Theron, who won Best Actress in 2004, on Sunday remembered how emotional she got when thanking her mother in her acceptance speech years ago

By Joelle Goldstein
February 24, 2019 08:16 PM

Charlize Theron may not be up for an award at Sunday’s Oscars, but she vividly remembers how emotional it can be to win.

The 43-year-old actress, who will be presenting at the show, stopped to chat with Ryan Seacrest ahead of the ceremony and reminisced about her own big night back in 2004.

Theron, who won Best Actress for her role in Monster, vividly recalled the moment she thanked her mother, Gerda Jacoba Aletta Maritz, during her acceptance speech — and even got choked up as she spoke to their special relationship.

“I’m gonna cry!” she admitted to Seacrest. “I knew that I couldn’t look at her [during the Monster speech] because if I looked at her, I wouldn’t be able to get through it.”

Theron continued, of her victory 15 years ago: “And then I thought if I save it for last … there will be some build up so I’ll have enough time to get off stage before it really happened, and I was just a mess.”

Charlize Theron (right) with her mother, Gerda
Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Maritz, who was by Theron’s side on the red carpet, also touched on their bond.

“We have an amazing relationship,” she shared. “I hope to keep it forever.”

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Oscars coverage to get the latest news on film’s biggest night.

Charlize Theron
Christopher Polk/REX/Shutterstock
Charlize Theron (right) and her mom at the 2019 Oscars

Theron often opens up about her mother and their special relationship. In October, the actress revealed how she’s found strength over the years through courage drawn from her mom.

“I think we all have to find our own footing. None of us are born knowing how to navigate life and difficult decisions — especially for young girls,” Theron told Extra at Elle‘s 2018 Women in Hollywood event.

RELATED: Charlize Theron Says Her Mom, Who Shot Her Dad in Self-Defense, ‘Made Me Brave’

“No matter who you are or where you come from, the struggle is maybe a little bit different, but all interconnects,” she added. “I am lucky enough that I had a great mom who really kind of made me brave and always told me to be brave. I don’t know who I might have been without that.”

For the night out on Sunday with her mother, the actress wore a backless periwinkle Dior Haute Couture gown.

Charlize Theron
Kate Lee/Instagram

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Theron completed the look with an orange-red lip and a diamond Bulgari serpent necklace.

But perhaps the most noteworthy part of her appearance was her eye-catching hair change: Known for her signature blonde, Theron debuted a deep chestnut hue on the Oscars red carpet.

Theron’s hairstylist Adir Abergel also decided to chop her hair into a chic chin-length bob styled in a deep side part tucked behind one ear for the occasion.

RELATED: Charlize Theron Hits the Oscars Red Carpet in a Dramatic Backless Dress and New Brunette Hair

“Decided to chop it all off before the big moment. #cantwaittoshare #oscars2019 #hairbyadir,” Abergel captioned a photo on Instagram.

The 91st Academy Awards are broadcasting live from Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

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