The actor has labeled his two years as a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel TV show with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera a ”hustle” to get him into showbusiness, having come over from Canada to the U.S. at the age of 15. Ryan told The Guardian: ”I had my hustle. It was whatever I could do to not end up working in a factory. If I had to shake it like a showgirl, I was going to do it.”
Despite the Drive actor’s effortlessly cool image now, he admitted that this wasn’t the case when he was younger. The hunk admits he mimicked Marlon Brando’s accent after deciding his own voice wasn’t tough enough.
Ryan – who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and couldn’t read properly until he was 10 years old – said: ”I didn’t really have friends back then. It was a tight little family unit. We rolled with each other.”
Now a director, Ryan also revealed that his new film Lost River – which stars his real-life partner Eva Mendes – was inspired by the feelings he had when he was with his mother, after she divorced from his father when he was 13.
Ryan said: ”My mother wasn’t just a single mother, she was also very beautiful. And men were like wolves. Just walking down the street with her was scary. There was a predatory vibe. Guys would whistle, or they’d circle in their cars.”