Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are a bit of a Hollywood paradox. The married pair of A-list actors is both one of the most attractive couples working in Hollywood right now and one of the industry’s most secretive.
Gosling and Mendes have been hugely private ever since they first started dating back in 2011, and they’ve become absolute pros at avoiding paparazzi and keeping their private lives under wraps since then.
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling first worked together Derek Cianfrance’s 2013 movie The Place Beyond the Pines, where they played an estranged couple with a young son.
Shortly after that, the two began dating. Since then, the A-list pair have worked on other professional projects together, such as Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River, in which Mendes played the character Kat.
The two had their first daughter Esmeralda Amada in 2014, had their second daughter Amada Lee Gosling in 2016, and got married in the same year.
Yet even after all of this time, any other details surrounding their home and family life have been kept mostly secret.
This list rounds up the most interesting 20 secrets about the infamously private Hollywood couple, from the stories behind their daughters’ names, to how they've adjusted to family life and kids, to how they really feel about working with each other on set.
Here are the 20 Secrets About Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes’ Private Marriage.
20 How They Hid the Pregnancies
When Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling announced that they would be expecting their first child back in 2014, the news shocked fans across the world.
It had seemed like their relationship had just been officially confirmed, and then the next thing we knew, they were expecting children.
The news of Eva Mendes’ pregnancy was so shocking because of Mendes’ expert hand at hiding her growing baby bump over the months. The new mom went to extreme lengths to cover up from paparazzi in order to keep her and Gosling’s exciting news private until they were ready to announce.
Mendes was even once photographed pretending to struggle with some laundry and a handbag in order to cover up her baby bump.
Though some might wonder why Mendes would go to such extreme lengths, the actress has since explained why she and Gosling kept the news secret for so long.
“Whether we like it or not, privacy is going to be very difficult for Esmeralda. I think it's unfair but that's our reality,” Mendes said. “So Ryan and I decided early on to give her as much privacy as we could. And my pregnancy was the first opportunity to give her that.”
It was just another way that she and Gosling proved their worth in gold as parents.
19 Eva Mendes Never Thought She'd Marry
Eva Mendes has played the love interest many times throughout her career. But when it came to her own love life, the actress was not exactly the full-fledged romantic she often portrayed on screen.
Back only a few years before bonding with Gosling on the set of The Place Beyond the Pines, Mendes told journalists that she had no plans on getting married. These doubts stemmed from her personal political beliefs that marriage was an old, misogynistic institution.
“If we go back to the origin of marriage, it was very unromantic. It was about land, basically. It was about ownership. So I think it’s a kind of unromantic idea,” the actress explained.
Mendes stressed that while she was not against marriage as a whole, she didn't think it was for her.
“I’m a person who appreciates a private union and a union that doesn’t need a piece of paper. I think marriage is more societal than anything else, honestly,” she continued. “It’s not that I’m against it; it’s just that, for me, it seems a little old-fashioned.”
The opinions Mendes described in this interview only proves how much she loves Ryan Gosling and how the actor was the one exception to her rule.
18 Ryan Gosling Requested Eva Mendes as a Co-star
It was on the set of Derek Cianfrance’s 2012 drama The Place Beyond the Pines that Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling fell in love and started dating.
Although this is a commonly known fact, a lesser-known piece to the story is that it was Gosling himself who pushed for Mendes to be hired as his co-star.
While the director was brainstorming potential actresses to take on the role of Romina Gutierrez to act opposite Gosling’s character Luke Glanton, the Canadian actor jumped at the chance to recommend Eva Mendes.
Cianfrance and Gosling both agreed that Mendes’ impressive performances in dramas such as We Own the Night made her an excellent fit for the complex character of Romina.
Cianfrance was having difficulty casting the part for Romina, but Mendes certainly made an impression with her audition. The director recalled how the actress tried to dress down for the part, describing how Mendes "had a big baggy t-shirt on, her hair was a mess, with big hoop earrings and no make-up."
The effort Mendes had put into showing her vulnerability as an actor and dedication to the part impressed the indie director.
With Gosling’s approval and her unique audition, Cianfrance knew that Mendes was right for the part.
“I got to know about her as a woman — really fall in love with her as a human being — and I cast her right there on the spot,” Cianfrance said.
