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Ryan Gosling Shares How Debbie Reynolds ‘Inspired’ The Entire La La Land Cast

He thanked her in a heartfelt speech

When Ryan Gosling took the stage Tuesday (January 3) at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, there was one person who couldn't hear his speech: Debbie Reynolds, who died last week just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher.

"I wish I could've said this in person but I'd like to thank Debbie Reynolds for her wonderful career of work," he said while accepting the Chairman's Vanguard Award on behalf of La La Land, his new musical with Emma Stone that opened last month to rave reviews and Oscar buzz. The film follows the romance between Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a jazz musician, as they strive to make their showbiz dreams come true in Los Angeles.

Music plays a central role in the movie, so the cast turned to Reynolds's Singin' in the Rain scenes to prepare. "She was an inspiration to us every day," Gosling said, explaining that they watched her breakout role as Kathy Selden daily. Despite having little dancing experience before the role, Reynolds stole the show.

"[She's] truly an unparalleled talent," Gosling continued. No argument here.