Was Ryan Gosling almost a member of the Backstreet Boys?

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is one of the most prominent actors working today, having starred in countless hugely successful productions. From La La Land to Blade Runner 2049 to Drive, Gosling has made a name for himself in both independent cinema and mainstream Hollywood. The star has even been nominated for two Best Actor awards at the Oscars and five Golden Globes, winning one.

However, Gosling is not only talented in the acting department – he is also a skilled singer. The actor’s career began when he auditioned for a part in The Mickey Mouse Club aged just twelve. He secured the role of a ‘mouseketeer’ and subsequently appeared alongside fellow future-stars Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Frequently singing on the show, Gosling would also go on to release his own music in 2007, and that same year he would form an indie rock band called Dead Man’s Bones.

Yet in the 1990s, Gosling was supposedly invited to become a member of The Backstreet Boys, who went on to become one of America’s biggest boybands. The actor lived next door to Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, who asked Gosling to join the group. McLean states that “we were playing basketball, like every other day, and the group had just started. I told him that Backstreet Boys is gonna be huge and he’s like, ‘It’s not gonna happen, bro.” Gosling thought that the Backstreet Boys wouldn’t be successful as they sounded like too much of a “New Kids [on the Block] rip-off.”

Although he initially turned down the offer, preferring to focus on his acting career, Gosling changed his mind and rang McLean back when the boyband began to earn success. Unfortunately for Gosling, McLean never returned his call. According to McLean, the rumours have been blown way out of proportion and Gosling never even auditioned for a position in the band and it was unlikely that he would’ve actually joined the band; he says: “Somehow the press misconstrued it and it became a thing.”

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McLean also addressed the situation in 2013, saying: “Ryan, I am so sorry that I didn’t call you back. If we ever want a sixth Backstreet Boy member I’m gonna call you. You can sing.” Furthermore, he added, “He can sing his ass off. He’s not only a great actor and a handsome man.” Luckily for Gosling, his dismissal of the boyband led him to more acting opportunities instead.

By 2001, Gosling was receiving widespread acclaim for his role as a Jewish neo-Nazi in The Believer. By 2004, Gosling gained even greater recognition for his leading role opposite Rachael McAdams in the tear-jerking romantic drama The Notebook. Meanwhile, The Backstreet Boys had already cemented their status as one of the best-selling boybands of all time, (a title they still hold today) with popular hits such as ‘I Want It That Way’ and ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).’

Currently, the Backstreet Boys are working on a Christmas album set to be released later this year, whilst Gosling is set to appear in the hotly-anticipated new Greta Gerwig film Barbie, playing Ken alongside Margot Robbie in the titular role.

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