"Just talking about mothers makes you cry," Hawkins tells PEOPLE

By Mike Miller
February 20, 2018 08:40 AM

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Just thinking about the impact her mother had on her life is enough to make The Shape of Water star Sally Hawkins get emotional.

“There are a few women who have inspired me, but the woman who has inspired me the most would have to be my own mother and my grandmother,” the actress, who is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar this year, tells PEOPLE.

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Sally Hawkins
| Credit: Luis Sanchis

“Just talking about mothers makes you cry,” she adds, getting teary eyed. “This is very embarrassing, but yes, I’d have to say my mother.”

Hawkins was nominated for her second Academy Award for her role as a mute janitor who falls in love with a mysterious amphibian man in The Shape of Water. She was first nominated in 2014 for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water
| Credit: Kerry Hayes

Asked what movies move her the most, Hawkins says there are many that “always make me cry and always make me laugh.”

She lists 1981’s Time Bandits, which starred John Cleese and Sean Connery and was written by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin, as one of her favorite comedies.

For more about Hawkins, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

Monty Python films were “a big part of my childhood,” she explains, adding she wanted to watch “everything that my brother saw and found hysterical,” despite “not quite understanding it.”

She also mentions another creature-love story reminiscent of The Shape of Water in Steven Spielberg’s E.T.

“That will get me every time,” she says.

The 2018 Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4 and will be televised live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.