Could Ryan Gosling Have Been in the Backstreet Boys?

Imagine what might have happened had he wanted it that way.

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Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

Ryan Gosling and his mother Donna Gosling arrive at the "Gangster Squad" premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California January 7, 2013.

Ryan Gosling has parlayed his dreamy looks and effortless cool into a major acting career, a legendary Internet meme and a long-running grassroots campaign to have him named People’s Sexiest Man of the Year. But it could have all been different. Imagine if you will, another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A dimension where Ryan Gosling is a Backstreet Boy.

It nearly happened, according to Backstreeter AJ McLean, who told TMZ this week that Gosling turned down the opportunity to join the group back in the 1990s.

McLean and Gosling lived next door to each other as teenagers and, after originally rejecting McLean’s offer, Gosling reportedly had a change of heart — but the singer didn’t return his call.

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Speaking directly to Gosling in his interview with TMZ, McLean said, “Ryan, I am so sorry that I didn’t call you back. If we ever want a sixth Backstreet Boy member I’m gonna call you. You can sing.” He added, “[Ryan] can sing his ass off. He’s not only a great actor and a handsome man.”

During the Backstreet Boys’ heyday, Gosling must have felt he’d missed his chance: the band sold millions of albums and toured the world while Gosling became part of The Mickey Mouse Club. In a recent interview of his own, while promoting new movie Gangster Squad, Gosling confessed that he’d told McLean at the time, “‘it’s never going to happen. Didn’t they already do that with New Kids [on the Block]? You’re a little late.’ … I was wrong.”

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The actor went on to say that he doesn’t have any regrets. “You can’t live in the past,” he said. “You’ve got to live in the now. That ship has sailed.” Would he consider brushing up on his dance moves, just in case the phone rings? “They’re not returning my calls,” he told the interviewer. “I try not to think about it.”

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