The Canadian actor, 43, honored his longtime partner 49-year-old Mendes - who he met on set of movie The Place Beyond the Pines in 2011 - in his acceptance speech at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday night.
Gosling, the star of Barbie, La La Land and The Notebook, was given the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film at the star-studded event - which took place hours before the Critics Choice Awards.
While speaking about his acting career, Gosling said: “Most importantly, I got to meet the girl of my dreams, Eva Mendes, and have two dream children.
“I dreamed of one day making movies, and now, movies have made my life a dream,” he added.
The couple - who are notoriously private - share daughters Esmeralda, nine, and Amada, seven.
The star also spoke about being honoured with the award, adding: “It’s hard to imagine being at a point in my career where I’m standing up here tonight.
Ryan Gosling tearing up talking about how his job has given him his dream — Eva Mendes and their kids pic.twitter.com/N1Z7j3uQVj
— elham (@elhammohamud) January 14, 2024
“It’s just that it’s Kirk Douglas. He’s one of the first true icons of cinema … he is completely and utterly in the class of his own, and I’m … just Ken?
“Up until this point, I’ve only ever thought about just how much cinema had done for me. I had never really thought about what I’ve done for cinema, as far back as I can remember.”
Just hours later, Gosling’s reaction to winning best original song at the Critics Choice Awards went viral.
Gosling was up against the likes of bonafide pop stars Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa plus rocker Lenny Kravitz to win Best Original Song at the event on Sunday night, held at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California.
After it was announced that his track had won the category, the camera panned to a confused-looking Gosling - who was seen furrowing his eyebrows and looking slightly horrified.
As a result social media was ablaze with reaction - with one commenting that Gosling had “created a new meme” with his deadpan reaction.
One user wrote: “WAKE UP BABE NEW RYAN GOSLING REACTION JUST DROPPED.”
Other nominees in the category included Dance the Night from Barbie, sung by Dua Lipa, What Was I Made For also from Barbie by Billie Eilish, Peaches from The Super Mario Bros. Movie by Jack Black, Road to Freedom from Rustin by Lenny Kravitz and This Wish by Ariana DeBose from Wish.
Elsewhere, Christopher Nolan’s historical epic Oppenheimer topped the Critics Choice Awards, taking home eight gongs.