Pint-sized actress Brooklynn Prince took home a Critics’ Choice Award on Thursday, but she stole everyone’s hearts.
The 7-year-old sobbed tears of joy as she accepted the award for Best Young Performer for her role in The Florida Project, voted by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
Prince had the crowd of A-list attendees beaming with grins as she totted her way to the stage, donning a bright red dress with jeweled and sequined straps.
“This is such a big honor, all the nominees are great. You guys are awesome, we should go and get ice cream after this!” Prince joked through her tears. “God, I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity, and I would like to thank [director] Sean [Baker] for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be his Moonee.”
The young actress also thanked the film’s cast and crew, her family and her “team,” which garnered a round of giggles from the audience.
“I would like to dedicate this award to all the Halleys and Moonees out there,” she continued, shining a light on the reality of poverty, an issue at the center of the drama. “Guys, this is a real problem. You need to go out there and help. Thank you so much.”
After accepting her giant crystal statue, Prince chatted with a slew of celebrities at the awards ceremony. Among her fans was Maleficent star Angelina Jolie, who shared a smile and a tight hug with the breakout actress.
While Prince is only 7 years old, she began acting at age 2 with a modeling shoot for Parenting Magazine, then in a commercial appearance for Chuck E. Cheese.
In The Florida Project, an indie film with limited theater release last October, Prince portrayed 6-year-old Moonee, a girl living with her mother in a low-rent motel down the road from every girl’s dream palace: Disney World. Despite her family's situation, Moonee makes the most of her adventures, running around the motel with friends and eating free ice cream.
During the making of the film, Prince told Vulture she was given the power to “say what I wanted to say” in scenes, during which she was only given a handful of lines at a time.
Among those improvised lines, “This woman thinks she’s married to Jesus,” was admittedly her favorite.
Prince is favored to win an Oscar for her performance in the The Florida Project; the Academy Awards ceremony date is set for March 4.