17 They Never Hired A Nanny
When Mendes and Gosling had their first daughter, Esmeralda, in 2014, neither had any experience with raising children of their own.
Many Hollywood couples in the same position tend to turn to nanny services, hiring others to help take care of the kids and ease the transition into being a parent full-time.
However, Eva and Ryan were different. Mendes in particular insisted that they would not hire a nanny service, intent on raising her daughter with her family on her own time.
When she gave an interview with the Today Show during one of her first public outings since giving birth, interviewers asked if Esmeralda was with her nanny.
However, Eva set the record straight. “[She’s with] papa and the family,” Mendes told the Today Show. “Thank god, I have my entire family ten minutes away.”
Instead of spending the money to hire strangers to help with her daughters, Eva Mendes and her husband have instead used the help of Mendes’ loving family members that lives close by to the couple in the city.
Given how busy both Mendes and Gosling are with their high-profile careers, their choice to raise their children on their own is a pretty impressive and commendable one.
16 Eva's "Moral Compass"
With the birth of their daughters, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling were suddenly launched into the parent lifestyle and became busier than they ever were before, even with both of their impressive careers.
However, Mendes and Gosling’s lives haven’t just changed because of how busy they now are.
In one interview, Mendes revealed how having children has changed how she lives moment to moment and makes decisions and provides some moral guidance. For Mendes, this even extends into her professional life.
“I love being an example to somebody,” Mendes explained about her life now that she has a young daughter. “If I’m even like… ‘should I do this project?’ I think about my daughter, all I have to do is think of her face, and I know the answer immediately. I guess she’s like my moral compass, in a way.”
From Gosling’s roles in Blade Runner: 2049 and La La Land to Mendes’ iconic parts in Training Day and We Own the Night, both of these actors have already chosen great career paths.
But as impressive as both Gosling and Mendes’ careers both are now, with their daughters in their lives, fans might be able to expect even more exciting project choices now that both A-list actors are thinking of the examples they’re providing for their daughters.
15 Life With Children Is "Beautiful Chaos"
Parents know that children can be hugely inspiring in one moment and completely out of control the next. For Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, life with their daughters is no different.
Gosling elaborated on how complicated, wild, and amazing life with Mendes and his two daughters can be in an interview with GQ.
The actor first admitted that he never thought much about having children before his relationship with Mendes, and claims that he never thought about what life with children would be like.
So one can imagine the huge shock that Gosling felt once he was suddenly a parent. When he was asked how his life has changed since Esmeralda and Amada, the actor admitted it was chaos – but a certain type of chaos.
“There's a kind of chaos in it that I love. Maybe in my life I sort of put myself in situations that were chaotic, outside of my life. And now I have it at home, and I don't have to go looking for it. It's a beautiful chaos that's…surreal and serene," he said.
Even though life with his daughters can be hectic, Gosling is the type of good dad to see the joy even in the tough moments.
14 Disneyland Getaways
Many couples have special spots that carry some kind of significance to their relationship. It might be where they first met, had their first date, or had their first kiss.
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have their own special location, and where it is might be a serious surprise.
Last summer, Mendes and Gosling were photographed enjoying themselves at none other than California’s Disneyland, enjoying classic park rides, food, and buying toys for their daughters.
They stayed so long that they were there up until the park’s closing time at midnight.
The huge amusement park was actually the spot where they went on their first public date back in 2011.
Gosling has mentioned several times over the years how much he loves the theme park, and the fact that he brought Mendes there so early on in their relationship reflected how much he liked her.
Now, the couple still returns to the park when they can fit the journey into their busy schedules between work and their two daughters.
Fans of Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling can look forward to the future when the couple will no doubt bring Esmeralda and Amada to Disneyland and share the park’s fun with their daughters.
13 The Story Behind "Esmeralda"
One of the biggest announcements fans of pregnant A-list stars wait for is the announcement of the new baby’s name. Many stars choose unique and esoteric names for their children that may carry some significance to the mother and father but cause onlookers to scratch their heads.
Mendes and Gosling didn't go quite so far when they named their first daughter. Though they chose something with a special significance to them, the name also happened to be a classic and beautiful one.
When asked why they chose Esmeralda for the name of their first child, Mendes explained to interviewers that the choice was actually a literary reference that was important to both Mendes and Gosling.
