Gina Rodriguez, the Golden Globe recipient for best actress on Jane the Virgin recently gave a heartfelt speech at the 2015 Kennedy Centers Honors.
Rodriguez opened the show by paying homage to Rita Moreno, who is considered to be one of the most influential Latina actresses in the United States. Moreno, who is now 84, is one of the very few individuals who has ever received an Emmy, Tony, Grammy, and an Oscar. Some of the past films that Rita Moreno has acted in include Singin’ in the Rain (1952), The King and I (1956), and West Side Story (1961). Moreno currently has a role in Jane the Virgin, where she plays Jane’s grandmother on the popular CW series.
During Rodriguez’s tribute to Moreno, she started off by stating how she recalls being a 15 year old girl and telling her mother “I never see us (Puerto Ricans) on my favorite TV shows or movies, we must not have existed back then right?”
Her mother then introduced her to Puerto Rican legend Rita Moreno to whom Rodriguez said was an “independent voice that burst through every performance and every interview. And I wanted to be just like Rita, you gave me hope you gave me a reason to fight and just speak up, you gave me a voice.”
Watch Gina Rodriguez’s touching tribute to Rita Moreno below:
Jane the Virgin, also landed a spot on mxdwn’s top 10 TV shows of 2015.