The Canadian-born star became fed up with traffic-heavy California, where residents rely on their cars to get around, so he moved cross-country to the Big Apple.
He tells British magazine Radar, "(It was) something to do, as I had just turned 30. But also, in Los Angeles, it's easy to lose touch with everything. You just sit in your car the whole time. In New York, you're forced to deal with life, it's there in front of you on a daily basis."
Gosling, 32, insists interaction with the public is crucial for actors, adding, "It's not good just to have life experience of filmmaking and that's all. It's hard to play a real person when you've been in jets and town cars for three years."