While the 84-year-old’s roles were an inspiration to many over the years, no one is more thankful right now for her work on the film Singin’ in the Rain than Ryan Gosling.
The 36-year-old took a moment to honor the late actress while accepting the Vanguard Award for La La Land with writer-director Damien Chazelle at the Palm Springs Film Festival on Monday.
“I wish I could’ve said this in person, but I’d like to thank Debbie Reynolds for her wonderful career of work. She was an inspiration to us every day. We watched Singin’ in the Rain every day for inspiration, and she was a truly unparalleled talent. So I thank her for all of that inspiration.”
In the film, Ryan plays a traditionalist jazz musician who falls in love with Emma, an aspiring Hollywood actress.
While both actors are getting major Oscar buzz for their performances, Gosling admits that he already feels like an award winner just from getting to be a part of the acclaimed big screen musical.
Speaking to ET after the ceremony, he said:
“Honestly, it was a reward enough just to get to make this film. To get to make a film like this, with [director] Damien [Chazelle] at the helm, it was just an incredible experience, so to be awarded on top of that was unexpected and really appreciated.”
Aside from statues, Gosling has taken home invaluable skills from working on the film — like his new piano playing talents:
“I am [still playing the piano]! Unfortunately it’s still just the pieces from this film, but they’re that good that I don’t care. I’m not sick of them yet.”
Clearly, all that hard work is paying off — and it’s great to hear Reynolds played such a big part in inspiring this Oscar frontrunner.
We’re sure the late legend’s work will continue to inspire for years to come!