EXCLUSIVE: Selenis Leyva on Her Daughter’s Adorable Reaction to Her SAG Win: ‘Wow, that’s MY Mom!’

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Adorable alert!

When Selenis Leyva got on stage at Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards to accept the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series with her Orange is the New Black cast mates, there was someone very special watching her from the audience — her 12-year-old daughter, Alina.

Asked what Alina (pictured below) thought of seeing her mom head to the stage to accept the award, Leyva tells EXCLUSIVLee.com, “Alina told me her first thought was: Wow, that’s MY mom.”

Clearly, Sunday night was a special night for Alina, but it was equally—if not more special—for Leyva. The Cuban and Dominican stars series regular role as fan favorite Gloria Mendoza on Orange is the New Black is the biggest role of her career, but Leyva has been doing great work for years on hit shows like Law & Order: SVU, The Sopranos, Third Watch, The Good Wife, GirlsElementary and on the big screen in films like Maria Full of Grace and Illegal Tender. 

“Having my daughter witness my dreams come to life is the biggest gift of them all,” says Leyva, who adds that it was fate that she and her cast mates won the award Sunday night—in front of Alina.

“I can look back at the years of struggle and frustration with the business, the times I thought about giving up, the times I asked the heavens: ‘When am I going to catch a break?! And now I see God wanted me to share it all with the love of my life, my daughter,” says Leyva.

SAG Award winner Selenis Leyva with her daughterBut proud as she was of her famous Latina mom, Alina couldn’t help but focus (some) of her attention on another famous person in the room — Cake star, Jennifer Aniston!

“She recently started watching Friends {and} she said it was “so cool” to see Jennifer Aniston sitting only a few feet away from us,” explains Leyva, who adds that Alina had so much fun at the SAG Awards that she RSVPd for future SAG events!

“Afterwards, right before hitting the party, she turned to me and said: “I’m coming with you next year! says Leyva.

We’re sure Selenis wouldn’t have it any other way!

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About Author

Lee Hernandez is a writer, editor and executive producer. Lee has been the Deputy Editor of Latina Magazine; Editor of Latino Voices at the Pulitzer-Prize winning site The Huffington Post and a breaking news contributor to dozens of leading sites and magazines, including the best-in-class celebrity site PEOPLE.com; Cosmopolitan for Latinas magazine, AOL.com, The Wrap, HollywoodLife, Celebuzz, The New York Daily News and Fox News Latino.