If you do not follow Icelandic news closely you may have missed the fact that Ryan Gosling turned the island nation upside down this month. He'd arrived in Iceland on July 10th to work with the Icelandic editor of his directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster, and ended up being mistaken for a not insignificant number of the country's men.
Gosling's arrival in Iceland was heralded by Iceland's oldest newspaper, Morgunblaðið, which proceeded documented Gosling's Icelandic Saga with heroic tenacity. They spotted Ryan Gosling at the famous Blue Lagoon, and one of their readers submitted the only known photo of Ryan Gosling in Iceland. ("I do not know what he was doing but he was pathologically cute but still being very ordinary," reads the photographer's google-translated caption.) It seemed like a typical celebrity visit, exciting but routine.
But then Morgunblaði broke the news that Ryan Gosling's car had been rear-ended in Reyjkavik, citing eye-witnesses. It appeared they'd scored a scoop that would go international, perhaps bringing glory to Iceland's oldest newspaper, which has been much-maligned since hiring one of the bankers responsible for Iceland's economic collapse as its editor.
Unfortunately, the victim was not Gosling but a look-alike, quickly identified as 27-year-old Júlíus Pétur Guðjohnsen, who happened to be wearing a suit because he was on the way to a funeral. Guðjohnsen, who was uninjured, has become a minor celebrity in Iceland. Instead of the flattery any among us might feel upon being mistaken for Ryan Gosling, Guðjohnsen seemed a bit put off. When Morgunblaðið followed-up with a photo gallery—"The Icelandic Gosling Is On The Loose," he offered this understated response to his newfound fame: "I have not been keeping up with this discussion." Being mistaken for Ryan Gosling: Just another day in the life of an Icelandic man.
In fact, he doesn't even really look like Ryan Gosling:
That might have been the end of it, but in the North, a challenger appeared. A blogger based out of the tiny hamlet of Siglufjörður on the northern coast of Iceland offered their local Gosling look-alike, 17-year-old Bjarni Mark Antonsson. This guy, as you can see in the image at the top of this post, really did look like Ryan Gosling. Morgunblaðið dutifully announced it had "received reports from the north of a young man who seems even more like Gosling."
Two Ryan Gosling look-alikes among Iceland's 319,000 residents! Iceland must boast the highest prevalence of Gosling resemblance in the world. And these are just the reported ones. Who knows how many Icelandic men who look like Ryan Gosling live in anonymity among the fjords and hot springs?