Ryan Gosling knows he has hit the jackpot.
The La La Land star may not have found a literal hidden treasure, but if his captivating onscreen chemistry with costar Emma Stone is anything to go by, it could win him a gold statue at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
“It’s so much fun working with her,” the Oscar nominee for Best Actor told ABC before the show. “We’ve been really lucky that we were asked to improvise on our first film together, and that’s where we created a connection.”
“We’ve been really lucky to work that way,” he added.
Gosling, 36, has starred in three films opposite Stone, including Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad. The actor and father-of-two is now nominated for his second Oscar in the Damien Chazelle-directed musical. His first nomination came in 2007 for Half Nelson.
Gosling stars in La La Land as Sebastian, an idealistic jazz pianist who falls head over heels for an actress named Mia (played by 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.
The actor won the Golden Globe for his role in La La Land, giving an emotional tribute to his partner, actress Eva Mendes, and her deceased brother, Juan Carlos.
“You don’t get to be up here without standing on the shoulders of a mountain,” he said. “While I was singing and dancing and playing piano … my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother with his battle with cancer.”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com