Christopher Nolan accepts the award for Best Director  Motion Picture for "Oppenheimer" at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)
CNN  — 

Christopher Nolan won the best director Golden Globe award on Sunday for his 2023 film “Oppenheimer,” and he took the opportunity to honor the late Heath Ledger during his acceptance speech.

“The only time I’ve ever been on this stage before was accepting one of these on behalf of our dear friend, Heath Ledger. And that was complicated and challenging for me,” Nolan said.

He went on to say that in the middle of his speech at the time, “I glanced up and Robert Downey Jr. caught my eye and gave me a look of love and support.”

“It’s the same look he’s giving me now. Same love and support he’s shown so many people in our community for so many years,” he added.

TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 10:  Actor Heath Ledger poses for a portrait while promoting his film "Brokeback Mountain" at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2005 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

Ledger died almost 16 years ago in New York City at age 28.

He posthumously won both a Golden Globe as well as an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his work as the Joker in Nolan’s 2008 masterpiece “The Dark Knight.”

Downey Jr. along with his co-star Cillian Murphy each won Globes on Sunday for their performances in Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” on Sunday night. Composer Ludwig Göransson also won for best original score for the movie.

Nolan’s win on Sunday marks his first, with five other nominations under his belt. Nolan was nominated for best director alongside Greta Gerwig, Bradley Cooper, Yorgos Lanthimos, Martin Scorsese and Celine Song.