Ryan Gosling is nice. It’s not like that’s earth-shattering news. Maybe you’ve seen the memes. Or maybe you just expected as much, considering he’s Canadian, and that self-perpetuating stereotype is as much a part of the country’s national identity as hockey.1
But the Ontario-born actor’s “nice guy” public image got another boost this week, thanks to one extremely persistent Leslieville coffee shop (and Gosling’s mom). After swinging and missing with Idris Elba during last year’s TIFF, the folks at Grinder Coffee decided to go with a more local celebrity target for 2018, through a life-sized cardboard cutout, a promised 15% discount, and some very polite guilt-tripping.2
It’s not the first time the stunt’s been tried — if I had a free drink for every chalkboard sign I’ve passed during TIFF with some variant of “Tom Hanks drinks free” I’d… well, I’d probably be in the hospital right now. But it is one of the first times I can remember it actually working.
Thanks to a push from his mom — who Gosling took to the First Man premiere, like the nice Canadian boy he is — the actor stopped by Grinder for a coffee yesterday, and the brief photo op’s subsequently turned into one of the feel-good stories from TIFF. (Mostly because it’s a cute story, sure, but also because we’re now officially past the halfway point of this year’s festival and the major premieres and news cycles are starting to slow down, and also like 99%3 of the movies at the festival this year are crushing dramas about addiction and/or institutional racism.)
So, there you have it: Gosling may be playing Neil Armstrong in his new movie, but he’ll always be a true Canadian hero.
Winners: Ryan Gosling’s publicist, coffee shop chalkboards
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|1.||↑||Although that last point may seem debatable if you’ve ever tried to wedge onto a crowded streetcar at rush hour.|
|2.||↑||Real talk: this might be the most authentically “Canadian” thing about this whole story.|
|3.||↑||This is an approximate figure.|