TBT: Ryan Gosling Said Sandra Bullock Was One of His "Greatest Girlfriends" Ever

They low-key dated back in 2002.

Ryan Gosling & Sandra Bullock
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Who: Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock, 57, and Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling, 41.

How They Met: The two actors met while filming the psychological thriller Murder by Numbers in 2001. Bullock played homicide detective Cassie Mayweather, while Gosling took on the role of high school genius Richard Hayward, who pulled off the "perfect" murder with a classmate. At the time, Sandra was 37 years old and Ryan was only 21, but regardless of their 16-year age gap, the two hit it off and quietly began dating.

While their relationship was very hush-hush, Sandra did coyly hint about them being more than friends during an interview with Cosmopolitan in 2003.

When asked if she and Ryan were "just friends," she responded, "If you were to add the word 'just,' it would probably be a bit of a lie. So, I'd say we're friends." She also gave another hint, adding that a movie set — the exact place where she and Ryan were first introduced — is the "best dating service on the planet."

Ryan Gosling & Sandra Bullock
Getty Images

Why We Loved Them: Before it became commonplace for women to date younger men in Hollywood, Sandra ushered in the wave of change in the early '00s, paving the path for some of our favorite couples today — including Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

​​And despite Ryan being only 21 at the onset of their relationship, he did manage to teach Sandra an important life lesson. "To chill. I live my life at a manic pace, and he's taught me to disregard all that isn't important," she told Cosmo about what she's learned from being around Ryan. "He's like a little Buddha."

When They Peaked: They confirmed they were a couple (without actually confirming they were a couple) on the red carpet at the Murder by Numbers premiere in Cannes in 2002.

Ryan Gosling & Sandra Bullock
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The Breakup: Bullock and Gosling's relationship ended just shy of the two-year mark, with the pair splitting in 2003. The reason for their breakup was unknown at the time, but Gosling later blamed the entertainment industry for why they didn't work out.

"Show business is the bad guy," he told The Times in 2011. "When both people are in show business, it's too much show business. It takes all of the light, so nothing else can grow."

That said, things between them ended amicably apparently, as Gosling considered Bullock one of his greatest loves. "I had two of the greatest girlfriends of all time," he said in reference to Bullock and his other ex-girlfriend Rachel McAdams. "I haven't met anybody who could top them."

Ryan Gosling & Sandra Bullock
Getty Images

Where They Are Now: Bullock has been dating her photographer boyfriend Bryan Randall for seven years. They met in 2015 when Randall was hired to photograph Bullock's son Louis's birthday party. And while they reportedly aren't in a rush to get married, the actress has called him "the love of my life."

Sandra is a mom to two adopted children, Louis, 12, and Laila, 10.

Over the years, everyone's favorite rom-com actress took on more serious roles, including her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, in which she won Best Actress in 2010. Most recently, Bullock starred in The Lost City alongside Channing Tatum and will be back on the big screen next month in the film Bullet Train.

These days, Gosling is a full-on family man. He has been with actress Eva Mendes since 2011, and the couple share two daughters together— Esmeralda Amada, 7, and 6-year-old Amada Lee. Gosling and Mendes work hard to keep their relationship, and their children, out of the spotlight as much as possible.

While he's currently filming the highly-anticipated Barbie movie, starring opposite Margot Robbie as Ken, Gosling's new project, the action-thriller The Gray Man, will be released on Netflix on July 22.

#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.

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