It wasn’t Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Lawrence who got the most rousing applause at the Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment breakfast on Wednesday. It was a college freshman named Carla Arellano.
The Loyola Marymount University student received a standing ovation and brought a room of Hollywood heavyweights to tears as she accepted a full-ride scholarship from “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot.
“All I can think about right now are all the papers I have to write for my finals,” Arellano said, alternately laughing and crying.
The 26th annual Women in Entertainment breakfast celebrating the trade publication’s yearly Power 100 ranking of women in the entertainment business included presentations of $1 million in college scholarships to girls from underrepresented communities in Los Angeles.
Arellano thanked her parents and her mentors through tears before closing with a quote from Frida Kahlo, which she recited in Spanish and English.
“Feet, what do I need you for, when I have wings to fly?” she said.
Her emotional speech left Gadot and fellow presenter Justin Timberlake teary eyed, along with A-list guests including Shonda Rhimes, Emmy Rossum, Bryce Dallas Howard and Glenn Close.
“This is maybe the most moving breakfast we’ve ever had,” said Sherry Lansing, who presented her namesake Leadership Award to Lawrence.
Lansing highlighted Lawrence’s support for Planned Parenthood, her outspokenness on gender pay disparity and her recent $2 million donation to establish a cardiac intensive care unit for children in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.