Prince, 7, won the best young actress award and began to break down in tears as she was led on stage. When she accepted her award wearing a vivid red dress, she sobbed tears of happiness.
“Wow, this is such an honor but I would like… all the nominees are great — we should go and get ice cream afterward,” she said, causing laughter.
“God, I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity and I would like to thank Sean [Baker, the director] for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be his Mooney,” she continued.
In The Florida Project, Prince plays Moonee who lives in a week-to-week budget motel called “The Magic Castle” and managed by Bobby (Willem Dafoe), who in turn protects the children living in his establishment.
The film highlights the plight of children and their families who are living below the poverty line. The young actress showed wisdom beyond her years, finishing her speech with an impassioned plea for people to step up and help all the “Moonees” out there.
“I would like to dedicate this award to all the Halley’s and Moonee’s out there, guys this is a real problem!” she said. “You need to go out there and help. Thank you so much.”
Prince posed on the red carpet with Jacob Tremblay, 11, who won the 2016 Critics’ Choice Award for best young actor. He was also nominated this year for the film Wonder.
The breakout star told PEOPLE she’s gained many new friends since the awards circuit began including Stranger Things‘ Millie Bobby Brown who she called her “best friend” and “favorite FaceTime person.”
“I just love her,” the actress said.