A Guide To 5 Ryan Gosling Tattoos and What They Mean

A Guide To 5 Ryan Gosling Tattoos and What They Mean

Ryan Gosling, the enigmatic heartthrob of Hollywood, is an actor whose captivating performances have garnered him a legion of devoted fans worldwide. Getting a start in the Mickey Mouse Club as a child, it wasn’t until his role in the 2004 drama, The Notebook, that Gosling explode into the mainstream. Since then he has gone on to become one of the top actors in Hollywood. Beyond his acting prowess, Gosling’s distinctive charm and magnetic presence have earned him the reputation of an elusive yet endearing figure in the entertainment industry. He’s also a big tattoo fan, with this article focusing on the five Ryan Gosling tattoos covering the actor’s body.

While his talent is undeniable, it is his enigmatic persona that sets him apart from his peers. Despite being one of the most sought-after actors of his generation thanks to roles in movies such as Blue Valentine, The Gray Man, La La Land, Drive, The Nice Guys, and The Place Beyond the Pines, Ryan Gosling manages to maintain an air of mystery that keeps the public intrigued. His private life remains shielded from the prying eyes of the media, allowing him to navigate the spotlight on his own terms.

One aspect of Gosling’s allure that has piqued curiosity is his collection of Ryan Gosling tattoos. Adorning his lean and chiseled physique, these inked designs add a touch of rebellion to his polished appearance. Each tattoo appears to hold a personal significance, offering a glimpse into the depths of his character without divulging explicit details.

Though the specifics of his tattoos remain closely guarded, they are a testament to Gosling’s authenticity and individuality. These intricate artworks etched onto his skin are a reflection of his journey and experiences, subtly hinting at the man behind the mesmerizing performances on the silver screen.

Although he only has five known tattoos, Gosing has sported ink in several movie roles, most notably The Gray Man and Place Beyond the Pines, where his torso was covered in ink.

Beyond the world of cinema and tattoos, Ryan Gosling is also known for his philanthropic endeavors and advocacy for various causes close to his heart. His compassion and dedication to making a positive impact on society add another layer of complexity to his multifaceted persona, endearing him to fans and admirers far beyond his on-screen portrayals.

As the world continues to be enthralled by Ryan Gosling’s enigmatic allure, it is his artistry, charisma, and the subtle mysteries hinted at by his tattoos that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. Whether he’s captivating audiences with his on-screen brilliance or subtly expressing himself through his inked art, Gosling’s presence in both the entertainment and philanthropic spheres is a testament to the enduring fascination he evokes in the hearts of many.

A Guide To 5 Ryan Gosling Tattoos and What They Mean

1. The Giving Tree Tattoo

If you’ve ever seen images of Ryan Gosling topless, you’ve no doubt noticed the ink on his left shoulder. The tattoo is an image taken from the cover of the children’s book The Giving Tree. Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein, the book was first released in 1964 and caused quite a stir, with the School Library Journal calling it “one of the most divisive books in children’s literature.”

It depicts the relationship between a young boy and an apple tree, which sounds fine, but when looked at closely, can be interpreted in a negative way. Whatever your thoughts on the book are, it played a special part in Gosling’s childhood, as it was a book his mom often read to him.

Although his parents divorced when he was just 11, the memory of his mom reading him The Giving Tree remains a positive one, so Gosling decided to get the book’s cover art tattooed on his arm. While he enjoyed the book as a youngster, he might have different thoughts these days. When asked about the tattoo by Vulture in 2010, Gosling said, “That story’s the worst… I don’t want to be the tree.”

2. Cactus Tattoo

Jaguar PS/Shutterstock

If you’ve ever thought about giving yourself a tattoo, this design on Ryan Gosling’s left forearm should do enough to sway you from trying. What looks like a tattoo of a cactus is actually meant to be a monster’s arm ripping out a bleeding heart. As he explained in an interview with The Guardian, “A lot of people think it’s a cactus. It’s become a bit of an inkblot: you see what you want to.”

To be fair to Gosling, the tattoo isn’t half bad for a home job. Next to the image are the initials “W.H.R.” which stands for Werewolf Hearts Records. Gosling obsessives will know that Werewolf Hearts Records was the label that released the debut album by Dead Man’s Bones, Gosling’s band.

3. Ghostly Lady With a Skeleton Tattoo


The majority of Ryan Gosling’s ink is located on his left arm, with this tattoo hidden on the inside of the upper part of his left forearm. Seen best in Place Beyond the Pines, the tattoo is of a ghostly lady lying down with a skeleton. It’s a crudely drawn tattoo and one that Gosling hasn’t spoken about, although that hasn’t stopped the internet from guessing what it depicts.

Several online publications believe the tattoo is of famous actress, Theda Bara, who was a star in the early days of cinema. Between 1908 and 1926 Bara starred in over 40 films and was known for wearing revealing clothing, making her one of the first on-screen sex symbols.

4. Barcode Tattoo

Cineplex Movies/YouTube

Ryan Gosling’s barcode tattoo is, you guessed it, found on his left arm. Located on his left wrist, to be precise, this is another homemade tattoo Gosling gave himself. It is also another of his tattoos that doesn’t seem to have any meaning.

When asked about it during another interview with The Guardian in 2007, Gosling laughed and admitted it was a home job. “A tattoo should never be meaningful, because at a certain point you’re going to hate it, and it might as well make you laugh.” 

5. “Esme” Tattoo


Throughout his time in the spotlight, Ryan Gosling has dated some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Sandra Bullock and Rachel McAdams are two of the high-profile women to have entered Gosling’s life, but the Canadian actor is now happily loved up with Eva Mendes. The two met on the set of Place Beyond the Pines in 2011 and have been together ever since. Although they aren’t married, they have two daughters together, Esmeralda and Amada.

In recognition of Esmerelda, his firstborn, Gosling got “Esme” tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand. It’s believed he got the tattoo sometime in 2015, a year after Esmeralda’s birth.

Leave a Reply