“Ryan and I both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and just think it's a beautiful name,” the actress said. Mendes also explained that Esmeralda’s middle name Amada was her grandmother’s name and means “beloved” in Spanish.
As it turns out, Mendes and Gosling also chose Amada for their second daughter’s first name.
The actress said this is a common thing in Latin culture, and that she and Gosling simply loved the name Amada so much that they used it again.
12 They're Raising Bilingual Daughters
Eva Mendes is enormously grateful for the success and opportunities she enjoys on a daily basis as an A-list actress in America.
Mendes’ gratitude, which the actress routinely discusses in interviews, stems from the fact that her parents emigrated from Cuba to the United States and always told their daughter to take advantage of what America had to offer.
As a result of her upbringing, love for her parents, and her gratitude over the sacrifices they made for her benefit, one of the most important things Mendes and Gosling have kept in mind while raising Esmeralda and Amada is Mendes’ heritage.
One of the ways they celebrate their daughters’ Cuban roots is by raising them to be bilingual.
“Esmeralda mostly speaks Spanglish right now. It’s really cute,” Mendes told interviewers. “She’s definitely bilingual, and it’s really important for us to make sure that she’s not only just familiar with the language, but also with the culture.”
Mendes went on to describe how her parents help raise the two girls with their heritage in mind. The actress’ mother cooks Cuban cuisine for the family and listens to Cuban music with Esmeralda and Amada while Mendes’ father helps teach his granddaughters Spanish.
There’s no doubt that both Esmeralda and Amada are growing up to be very cultured little girls.
11 Eva Mendes Helped Make Lost River
When it was announced in 2012 that Ryan Gosling was going to make the move from acting to directing for his first feature film project behind the camera, fans of cinema around the world grew excited.
Many were curious to see how the talented actor would use his artistic skills to crafting a film of his very own.
The result was the 2014 fantasy/drama movie, Lost River. Though the film was contentious amongst critics, many of them praised Lost River’s extremely impressive visuals and emotional qualities.
According to Gosling, it’s not just his own directing skills that contributed to the movie's strong elements.
Gosling has said that Mendes was highly involved in the production of Lost River, even down to the smallest of details, such as helping the costume designer choose clothes and put together possible outfits for the movie.
However, the actress remains humble with how much she helped with Lost River. Gosling explained, “She hates credit and she’ll even be mad that I’m giving her that credit. But she was very helpful in so many ways.”
Considering their respective talents and the two actors’ affections for each other, it’s no surprise that the two worked so well together to create a film of their own.
10 Eva's Feelings On Ryan As A Director
Eva Mendes has gone on the record several times to compliment Ryan Gosling’s talents as an actor and co-star on the set of The Place Beyond the Pines. But it appears that Mendes is an even bigger fan of her husband’s skills as a filmmaker.
Mendes starred in Gosling’s first feature-length project as a director, Lost River, in the role of cabaret performer Cat. Though it was a small supporting role, the character of Cat was still an important one in the movie's plot line.
Fans of the Cuban actress wondered what her experience was like working with Gosling as a director as opposed to a fellow co-star, like they had been previously on The Place Beyond the Pines.
It might come as no surprise that Mendes had only good things to say. In fact, she only had the highest of praises for Gosling.
“He really created the most beautiful, collaborative, creative atmosphere on set. I know I'm biased,” the actress admitted. But she couldn't help but add, “He’s the best.”
Though Gosling has not returned behind the camera as a director yet, it can be expected that whenever he does, Mendes will be eager to return as one of his actors.
9 Ryan, His Daughters, And Feminism
The internet has named Ryan Gosling a feminist icon for years, stemming from the popular “hey, girl” memes that ran online for a while (despite the fact that Gosling has insisted he’s never said “hey, girl” or has any idea where the meme came from).
He might not know why the internet created those memes, but Gosling has been a vocal feminist from the beginning of his career.
The actor has always emphasized his respect for women, and he has said that his childhood growing up with his single mother and sisters showed him how resilient and strong women are.
With the birth of his two daughters, Gosling has only grown more supportive of feminism. In one interview, the Canadian actor asserted, “I think women are better than men. They are stronger, more evolved.”
Bringing up Esmeralda and Amada, he continued, “You can tell especially when you have daughters and you see their early stages, they are just leaps and bounds beyond boys immediately.”
