Five days before last Christmas, your boyfriend Joseph Gordon-Levitt became Silicon Valley robotics genius Tasha McCauley’s husband. Sorry. People blithely broke the news on New Year’s Eve, reporting that the couple had wed in a private ceremony at their Los Angeles home on Dec. 20. Meaning that as of 2015, the Internet’s ultimate man-crush trifecta—Ryan Gosling, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Gordon-Levitt—is collectively spoken for. Happy New Year!
The news came as a surprise even to fans of Gordon-Levitt, who was only photographed with McCauley for the first time last May. (Here they are semi-touching at a grocery store; she likes kombucha.) But it was McCauley’s impressive resume that made headlines: She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bard College, a master’s degree in International Business Education and Research from USC, and a graduate certificate in robotics from Singularity University, where she later became a faculty member and taught students about “robotics, artificial intelligence, and other rapidly accelerating technologies.”
McCauley also co-founded Fellow Robots, a telepresence robotics company based in NASA’s Research Park in Mountain View, Calif.—though she is not, as People initially reported, the company’s CEO. (In her web profile for USC’s Marshall School of Business, McCauley describes herself as co-founder and creative director for the company; Fellow Robots, meanwhile, confirmed to Vocativ that McCauley left them some time ago.)
She is reportedly multilingual, fluent in both Spanish and Arabic, and a co-founder of the 10^9+ Foundation, which challenges students to develop “services, products, and both nonprofit and for-profit organizations that have the ability to positively affect the lives of one billion people within 10 years.”
And if you ask what her superpower is, like this openly enamored interviewer did at last year’s Toy and Game Innovation Conference, she’ll respond with something like, “My nervous system, which processes the world in ways I can’t even comprehend. I get a fantastic free ride on systems that have been optimized by millions of years of evolution.”
In a TED-like talk at last year’s IdeaCity conference—you can watch video here—McCauley explains the “superhuman avatar” robots she developed with Fellow Robotics. They look a little like iPads glued to Segways, but that’s the point: They’re “video chat on wheels,” complete with customizable modules that fit telecommuters’ individual needs.
“What if somebody wants to know if you’re nervous and they want pupil dilation sensors?” she implores. “What if you're a doctor and you want heart-rate sensors on your robot? What if you just want eyes on the back of your head, you want forward and rear-facing cameras? These are things that you can’t do as a biological person.”
No one is clear on when McCauley and Gordon-Levitt started dating, exactly, but in a 2013 interview with Howard Stern, the actor revealed they had met through “mutual friends.” He declined to name his then-girlfriend, saying, “I tend not to really like to talk about it in public. The girl that I’m with, she really doesn’t want to be a part of that.” He confessed a “phobia” of “getting attention from girls for [being famous]”—which can be an issue when you’re one of Tumblr’s favorite crushes.
McCauley may have married beneath her station, but Gordon-Levitt has obsessive fans. Lots of them. Much like Gosling or Cumberbatch die-hards, “JGL”-lovers are ardent in their adoration, with Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, fan sites, fan art and fan-fiction galore. One would think surprise marriages (or, in Gosling’s case, a partner and a baby) might extinguish the flames, but most express happiness for their imaginary boyfriends on such occasions. One Tumblr user, who made a virtual congratulations card for Gordon-Levitt and McCauley, wrote, “One of my most favorite individuals currently living on this planet got married to Tasha McCauley on December 20, 2014! I am so happy for Regular Joe!”
“May their married life have laughter, and that they love one another forever after!” reads the card, complete with a photo of the couple’s heads framed inside a heart.
Another Tumblr fan site kicked off the New Year by wishing McCauley and Gordon-Levitt “good things and happiness. It seems he has all or almost all he wants for being happy now.”
Screaming fans don’t stick around forever, of course. Gosling’s popularity reached a fever pitch in 2012, back when he’d morphed into a walking meme. After the “Hey Girl” jokes subsided and the angry mob dispersed after People failed to name him Sexiest Man Alive (again), Gosling settled down with Eva Mendes and “retired” from acting. Three months ago, the two had a baby together and the Internet mostly just shrugged. Today, it’s almost passé to express love for the Internet’s former sweetheart, who is now struggling to establish himself as a director with his critically panned debut, Lost River.
As for the famously self-labeled Cumberbitches, their star is rising. Their alien-faced object of affection has gone from a BBC star on Sherlock to a bona fide Oscar contender with his turn as cryptanalyst Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. His surprise marriage to theater director Sophie Hunter may have broken hearts, but the squeals of delight were even louder. The way the couple announced the union was the embodiment of Cumberbatch’s absurdly British appeal: An old-fashioned, vaguely aristocratic announcement in the “Forthcoming Marriages” section of The Times.
Perhaps most distinguishing of all is Cumberbatch’s conscious effort to provide his fans with constant titillation. While Gosling shies from the spotlight and Gordon-Levitt prefers fan collaboration via his hitRECord project, Cumberbatch simply gives people what they want—and he has fun with it, too. He told Elle UK last year that, as his character Sherlock Holmes, “I’d know exactly how to please a woman, I’d know exactly where to put my fingers, where to put my tongue, where to put my—his, I should say—fingers, his tongue. Think about violinists, think about what they can do with their fingers.”
Comments like that are designed to stoke the fires of fan-passion—and it works beautifully. Gordon-Levitt may not be the type to deliberately make ovaries explode, but you wouldn’t hear anyone complaining if he did. Except for maybe his brainiac wife… but she could do better anyway.