It’s a lovely night for Ryan Gosling: The La La Land star won the award for best actor in a comedy or musical at this year’s Golden Globes.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been mistaken for Ryan Reynolds. It’s getting out of hand,” he joked in his acceptance speech, referencing fellow nominee Ryan Reynolds.
Gosling thanked his costar Emma Stone (herself a nominee in the best actress in a musical or comedy category) and La La Land director Damien Chazelle, before paying special tribute to his partner Eva Mendes, whom Gosling noted helped raise their two daughters and take care of her brother, who died last year of cancer, while he was making the film.
“While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer,” he said. “If she hadn’t taken all that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today.”
In addition to thanking his two daughters with Mendes, Amada and Esmerelda, he dedicated the award to Mendes’ brother Juan Carlos, who died of cancer at age 53 last year.
Gosling stars in Chazelle’s sweeping musical as Sebastian, an idealistic jazz pianist who falls head over heels for an actress named Mia (played by Emma Stone). Although Gosling had some musical experience — remember his Mickey Mouse Club days? — he had to take extensive dance and piano lessons to play the dreamy musician, and last year, he told EW that starring in a musical presented a whole new set of challenges as an actor.
“I think what worried me the most was just losing track of the characters when the musical numbers came in,” Gosling told EW. “[The key was] bridging that gap and making sure that the people singing those songs were the same people in the scenes that you saw beforehand and that you didn’t lose track of them.”
La La Land led this year’s Golden Globes nominations with a total of seven, including best musical or comedy, best director for Chazelle, and best actress in a musical or comedy for Stone. Gosling beat out Colin Farrell in The Lobster, Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins, Jonah Hill in War Dogs, and Reynolds in Deadpool.