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Coffee shop wooed Ryan Gosling with a cardboard cutout — and it worked

The actor surprised everyone — and it's all thanks to his mom.
Ryan Gosling, #ryanneedsgrinder campaign
Ryan Gosling, #ryanneedsgrinder campaignGrinder Coffee/Facebook
/ Source: TODAY

After years of "Hey, girl," memes, it may seem difficult to grab the attention of actor Ryan Gosling on social media.

But a hilarious campaign by a tenacious coffee shop owner in Toronto prompted the Canadian star to make a surprise visit on Tuesday — and it's all thanks to Gosling's mom.

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It all started on Sept. 1, when Joelle Murray, owner of Grinder Coffee in East Toronto, began to post photos of a life-size cardboard cutout of Gosling holding a coffee cup with the shop's name.

The post invited Gosling to come to the café while he was in town during the Toronto International Film Festival, and included the hashtag #RyanNeedsGrinder.

Then the city's mayor stopped by to pose with the cutout and the campaign really took off.

Murray continued to post photos of the cardboard image of Gosling every day. Although the cutout did not include Gosling's legs, it was detailed enough to take him on a series of crazy Canadian adventures.

Murray joked with TODAY Food that she brought the cutout to the mall, got him a massage and a haircut. She also sent Gosling a Google map of where the café was located.

In 2017, the café unsuccessfully tried to lure in actor Idris Elba with a similar campaign using a home-printed cutout of his face and the hashtag #IdrisNeedsGrinder. It didn't work.

But on Tuesday, something amazing happened. Murray's dreams came true when Gosling walked into her coffee shop.

"And this happened... it worked. Our#ryanneedsgrinder campaign actually worked," she wrote in the post following his visit — ending with: "Take that Idris Elba your loss!!!!"

Gosling credited the visit to his mother and sister, who live locally and encouraged him to stop in, Murray told TODAY Food.

"His mother definitely has free coffee for life here," she told TODAY Food. "They really did raise a nice boy. He was an incredibly good sport. My little family business is on the map and he really did show some awesome kindness. I'm feeling emotional about it. He didn’t have to take time out of his crazy schedule to visit my 800 square-foot shop. It shows the power of kindness."