"Zoe kept saying, 'Mom, will you just concentrate on having the baby?!' " Beauty and the Beast star Audra McDonald tells PEOPLE

By Jen Juneau
March 28, 2017 01:40 PM
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Audra McDonald‘s kids both take after her in some way — one in demeanor, and one in “volume.”

The Beauty and the Beast star chatted with PEOPLE about daughters Sally James, 5 months, and Zoe Madeline, 16, getting candid about how her apples don’t fall too far from the tree.

“She looked at me when she was 3 and said, ‘Mommy, your singing makes my ears cry,’ which is awesome,” McDonald, 46, says of how her older daughter is like her.

Of Sally, she admits the resemblance is that, “Everything you can think of that a baby does, she’s the loudest at.”

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RELATED VIDEO: Audra McDonald Reveals the Song She Sings to Her Baby Girl Sally James

The Broadway veteran shares that she learned quite the valuable lesson from her own parents.

“They taught me that ‘You’re a woman and you’re African American, and therefore a lot of people will look at that as you being at the absolute bottom of the totem pole,’ ” she recalls. ” ‘Don’t you ever subscribe to that idea of yourself.’ ”

Credit: Ben Trivett

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McDonald shares that her proudest parenting moment involved both her daughters, and was actually at the moment she was attempting to multitask while giving birth to Sally.

“Literally, while I was giving birth, my daughter Zoe wasn’t planning on being in the hospital room, so she was gonna just wait outside, but then she just got too curious, so she came in,” she says.

“I was so worried about her being overwhelmed that literally, as I was pushing out Sally, I was looking over at Zoe saying, ‘Are you okay? Is there anything you need from me?’ ” McDonald continues. “And Zoe kept saying, ‘Mom, will you just concentrate on having the baby?!’ but I was literally trying to give birth and parent at the same time.”