The Giving Tree was the inspiration for Ryan Gosling's tattoo.
Ryan Gosling's tattoos. Yeah you've googled them. If you like tattoos and you like curling up in front of a Ryan Gosling movie with a big bowl of popcorn, than you've googled Ryan Gosling's tattoos. But do you know the story behind them?
Well, one of them is a bit of a DIY job in which Gosling tried to draw a monster's hand dropping a bloody heart. The other is a ghostly lady, which looks pretty cool, but there's a real behind the third.
It's the recognizable cover of the children's book, The Giving Tree, which Gosling's mother used to read him as a youngster. The picture book written and published by Shel Silverstein has been translated to numerous languages, though remains one of the most divisive books in children's literature.
The controversy stems from the relationship between the main characters, a boy and a tree, and whether it should be interpreted as positive (the tree gives the boy love) or negative (the boy and tree have an almost sadomasochistic relationship).
Essentially, at the start, the boy wants money, the tree suggests that he pick and sell her apples. After reaching adulthood, the boy wants a house, the tree suggests he cut her branches to build a house, which he does. Later, the boy wants a boat, the tree suggests he cut her trunk to make a boat, which he does, leaving only the stump.
In the final pages, the boy - now an old man - wants only "a quiet place to sit and rest," which the stump provides.
In an interview with The Metro, Gosling explained, "One is supposed to be a monster's hand dropping a bloody heart but I did it myself with a tattoo kit, so it looks like a cactus. Another one is a ghostly lady and a skeleton, and the other one is the cover of The Giving Tree, a children's book my mother used to read to my sister and me - so that one is significant."
In 2007, Gosling told The Guardian that 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."
Ryan Gosling Loves The Giving Tree
Ryan Gosling At The Cannes Film Festival in 2011