One might think that being the subject of an internet phenomenon that posits you as the ideal man—rugged yet sensitive, handsome and intellectual—would be flattering. But Ryan Gosling is actually just uncomfortable with those “Hey, Girl” memes that were all the rage a few years back, as he reveals in a new interview with Variety.
Under the pretense of discussing his new movie La La Land, the sad-eyed star of The Notebook and Drive compares his viral stardom—which spun off into a number of sub-memes, like Feminist Ryan Gosling, Typographer Ryan Gosling, and the very straightforward Ryan Gosling Disneyland Cats—to being hit in the face by a pigeon. No, really:
Do you remember when Fabio got hit in the face with a pigeon on the roller coaster and it broke his nose? Sometimes I feel like I’m the pigeon and the internet is Fabio’s face. Actually, I don’t know if I’m the pigeon or I’m Fabio’s face. Depends on the day, I guess.
(Here’s that clip, in case you forgot.)
And yeah, sure it must be weird to see yourself idolized for no particular reason. But, considering that a 2015 study by the University of Saskatchewan showed that men were more likely to agree with feminist statements after looking at Ryan Gosling memes, you might just have to take that pigeon to the face, Ryan, for all of our sakes. And, for the record, he hasn’t made a dime off of his coloring book.