a temporary restraining order against the woman. Court documents presented to E! News reveal that the woman claimed she "believes she knows the Gosling family, and that they know her, and that they are actually searching for her and have been for the past three years." Gosling himself has referred to the woman in the court documents as "delusional."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The estranged relationship with his father

Due to the difficulties of his childhood and the strict household he was raised in, it's no surprise that Ryan Gosling at one point had an estranged relationship with his father, Thomas. Apparently, Thomas Gosling felt as though his son owed him a good portion of his money that he earned as an actor because he claims to have played a hand in Ryan's fame.

Unfortunately, their inability to see eye to eye has led to the two not speaking to one another for a number of years. And according to an exclusive 2017 report by Radar Online, the "Big Short" actor refused to show up to his dad's wedding to his new bride. "Thomas was upset that Ryan didn't make it to the wedding," a close source spilled to the magazine. "It would have made his day if Ryan had turned up."

Although Ryan has a complicated relationship with his own father, he is keen on being the best dad possible to his own two daughters. He's even said that he considers himself a "dad first" and a Hollywood big shot second.

Ryan Gosling's split with Rachel McAdams

Back in the early 2000s, Ryan Gosling was in a relationship with Rachel McAdams, his co-star in "The Notebook." The two were regarded as one of Hollywood's "it couples" from 2005 to 2007, and fans of their romantic film couldn't get over the fact that they were together in real life. However, they were devastated to learn that Gosling and McAdams eventually split. According to Gosling, the reason they ultimately ended things was because of their careers. "When both people are in show business, it's too much show business," he confessed to GQ in 2007. "It takes all of the light, so nothing else can grow."

Gosling says that the fans were just as upset about their break-up, to the point where things got messy. "A girl came up to me on the street, and she almost smacked me," he told GQ. "Like, 'How could you? How could you let a girl like that go?' I feel like I want to give people hugs. They seem so sad. Rachel and I should be the ones getting hugs! Instead, we're consoling everybody else."

Fortunately, Gosling is now in a happy relationship with Eva Mendes, whom he shares two beautiful children with. Nowadays, the actor seems happier than ever and he considers himself a total family man. We at Elasq can't wait to see the actor continuing to thrive both in his personal life and within his film career!