Today, in handsome dancin’ teenagers news: The members of boy-band-turned-man-band Backstreet Boys have put their feet down on rumors that Ryan Gosling was ever almost a member of the group. The topic came up on a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, where a caller inquired about whether Gosling—who knew the assembled Boys back when they were all living in the same apartment complex back during his Mickey Mouse Club days in Orlando—had ever actually been considered for the group. As A.J. McLean quickly clarified, the idea that Gosling was ever a candidate was a joke (something the actor himself made clear back when this whole thing first came up, in an interview in 2013); in fact, he was actually pretty dismissive of the group’s chances of success in the first place.
Fair enough: An innocuous story, a joke taken out of context, one of those internet rumors that picks up a tail far longer than the dog of truth it ends up dragging along. Except. Except, here’s where things go down the rabbit hole and into the realm of the weird.
See, when addressing the question with Cohen, McLean uses a very particular phrase to describe Gosling being forced to eat crow about saying that Backstreet would never be back, alright? Specifically, he says, and this is a direct quote, “Cut to…He was wrong.” All well and good (if maybe a little too sassy, given the circumstances). Except that if you go back to the original Gosling quotes—or at least the version quoted by Vulture back in 2013—you come across this: “We were like, it’s never going to happen. Didn’t they already do that with New Kids? You’re a little late. Cut to … I was wrong.”
You see it, right? Two men, seven years apart, both using the “cut to, x was wrong” language to describe this very specific reversal of fortunes. What, praytell, are we to make of this bizarre instance of parallel phrase-based evolution? Did McLean revisit Gosling’s old interview, knowing he might be hounded about this topic during the band’s most recent run of press? Did they both pick up this decidedly cinematic language from their acting careers—Gosling in his multiple Oscar-nominated film performances, McLean on the set of 2017's boy-band-based horror Western Dead 7? Or is there something more sinister afoot here? Were they both fed the same verbal construction by some unseen outside force? Who’s film, exactly, are we cutting to? Is Ryan Gosling the Manchurian Backstreet Boy?
The people need to know.