Ryan Gosling reveals the name his 2 daughters call him: ‘It kills me every time’


The rest of the world knows him as an Oscar-nominated actor. To his kids, though, Ryan Gosling is dad.

Actually, he’s “Papi,” which is “Daddy” in Spanish.

That's what the “Fall Guy” star is called by his two daughters, Esmeralda Amada, 9, and Amada Lee, 8, which he revealed in a May 2 interview with the Wall Street Journal. He added that his children, whom he shares with his longtime partner, Cuban American actor Eva Mendes, say “Papi” with a slight accent while they learn Spanish.

“It kills me every time,” he told the outlet. “There’s just nothing, nothing better than that.”

Gosling's kids are top of mind for him, even when he's making movies, like his new film, "The Fall Guy." In the action movie, loosely based on the 1980s TV show of the same name, Gosling stars as a stuntman who falls for a director, played by Emily Blunt.

Gosling explained that at one point while making the movie, he had to wear a safety harness while dropping from a ledge into an atrium, prompting him to come to grips with the fact he was afraid of heights. He said it’s a shift that comes with becoming a father.

“I think it’s happened when I had kids — really, you start to be way more conscious of everything you do and everything you’ve ever done and everything you will do if you get a chance to do it,” he said.

Ryan Gosling (Universal Pictures)
Ryan Gosling (Universal Pictures)

Gosling also said he tries not to parent based on his experiences growing up.

“I’m trying to just figure out who they are and be there for them in the way that I can,” he said. “They’re such clear and distinct personalities that it’s sort of becoming obvious.”

Gosling, who is coming off of the megahit "Barbie," has taken a lot of dramatic parts in his career, but he now looks for work that is lighter fare because of his family.

“I don’t really take roles that are going to put me in some kind of dark place,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

“This moment is what I feel like trying to read the room at home and feel like what is going to be best for all of us," Gosling continued. "The decisions I make, I make them with Eva and we make them with our family in mind first.”

His daughters have a say as well, and Gosling recalled them drawing the line when it came to one type of stunt in "The Fall Guy."

“My kids didn’t want me to be set on fire,” the Oscar-nominated star told People in an interview published May 2. Gosling said they “asked specifically” that he not do anything involving pyrotechnics.

“Even though I said, ‘Well, it’s actually, technically the safer thing to do because there’s a lot of protective stuff involved,’” Gosling said of a stunt which featured fire-resistant clothing and special protection gel. But he said his daughters “were like, ‘No. No fire.’ So I didn’t do it.”

Gosling, 43, and Mendes, 50, are tight-lipped about their private lives, and that generally includes their two daughters.

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling (Dave Allocca/StarPix/REX/Shutter)
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling (Dave Allocca/StarPix/REX/Shutter)

While they don't share pictures of their daughters, the couple has told some stories about them. Read on for what else the Gosling and Mendes have shared about their kids.

Esmeralda Amada Gosling, 9

After keeping Mendes’ pregnancy secret, the couple welcomed Esmeralda Amada Gosling into the world on Sept. 12, 2014.

“I’m completely exhausted. I thought my wild nights were over but these are some of the wildest nights I’ve ever had,” the then-new mom told Violet Grey in a 2014 cover story.

Mendes also shared the inspiration behind their firstborn's name.

“We were really excited about naming her,” she said. “Ryan and I both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame,’ and we just think it’s a beautiful name. Amada was my grandmother’s name. It means ‘beloved’ in Spanish.”

In an interview with GQ magazine in May 2023, Gosling reflected on the moment Mendes broke the big news to him.

“Eva said she was pregnant,” he said, adding, “I would never want to go back, you know? I’m glad I didn’t have control over my destiny in that way, because it was so much better than I ever had dreamed for myself.”

Amada Lee Gosling, 8

The couple’s second child, a daughter they named Amada Lee Gosling, was born on April 29, 2016.

This was a challenging period for the expectant mother: Her brother, Carlos Mendez, died of cancer just 12 days before Amada was born.

“We had a funeral service for (Mendez) and that same week I had the baby. So it was really, really intense and obviously beyond heartbreaking, but also kind of beautiful,” the actress told Latina magazine for its September 2016 issue, per People.

In the same interview, Mendes shared the inspiration behind naming her second little girl Amada.

“My grandmother’s name is Amada,” she said. “We had a few names picked out for our new baby, and when she was born, we didn’t feel like those names were her. We came up with a few more, even that morning, and tried them out. We were like, ‘What about Viviana?’ But we just kept going back to Amada."

She continued, adding, “In true Latin fashion, we reuse names all the time. I used to know five sisters that were all Maria del Carmen, Maria Elena, Maria Liliana … And it was an emotional time with the passing of my brother. We thought how beautiful to go with what made us emotional and with what felt like her. When we looked at her, we thought, 'Aww, Amadita.'”

