The Hollywood star Ryan Gosling has said his “heart goes out” to the family and friends of Ryan McHenry, the Glasgow man who became an online sensation after posting video clips of the actor apparently refusing to eat cereal.
Mr McHenry used the videos to highlight his own struggle with cancer before his death at the weekend at the age of 27.
He hit upon the idea while eating cereal and watching Gosling in the film Drive. Mr McHenry held his spoon in front of the screen then filmed it and his videos – posted on the social networking site Vine – gave the movie an absurd twist as it appeared Gosling was refusing to eat.
The Edinburgh College of Art graduate’s videos – entitled Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal – quickly went viral and were shared by millions of people around the world.
After the news of his death emerged, Gosling posted a video of himself eating from a bowl of cereal, complete with a message on Twitter to those who knew Mr McHenry.
In the video, he said: “My heart goes out to all of Ryan McHenry’s family and friends. Feel very lucky to have been a part of his life in some small way.”
Naysun Alae-Carew, 29, a friend of Mr McHenry, said it was “amazing” that the actor had posted the message.
He said: “It’s the most fitting send-off any of his friends or family could have hoped for. It was something he had always talked about. A few weeks ago Ryan Gosling acknowledged the vines [videos on the site] for the first time and Ryan was really happy about it.
“To have this is just amazing and for us and particularly his family it validates how much Ryan gave. They are just vines to make people laugh but to have Ryan Gosling respond just shows the effect that Ryan had on the world.”
Talking about the videos back in 2013, Mr McHenry said: “The level of success this has had is insane – I’m getting notifications like every ten seconds to say it’s been shared or re-tweeted.
“The popularity really spans all different social classes – I think it’s because Ryan Gosling is basically the superstar of the moment but also the humour is really simplistic and something everyone can appreciate.
“I know Ryan Gosling’s got a Twitter account but I don’t think he uses it – I would love to hear what he thinks of them.”
Last year, Mr McHenry, originally from Dumfries, made another hit video, this time from his hospital bed, just hours after having 17 cancerous tumours removed from his lung.
He got friends to bring his computer equipment to the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow and within a few hours of coming out of surgery had posted a video about his struggle with cancer. In it he said: “I had 17 small tumours removed from one of my lungs. I’m feeling fine though. I have had a lot of ideas in hospital and I thought I would have to wait until I got home, but I got my friend to bring in the equipment.”
He also posted other short online video clips on Vine of him shaving off his hair as well as selfies taken during his chemotherapy treatment.
A group of the film-maker’s friends have set up a page for donations to cancer charity, Sarcoma UK, in his memory, saying there was “nothing more appropriate to honour Ryan’s life than by making a positive impact on the lives of others suffering from this disease”.
The page has already raised more than £3,300 towards its £7,500 target. Mr Alae-Carew added: “He had always talked to us about wanting to raise money when he was feeling better but that never happened, and we wanted to do something positive in his memory.”