Wilmer Valderrama Tears Up Reflecting on His Legacy and 'Encanto's Success at 2022 Oscars (Exclusive)

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Wilmer Valderrama is opening up about his road to success. 

ET's Nischelle Turner and Kevin Frazier spoke with the NCIS star on the red carpet of the 94th Academy Awards, where he reflected on his legacy and being part of Disney's record-breaking Encanto. The animated movie follows the Madrigal family, who live in a magical home in a magical town called Encanto in Colombia and features members with their own unique magical ability, except for Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), who goes on a journey to save her family's special powers.

The movie not only marks Walt Disney Animation Studios' 60th film, but the first centers around Colombian culture and with a predominately Latinx cast. 

"It's a moment. It's a moment and it'll last us forever," the actor told ET about the Oscar-nominated film. "One thing that fills me up with joy is knowing how special this movie was when we were making it. But [we] didn't have any comprehension of how many of us needed it. And walking this carpet with my beautiful cast... and have three nominations and have one of the most beautiful performances you'll see on stage tonight -- It's just a moment and it will last us for a very long time and I hope this is a beacon, that we cracked the door open for more of this."

The actor, who welcomed his first child, daughter Nakano, with fiancée Amanda Pacheco in February 2021, got emotional as he reflected on his journey to success. While Valderrama was born in Miami, he moved to his father's native country of Venezuela when he was three, and later to Colombia, where his mother was born, before returning to the U.S. at the age of 14.

Recalling an experience when he first returned to the U.S. and caught a star receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Valderrama shared how he vowed to his father that he would be doing the same someday.

"I didn't know who it was because it was too crowed but I told my father, 'Dad, someday I'm going to have a star on the Walk of Fame. I'm going to have an Oscar and I'm going to have an Emmy,'" he recalled. "And my dad is like, 'OK, Mijo, you can do that.' So my dad, knowing that I'm at the red carpet at the Oscars with a film that speaks to him... It's America.

"This is why our country is that land [that] is iconically known as the land of opportunity. I am just very proud," he added, sharing that he is building a legacy for his daughter.

"I think about everything that will hopefully outlive me for her and... I hope that anything that I do becomes an example of something she can see," he said. "She won't know how difficult it was for these moments to happen because it will be better for her and I'm proud to be part of that wave."

Encanto's beloved singalong "We Don't Talk About Bruno" will even be performed during Sunday's show, as cast members from the Disney animated film --  Adassa, Beatriz, Mauro Castillo, Carolina Gaitan and Diane Guerrero -- will take the stage to perform the tune live for the first time ever, alongside Latin music stars Becky G and Luis Fonsi

For more updates from the 2022 Oscars, stay tuned to ETonline. 

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