Ryan Gosling Doesn't Understand "Hey Girl" Memes & Explains His Feminist Views On Filmmaking

America's favorite Canadian export, Ryan Gosling, has no idea why "Hey Girl" started, and SXSW film, interactive, and music festival, he uttered the infamous words for the first time. "The thing is, I've never said it," he says. "I understand if you're in a movie and you something like, 'I'll be back,' like you gotta own that. You said that. But I never said this. I didn't even know about it. I go on the street and some guy goes, 'Hey girl,'" he says, taking his own 'Hey girl' virginity.

Gosling appeared with famed director Guillermo Del Toro to have a conversation about Gosling's directorial debut with Lost River. The conversation quickly diverged to Gosling's personal life, and the real life women that influence his filmmaking. "My mother is very beautiful, and she's a single mom. When you're a kid and you have a single mom, in a way all men feel like wolves. I remember walking with mother and guys would whistle at her or cars would circle, and it's very predatory," he says.

"It's very threatening, especially if you're a young kid and you don't feel like if something went sideways you could do anything about it. You start to imagine all these versions in which you could, and it ignites you imagination in a way," he says, crediting his child-like imagination for the style of Lost River.

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Gosling is no stranger to beautiful, strong female role models outside of his mother, either. "I have complicated, powerful female characters in my life. It's just how I grew up, and it's growing... expontentially," he says, referencing his newborn daughter with girlfriend Eva Mendes. "That's the reality of my world. Those are the stories I gravitate towards because they feel more like my life. There's a change happening for sure. You have the Broad City girls, who are incredible, or Amy Poehler or Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, and in music as well. There's a tide change, it feels that way."

Ryan Gosling's film Lost River, starring Christina Hendricks and Saoirse Ronan, premiered at Cannes Film Festival, and will hit theaters April 10. Watch the trailer below:

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Images: Getty