Some A-list stars try to avoid naming their personal politics for risk of attracting controversy. However, when it comes to feminism and his daughters, Gosling has shown that he’ll say exactly what he believes.
8 Their Drunk History Christmas Special
Today, Drunk History is one of Comedy Central’s most popular programs, with drunken comedians retelling true stories from history while actors reenact the humorously described situations.
However, before the show was on network television, it was first a series of online sketches from the site Funny or Die.
And back in 2011, Funny or Die filmed a Drunk History Christmas Special that featured quite the cast. After drinking half a bottle of whiskey, Allan McLeod retold the classic Christmas tale of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas while an A-list cast acted out his narration, funny mistakes and all.
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling starred as a married couple with children in the amusing five-minute sketch along with Jim Carrey, who played Santa Claus.
With projects such as Crazy Stupid Love, The Other Guys, and Hitch on their resumes, both Mendes and Gosling are fans of the comedy genre and no doubt loved the idea of a Drunk History Christmas special.
But Mendes and Gosling were not public with their relationship at this point in time, and the fact that they volunteered to act together again after The Place Beyond the Pines in such a small comedy project hinted at the fact that the two were closer than many knew.
7 Eva Prefers Home Life To The Red Carpet
Being an A-list star means you need to hit the red carpet – a lot. For Mendes, this used to be one of the big highlights of her career.
However, since marrying Gosling and having Esmeralda and Amada, the actress’ lifestyle has gone through some serious changes. And according to Mendes, so have her priorities.
In 2016, Ryan Gosling had to tour the world to promote his Oscar-winning film, La La Land.
Many fans noticed that Mendes was conspicuously absent for Gosling’s tour spots and many premieres, and people began wondering exactly where the actor’s significant other was.
In an interview with Shape that year, Eva Mendes revealed that while she was enormously proud of Gosling, she was also grateful at the opportunity to stay at home. She said many people suspect that she loves going on the red carpet, but her preferences are actually the opposite.
“What people don’t know about me is that I love being home,” Mendes told interviewers. “Instead of hitting the red carpet, I’d rather be with our girls.”
While life with two young daughters must certainly be a huge change of pace for both Gosling and Mendes, the new mom has no doubts that this latest stage of her life is her favorite one by far.
6 Eva And Ryan's Longtime Friendship
Many believe that Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes first met on the set of The Place Beyond the Pines. While it’s true that the set of Derek Cianfrance’s movie is the place where the two became romantically involved for the first time, it’s not true that they met for the first time on set.
In an extensive interview on her experience with Cianfrance, Gosling, and The Place Beyond the Pines, Eva Mendes told The Film Stage that she and Gosling had actually been friends for years before filming the project.
The Place Beyond the Pines, however, was the first instance that they had worked professionally together.
Despite the fact that the two had been friends, Mendes revealed that still had some anxieties going into the first day of shooting with Gosling.
The actress said Gosling’s talents intimidated her, and she didn't know how they would work together. “You never know what happens before,” she explained. “You can be friends with somebody and not like how they work, but obviously I respect him so much as an actor.”
Mendes ended by saying that acting side by side with Gosling actually helped elevate her performance in the film. “[He’s] certainly upped my game and everyone else’s game,” she said.
5 Eva Is A "Dream Mother"
Ryan Gosling didn't know if he would ever have kids of his own, but when it finally became a reality with Eva Mendes, he didn't know what to expect.
In interviews today, he not only gushes about how amazing life is with his daughters, but how grateful he is to have a partner like Mendes by his side throughout the process as well.
In an interview with GQ, Gosling described how all of the things people told him to expect with having children came true. “Your whole life, you hear what it's like to have kids, and all the clichés are true,” he admitted. “I felt I knew that everything would be different, but until you experience that, there's no way to really know what people mean.”
However, Gosling also said that having Mendes as a wife and mother in the family makes the new lifestyle even better.
“And in my situation, Eva's the dream mother, and they're dream babies, and it's like a dream that I'm having right now. I'm dreaming it all. So I feel so lucky,” he said.
He ended his discussion on his current family lifestyle with a short by sweet summary that shows exactly how grateful he is of Eva Mendes, Esmeralda, and Amada.
“My life [has] changed,” Gosling mused. “And thank God it did.”
