It's safe to say that most people don't roll their eyes, groan, or tut in disgust when they see a photo of Ryan Gosling. But that's probably the kind of reaction that the hunky Canadian has when he sees pictures of himself.
"I know from just being a guy and looking at a billboard and you’re like: 'That guy’s not a sex symbol. They’re trying to sell that on us? No way! That’s never gonna stick.' And then suddenly he’s like a huge deal and you can’t believe it," the 32-year-old heartthrob recently told the U.K.'s Metro newspaper. "I used to hate on those guys and now I am one."
Of course, Gosling admits that his looks have catapulted him to his megastar A-list status (the guy can even make headlines by changing his sweater, honestly) and made him a fan favourite for the sexiest man alive title, an honour he'd rather be overlooked for.
"You show me someone who really thinks that and I’ll show you a liar. It’s not true," he said, noting that digital imaging and the romance of moviemaking are contributing factors in his sex symbol status in Hollywood. "I’m as uncomfortable with it as I am talking about it."
This isn't the first time that Gosling has humbly denied his attractive physical appearance. Last year, he told the Sun that he didn't think of himself as "particularly good looking," and in 2011 he went so far as to tell the Chicago Sun-Times that he thought he was actually "pretty weird-looking."
"Every role I got up until 'The Notebook' was the weirdo, freak, psychopath, nerd, outsider character guy. I think things have changed," Gosling said about his early acting career.
And certainly, fans of the pre-"Notebook" Ryan Gosling probably know him best from the 1997-98 Canadian TV series "Breaker High." As Sean, Gosling portrayed a wannabe ladies' man with zero game and a killer mushroom cut.
Around the same time as "Breaker High," Gosling was also awkward enough to portray the legendary warrior Hercules when he was in the ancient Greek version of high school. And despite playing a superstrong fighter who often saved the day, he had more than his fair share of very uncool moments.
In the 2000 football flick "Remember the Titans," Gosling brought out his nerdy dancing once again as Alan Bosley.
And in 2003's "The United States of Leland," Gosling took a much darker turn as a disturbed young man who was in juvenile detention for killing a mentally handicapped boy.
These roles, of course, are quite different from the roles Gosling has taken in recent years, including a Hollywood stuntman and getaway driver in "Drive," a pickup artist in "Crazy, Stupid, Love," a 1940s-era police sergeant in "Gangster Squad," and a motorcycle driver-turned-bank robber in the upcoming "The Place Beyond the Pines."
While Gosling may find it strange to count himself as one of Hollywood's hottest hunks, it's likely even weirder for his fans to consider him as anything else. But despite what he thinks, that role probably won't be changing anytime soon.