Ryan Gosling Says He Decided to Stop Taking on Roles That Would “Put Me In Some Kind of Dark Place” After Having Kids

 Ryan Gosling.
Ryan Gosling.
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If you’ve noticed that Ryan Gosling’s filmography lately has included lighter fare—think La La Land, Barbie, and his latest, The Fall Guy—there’s a reason. Gosling opened up about the fact that, though he has given a wide range of performances throughout his career, he has avoided darker roles as of late for the sake of his family, E! News reports.

Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling

“I don’t really take roles that are going to put me in some kind of dark place,” he told WSJ. Magazine. “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. The decisions I make, I make them with Eva, and we make them with our family in mind first.” (Gosling’s longtime partner is Eva Mendes, and they share two daughters, nine-year-old Esmeralda and eight-year-old Amada.)

Gosling and Mendes met on the set of The Place Beyond the Pines—one of his more dark roles—back in 2011, and though Gosling has many credits that are dramas, he’s won over audiences in rom-coms (a la Crazy, Stupid, Love) and has been nominated for an Academy Award for the comedy Barbie and the musical La La Land.

Eva Mendes, Ryan Gosling
Eva Mendes, Ryan Gosling

“I think La La Land was the first,” he said of his shift to lighter content. “It was just sort of like, ‘Oh, this will be fun for them, too, because even though they’re not coming to set, we’re practicing piano every day or we’re dancing or we’re singing.’ Their interest in Barbie and their disinterest in Ken was an inspiration. I thought, they were already making little movies about their Barbies on the iPad when it happened, so the fact that I was going off to work to make one too—we just felt like we were aligned.”

Mendes herself opened up recently about the unspoken agreement that she and Gosling shared surrounding her decision to pause acting to raise their daughters. “It was like a no-brainer,” Mendes said. “[And I was like] I’m so lucky if I could have this time with my children.” Mendes emphasized that she still works—for example, she has a children’s book coming out this September—but prefers not to act right now as “acting takes you on location,” she said. “It takes you away.”

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes

Though Gosling may continue to act, there’s no role he values more than Papi to his two daughters. “It kills me every time,” he said of his children’s moniker for him. “There’s just nothing, nothing better than that.”