What Ryan Gosling has said about his daughters

Gosling remembered the moment he knew he wanted to have children with Mendes during a May 2023 interview with GQ. The realization came when he was starring as Mendes’ husband in their 2012 crime thriller, “The Place Beyond the Pines,” where they first met.

I wasn’t thinking about kids before I met her, but after I met Eva, I realized that I just didn’t want to have kids without her,” he told the outlet, adding, “And there were moments on ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ where we were pretending to be a family, and I didn’t really want it to be pretend anymore."

Gosling honored his wife and daughters in his acceptance speech at the 74th Golden Globes Awards in January 2017, when he won best actor in a comedy or musical for “La La Land.”

“While I was singing and dancing and playing piano ... my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer,” he said. “Sweetheart, thank you. To my daughters, Amada and Esmeralda, I love you.”

While explaining his journey to becoming Ken in the 2023 “Barbie” film, Gosling shared in the May 2023 interview with GQ that his daughters and their nonchalant disdain for Barbie’s male counterpart was the sign he needed to take the role in the film.

“I did see him, like, face down in the mud outside one day, next to a squished lemon,” Gosling recalled, “and it was like, ‘This guy’s story does need to be told,’ you know?”

When the actor went on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon“ to promote Greta Gerwig's "Barbie," he revealed that his daughter Amada had a bold maneuver that not even the Louvre in Paris is immune to.

“My youngest has a real power move,” he began. “We were standing in front of the Mona Lisa, and she goes, ‘This museum?’” Gosling told host Jimmy Fallon in July 2022, then mimicking his daughter giving a thumbs down. “I said, ‘Why?’” he said. “She went, ‘Because it is not good.’”

He added that she also flashes the old thumbs-down sign behind her back as she leaves a room sometimes. “The thumbs-down walkaway. It’s like, Roman emperor level,” he said.

Gosling shared another one of his kids' habits during a April 2024 segment on TODAY, when he revealed what they call one of his co-stars.

He said his daughters adore Blunt, who is also a lead in "Fall Guy," and like to call her Mary Poppins. Blunt played the beloved childhood nanny in the 2018 children's movie "Mary Poppins Returns."

“My kids call her Mary Poppins,” he said. “‘You’re working with Mary Poppins today?’ Yes I am.”

What Eva Mendes has said about her daughters  

Mendes said she “never wanted” children until she "fell in love" with Gosling, which she shared while on the Australian radio show “Fitzy & Wippa" in 2020.

In the same interview, Mendes talked about how she was 40 and 42 when she had her children, saying, “I had a career and then I changed my focus to my family."

Shifting her focus to parenting had been an adjustment for Mendes, which she opened up about while appearing on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in 2019.

“People are so sweet — they really try to warn you, prep you, when you’re pregnant, but nobody can prep you. Nobody,” she explained to host Kelly Clarkson. She then listed the various jobs she juggles as a mom on a daily basis: “a chauffeur, a cook, a personal assistant to an abusive boss.”

Mendes also talked about her "controlling" parenting style while on the talk show.

“I think what the term is — we’re always laughing at these terms — I think we would be ‘bulldozing parents,'” she said. “We have to be on top of them every second ... The stakes are really high, so yeah, I’m a helicopter parent. And then I heard the bulldozing and I’m like, ‘Ooh, yeah, I’m probably a bulldozing parent, too.’”

But the mother wants her girls to know that no matter what, she'll always be there for them, which she expressed on Instagram in February 2023.

“I want my kids, when they get in trouble later on in life … to be like, ‘I gotta call my mom,' versus, ‘Ooh, I can’t tell my mom about this,” she said in a video.

She also wants them to challenge "gender-specific" stereotypes.

“I’m not an amazing cook — I leave that to Ryan,” the Skura co-owner told Forbes in 2022. “Hopefully it’s showing my girls that there are no gender-specific roles that one must take on.”

Mendes, whose resume includes fashion designer, might have met her match with Esmeralda.

“My 5-year-old cut her socks, the foot part off, and she likes to wear socks as sleeves,” she told People in February 2020. “And the other day she wore underwear as a hat and I was like, ‘That’s amazing.’ I wish I could do that. I can’t.”

Always at the ready to drop nuggets of parenting advice, Mendes captioned her own head-shaking meme on Instagram in August 2023, writing: “When my kids ask me if they’re old enough to go on the internet, social media or anything requiring wifi.”

CORRECTIONS: (May 7, 12:17 p.m. ET): This story has been updated to correct dates and name spellings, as well as to reflect the fact that Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have not confirmed they are married.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com