Ryan Gosling Talks ‘Lost River’ at SXSW, Eva Mendes and Esmeralda, Detroit Arrest, and Those ‘Hey Girl’ Memes

'Lost River' Trailer
Ryan Gosling's directorial debut is here (and involved Eva Mendes)

Ryan Gosling attended the annual South by Southwest Festival this week for his latest film and directorial debut, Lost River.

During a panel discussion led by director Guillermo del Toro on Friday (March 13, 2015), Gosling, who’s remained mostly mum on his love Eva Mendes and baby girl, Esmeralda, and is extremely private when it comes to his personal life, briefly opened up about his family.

He also spoke about his brush with Detroit police in 2013, and those now infamous “Hey Girl” memes, in addition to his latest film.

Gosling, 34, explained to the crowd, “I really like working with my friends; I love all of these people,” at which point del Toro added, “You have a baby with one of them!” referring to star of the film and Gosling’s partner, Mendes.

“I do,” the actor and first-time dad replied, and continued to speak about films that empower women. “I have lots of complicated, amazing women in my life, and that’s increasing.”

As for his internet celebrity status mostly thanks to those “Hey Girl” memes, Gosling blushed in embarrassment when del Toro brought the subject up. Jokingly, Gosling put down the mike while Del Toro teased him for finally saying “Hey Girl.”

Lost River is a fantasy-thriller that stars Christina Hendricks as Billy, a single mother facing a harsh economic reality in Detroit, alongside Mendes, Iain De Caestecker, and Matt Smith

During filming, Gosling recounted local cops accidentally mistook him for a metal scrapper looking to steal copper.

On his minor brush with the law, Gosling commented, “I’m not proud that I was arrested, but it did give me one of the central pieces for the main character.”

Gosling first showed the film at Cannes, to brutal reviews, and explained to the LA Times:

“In a way Cannes was my test screening. I had only seen the film in my basement before I saw it in Cannes. We were just making it at my house; everything about it was just so small and so personal and intimate. Then I ship off the film and suddenly I’m in a tuxedo watching it in this giant theater. The whole thing, I was unprepared for all of it.”

He added, “But it’s part of the film’s history now. I wouldn’t change any of it. I love the film; I’m proud of it. I can’t control people’s reactions to it.”

On Detroit, the native Canadian commented, “I think for a lot of Canadian kids, Detroit was like the pinup girl in your locker, the locker in your heart. I was just crushin’ on the States pretty hard. And Detroit, because it was closest, but also because of what it was, sort of embodied America to me: Motown, the Model T, techno, Eminem, the refrigerator, really that whole iconic America.”

Lost River was filmed in Detroit in 2013 and is scheduled for limited-release in theaters on April 10.

[Detroit Free Press, LA Times, Us Magazine]