Ariana DeBose Tears Up About Her Big Year on the SAG Awards Red Carpet: 'My Glam Squad Is Going to Kill Me'

"This is what dreams are made of," nominee Ariana DeBose said of her first time at the SAG Awards, and her journey to get there

Ariana DeBose got emotional while making her debut at the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The 31-year-old actress arrived at the event in a hot pink strapless Valentino dress from the brand's Spring/Summer 22 collection. DeBose topped off her look, styled by Zadrian Smith and Sarah Edmiston, with De Beers jewels.

DeBose's role as Anita in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story garnered her a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.

When asked by Laverne Cox about Spielberg's high esteem of her, DeBose confessed on Live from E!: Sag Awards, "I still wonder if I'm being punked, just 'cause that doesn't feel like a natural thing."

"The moment I met him he just was so warm, and so lovely and loving," she continued. "The biggest thing about Steven Spielberg is his name. He is an incredible human and a wonderful artist. He treated me with the same respect and creative integrity that he would want to be treated with and I can't say enough about the experience of working with him."

DeBose got her start on So You Think You Can Dance when she was 18, and as Cox asked her to reflect on her journey from a contestant on that show to a SAG- and Oscar-nominated actress, DeBose teared up.

"I'm already crying!" she exclaimed, wiping tears away. "It's amazing ... Oh my God, my glam squad's gonna kill me. This is what dreams are made of."

Ariana DeBose. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Once she collected herself, she was thrilled to discuss her showstopping look, which she described as "an old Hollywood homage and a modern body," and that her hair — half shaved, half upswept — also brought the contrasts to highlight her "masculine and feminine side."

"All the beautiful sides, honey!" she said. "We are more than one thing, are we not?"

DeBose also gave love to her makeup artist Andréa Tiller, joking that the pro "beat the mess out of this face."

"She's probably watching the camera like, please stop crying," she added with a laugh.

Ahead of the big night, DeBose's team spoke to PEOPLE about their plans for her look at the SAG Awards.

"We knew it needed to be a moment," stylist Smith said. "The first carpet [of awards season] announces how you mean to go on … it sets the tone, the mood and the direction. We want each look to stand alone, but also form a larger cohesive narrative, and we felt that this look did that."

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They said they chose her jewelry to complement the same mix of current and Old Hollywood that the star achieved with her gown.

"For Ariana's incredible SAG look, we wanted jewelry that felt fresh and modern while leaning into the glamour of her gown and De Beers had the perfect pieces," Smith said. "Given the neckline of the dress, we knew we were after a statement necklace almost immediately."

"I know that we're biased, but we really feel like Ariana has carved out a style narrative that is definitively her own," Smith tells PEOPLE of how DeBose's fashion vibe. "She's managed to take classic style sentiments and translate that into statement-making moments. We think it's her effervescent personality and a bit of theatrical flair shining through."

"This dress is all of that," Edmiston added. "Classic, a punch of color — Ari looks gorgeous in bright colors! — and yet suitably dramatic all at the same time."

The 28th Annual SAG Awards are being broadcast live on TNT and TBS Sunday, Feb. 27.

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