Gina Rodriguez opens the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors special by giving a touching tribute to the legendary Rita Moreno and her speech is bound to make you cry.
The 31-year-old Jane the Virgin actress opens up about how her mother introduced her to Rita‘s work when she was a child and asked why no one on television looked like her. She now plays the actress’ granddaughter on the hit CW series.
“I met you on screen and I just loved you,” Gina said. “Your bright smile, your fierce persona, that independent voice that burst through every performance and every interview. I just wanted to be just like Rita.”
“You gave me hope, you gave me a reason to fight and to speak up you gave me a voice and how can I thank you? I’m not sure how but I can tell you this: when you followed your dreams Rita, you gave me the allowance to follow mine,” she added. “You are my icon, my living legend and what matters most is my friend. Rita this is my love letter to you.”