At last night’s Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, Ryan Gosling accepted the Vanguard Award for “La La Land,” along with director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz, Us Weekly reports.

In a heartfelt speech, the 36-year-old actor paid tribute to the late Debbie Reynolds, revealing that the legendary actress provided much of the inspiration for the film, through her work in classics like “Singin’ in the Rain,” where she sang and danced alongside Gene Kelly.

“I wish I could’ve said this in person, but I’d like to thank Debbie Reynolds for her wonderful career of work,” Gosling said. “She was an inspiration to us every day. We watched ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ every day for inspiration, and she was truly an unparalleled talent.”

Reynolds died on Dec. 28 — one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher.

You can watch a clip from Gosling’s speech below.