When Ryan Gosling won his first Golden Globe award for his role in La La Land on Sunday night, he used his acceptance speech to pay tribute to his wife Eva Mendes.
“I would like to try to thank one person properly,” said the actor. “While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I've ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer.”
He went on to dedicate the award to the memory of Mendes’ late brother, Juan Carlos, who passed away in April 2016 at the age of 53.
Gosling and Mendes, who met on the set of 2012’s The Place Beyond the Pines, are famously private about their relationship and family life. Apart from when they have been obliged to promote movies together (The Place Beyond the Pines and 2014 fantasy Lost River, in which Mendes starred and Gosling produced), the couple almost never appear together on the red carpet, with Mendes even choosing not to attend the Golden Globes on Sunday.
On the rare occasion that either actor talks publicly about their marriage, meanwhile, they never refer directly to one another. Despite the emotional nature of his acceptance speech on Sunday, Gosling skilfully avoided mentioning his wife’s name once – referring to her instead as “my lady”, “sweetheart” and “angel”.
But once the dust from the Golden Globes had begun to settle, Mendes couldn’t resist giving her husband’s speech a nod on Instagram – albeit in typically low-key style.
The actor posted a photo of Janelle Monae (star of Hidden Figures and Moonlight) on the social network, with the caption: “Obviously this wasn’t my favorite moment of the night....But it was definitely my favorite style moment of the night. The stunning and talented @janellemonae is killing me with this look. So so so beautiful ❤️ #goldenglobes”.
Mendes gave birth to her and Gosling’s second daughter, Amada, during the filming of La La Land – shortly after her brother died. In a rare personal interview last year, she told Latina magazine: “Losing my brother brought our family closer, and we were already close to begin with. So to just see everybody be there for one another and show up, I feel so lucky to have them. And then they were there for me when Amada was born.
“We had a funeral service for him and that same week I had the baby,” she continued. “So it was really, really intense and obviously beyond heart-breaking, but also kind of beautiful.”
Images: Rex Features