Douglas Reinhardt is the guy not wearing a hat who is also not Blake Griffin.
n December 2008, Orange County-based writer Douglas Reinhardt started the blog Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling while home with bronchitis. He began making image macros with the phrase “Hey girl” as inside jokes with a friend. A little over three years later, the phrase has spawned over a dozen spin-off Tumblr blogs with Ryan Gosling talking about every topic from the latest tech news (Silicon Valley Ryan Gosling) to the 2012 campaign (Campaign Staff Ryan Gosling). We spoke with Douglas over email to ask him where the idea came from and what he thought of all the single-topic Tumblrs his has spawned.
Q: Let’s start with the most important questions: Why Ryan Gosling and why “Hey Girl”?
A: Ryan Gosling is actually one of my favorite actors and seemed to be an actor that girls were generally attracted to. When the site first started, Xzibit Yo Dawg image macros were very popular on Tumblr. “Hey Girl,” seemed like a romantic, flirty version of “Yo Dawg.” The phrase itself was probably inspired by 90s R&B songs, cold medicine, and my inability to flirt.
Q: Of the image macros you created, do you have a favorite?
A: I can’t really pick one image as a favorite because each one, aside from the user submissions, has a special meaning behind it. Although, I’m a little partial to “Your Love is like a Roller Coaster” because of the Ohio Players song.
Q: How did you feel when Ryan Gosling read several instances of the macros out loud during an MTV interview?
A: The MTV piece/Ryan Gosling reading them was a really surreal moment. I had always wondered if he knew about the site and what he thought about it, but he answered that question and it was really funny.
Q: Did you ever expect the phrase “Hey Girl” to take off in such a way? Do you have a favorite spin-off site?
A: I never thought the site would be as popular as it became. I thought it would be kind of a cult thing that fans of my own blog/web related contributions would enjoy and it would just fade away. Now, it’s a thing and I get weird e-mails asking if Ryan Gosling really writes the site or where they could get his autograph. I don’t know the answer to either one of those questions.
I don’t necessarily have a favorite site, but I thought Feminist Ryan Gosling was a really great way to take “Hey Girl” to different places. The derivatives, in a way, have allowed me to retire the F Yeah Ryan Gosling/Hey Girl site.
Q: You mentioned that the coming of spin-off blogs have allowed you to “retire” the Fuck Yeah Ryan Gosling blog, did you feel comfortable doing this?
A: With the other sites, I felt comfortable taking my time between postings. If I want to do one month, I can. Retiring the site is a combination of a few things. Mostly, a desire to combat the Ryan Gosling backlash or stories about Gosling being over-exposed. We should spend more time talking about his performances in films like Blue Valentine and Drive and less time about his outfits and his ability to break up fights. He’s a really great actor.
Q: How much did you know about memes before starting the Ryan Gosling Tumblr? Do you have a favorite meme?
A: I wasn’t too familiar with memes when I first started aside from the classic memes like Courage Wolf and Yo Dawg. If I had to pick a favorite meme, it would be Riot Dog. It sounds totally strange, but European dogs are so much cooler than dogs in America. I also like how loyal that dog was.
Q: Do you have any other upcoming web projects?
A: Aside from my personal Tumblr blog, I contribute to NBA Off-Season on a regular basis. There are some actors that seem meme-able, but I might turn my attention to podcasting in the new year.
Douglas Reinhardt is a Southern California based writer who also contributes to Untitled Film Blog and Big Fucking Explosions. He enjoys the Lakers, Parks & Recreation, FC Barcelona, Breaking Bad, Paul Thomas Anderson films, Marc Maron, grilling, Flying Lotus, Artie Lange, The Best Show on WFMU, and free food. This interview was conducted over email on January 3rd, 2012