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Ryan Gosling Praises 'Girl of My Dreams' Eva Mendes During Santa Barbara Film Festival Speech

The 'Barbie' actor also gave a shoutout to his "dream" kids — daughters Esmeralda Amada, 9, and Amada Lee, 7

Sonia Recchia/Getty Eva Mendes, Ryan Gosling.
Sonia Recchia/Getty Eva Mendes, Ryan Gosling.

Ryan Gosling is singing his praise for the leading lady in his life!

The Barbie actor, 43, was honored with the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday night.

Gosling, who was the 16th recipient of the award, gave a shoutout to his wife, Eva Mendes, and their two daughters during his speech.

Noting how his job as an actor has allowed him to portray various roles, Gosling added, "Most importantly, I got to meet the girl of my dreams, Eva Mendes, and have two dream children."

"I dreamed of one day making movies, and now, movies have made my life a dream," the actor continued.

<p>River Callaway/Variety via Getty </p> Gosling was honored with the Kirk Douglas award at the festival on Saturday

River Callaway/Variety via Getty

Gosling was honored with the Kirk Douglas award at the festival on Saturday

Related: Emily Blunt Says Her Daughters Are 'So Happy' She Got to Work with Ryan Gosling: He's 'It for Them'

Elsewhere during his acceptance speech, Gosling said he was "not prepared" for the moment, joking that he "should have had more champagne," before he paid tribute to Greta Gerwig and Steve Carrell, who introduced the actor in touching tributes.

"It's hard to imagine being at a point in my career where I'm standing up here tonight," Gosling said. "... It's just that it's Kirk Douglas. He's one of the first true icons of cinema ... he is completely and utterly in the class of his own, and I’m … just Ken?"

"Up until this point, I've only ever thought about just how much cinema had done for me. I had never really thought about what I've done for cinema, as far back as I can remember," the actor continued.

Gosling then paid tribute to his mom Donna, who "found my weak spot" in acting as a child and homeschooled him for a year "to show me how to create my own story."

"That open door wasn't an elevator that went straight to the top, but I was able to help my mom pay the rent. And by playing other people, I was learning who I was in the process," the father of two added.

<p>Rebecca Sapp/Getty</p> Greta Gerwig and Steve Carrell paid tribute to Gosling on the night

Rebecca Sapp/Getty

Greta Gerwig and Steve Carrell paid tribute to Gosling on the night

Related: Will 'Barbie' Have a Sequel After Making $1 Billion? Greta Gerwig Wants to 'Go Back to Barbie Land'

Gosling also recalled working with Carrell, 61, on an acting job at age 17 and Gerwig, 40, on last year's Barbie during his speech.

"And I don't even know where to start with Greta," he said. "Even though she was making one of the biggest films of all time against all the odds in the world, she never allowed the weight of the task to steal the joy away from the moment. She never let the importance of it all cloud what was truly important, which is to never forget how lucky we are to do what we do."

Among his early influences in film, Gosling mentioned directors Cecil B. DeMille, Garry Marshall, and Stanley Kubrick, as well as actors Charlton Heston, Yul Brenner, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell and Kirk Douglas. The actor concluded his speech by thanking those who supported him in his acting journey.

<p>River Callaway/Variety via Getty </p> Gosling and Carrell at the festival on Saturday

River Callaway/Variety via Getty

Gosling and Carrell at the festival on Saturday

Gosling's latest accolade comes as he has been nominated for Best Actor Oscars twice — for 2006's Half Nelson and 2016's La La Landand counts the Golden Globes and SAG Awards among this year's nods for his role as Ken in Gerwig's Barbie, opposite star Margot Robbie.

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Santa Barbara Film Festival Executive Director Roger Durling said of the Canadian-born star's festival honor in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, “Ryan Gosling has long been both a dramatic and comedic force in front of the camera."

“This year, thanks to his universally hailed, triumphant performance as Ken in Barbie — a film that truly demanded the attention of critics and moviegoers around the world — he has become a true cinematic powerhouse," Durling added.

Gosling follows in the footsteps of Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Jessica Lange, John Travolta, Martin Scorsese, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Yeoh and more as the recipient of the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film.

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