4 Ryan's Golden Globes Speech Controversy
Ryan Gosling had a big year in 2016, starring in the critically acclaimed La La Land. The movie ended up being an awards season darling, winning multiple awards in many different awards ceremonies.
Gosling ended up winning the award for Best Performance in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role as Sebastian in the Damien Chazelle-directed movie.
With his speech accepting the award, Gosling took the opportunity to thank Mendes through a veiled reference.
“I would just try and thank one person properly, and say that while I was...having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter [and] pregnant with our second," the actor said.
He concluded the speech by claiming that his victory was all due to Mendes’ efforts behind the scenes.
Yet some took issue with Gosling’s words. Some argued that Gosling’s speech only highlighted the inequalities present in Hollywood and society as a whole, representing yet another situation where the man goes off to advance his career while the woman stays at home with the children.
Mendes herself had no issues with Gosling’s speech.
The next day she posted on Instagram praising Janelle Monáe's look of the night, also taking a moment to joke that Monáe’s outfit, “Obviously this wasn't my favorite moment of the night,” in reference to Gosling’s award win.
3 Ryan Considers Eva To Be "The One"
Ryan Gosling’s Hollywood dating résumé is quite a long one. Past girlfriends include some major A-list names, including Sandra Bullock, The Notebook co-star Rachel McAdams, and Kat Dennings.
But despite all the impressive names that Gosling has been involved with in the past, there’s nobody that beats Eva Mendes for the Canadian actor.
In one interview, Gosling confirmed that Mendes was the only one truly for him. “I know that I’m with the person I’m supposed to be with,” the actor said.
When interviewers pressed Ryan to name some qualities he looks for when dating women, Gosling gave a simple yet amusingly specific answer.
When looking for a girlfriend, Gosling said qualities that he’s look for are “that she’s Eva Mendes. There’s nothing else I’m looking for.”
Journalists in different interviews over the years have tried to get more out of Ryan Gosling, but the actor seems pretty firm. There simply isn’t anybody else in the world he would rather be with than his wife.
In the rough dating world that is Hollywood, where relationships seem to end just as they began, it’s refreshing to find a couple as committed to each other as Mendes and Gosling are.
2 They're Currently Shopping for Mansions
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have been city dwellers up until this point, having been photographed in cities around the world for years now.
However, it appears that now that they have two young daughters, they’re ready to settle down and buy a property of their own.
People Magazine spotted the A-list couple shopping for houses outside of Los Angeles this past April. And as could be expected with stars that pull in such huge salaries as Gosling and Mendes, the houses they’re shopping for aren’t your typical homes.
One Pasadena property was an actual mansion with six bedrooms and was listed for $8 million dollars.
Though the couple are typically secretive about big lifestyle changes and news such as this, Gosling and Mendes don't seem to mind going out in public for house shopping and letting the whole world know that they're ready for a big move.
Mendes and Gosling brought along both Esmeralda and Amada for the trip so the daughters could see their potential home.
It’s not known if they will actually buy this particular mansion, but since the couple brought both daughters, there might be a good chance that the Pasadena property was the one.
1 Eva Mendes Gave La La Land Its Iconic Line
Damien Chazelle’s lavish modern musical La La Land was one of America’s favorite films of 2016 (and nearly won Best Picture at the Oscars).
The movie starred Ryan Gosling as jazz artist Sebastian and Emma Stone as an up-and-coming actress, Mia, as both attempt to find success in Los Angeles.
While Eva Mendes wasn’t involved in any official capacity with the production of her husband’s acclaimed film, Gosling revealed to journalists last summer that Mendes actually came up with one of the most memorable lines in the entire film.
Gosling said that the line “LA worships everything and values nothing” came from Mendes one day at home when the two were having a casual conversation.
“That was something my lady said to me one day and I thought it was so funny I asked her if I could put it in the movie,” the actor said. “She was kidding, but it's a funny thing to say… I loved when she said it, because it's funny enough to have some truth to it, you know?”
Gosling went to La La Land director Damien Chazelle shortly after and relayed the line, requesting it be in the film. The line did, in fact, make it in.
So as it turns out, one of La La Land’s most iconic lines is due all to none other than Eva Mendes.
What’s your favorite secret about Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes’ private marriage? Let us know in the comments!