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Ariana DeBose is celebrating a year of major milestones alongside her loved ones.
The Academy Award-winning actress, who will host the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, tells PEOPLE that her mother Gina, her partner Sue Makkoo and her best friend Jonathan Cobrda will be there to cheer her on, much like they did at this year's Oscars.
"Miss Gina will be there! My best friend, Jonathan Cobrda, [who was] my prom date, goes to everything," the actress, 31, says. "My partner will be in the house as well. She has designed the costumes for the opening number."
DeBose adds, "She's a very talented costume designer. I'm excited for her work to be seen on stage."
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All three were on hand when DeBose took home the Oscar earlier this year for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story. Her mother was the first person she hugged before taking the stage to accept her award, while Cobrda and Makkoo cheered from the audience.
Having them there to celebrate with her was "so special," she says. "What's crazy is that I didn't party like a rock star that night. I really didn't. I went to the Vanity Fair party. I had such a beautiful time there, and I thought I was gonna stay out to all hours of the night. And you know what I wanted? I wanted to get on the bus and sit with my people and hold their hand and eat pizza. And that's what I did."
She adds, "I haven't changed, that's the point."
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DeBose, who got her start in the theater — and even performed with two different shows, Bring it On and Motown, at the first Tonys she attended — is "still the same person" she's always been, just with "better hair" and "better clothes," she jokes.
In fact, she admits she "never thought" she would be the one from the Broadway community to represent theatrical artists in the mainstream. "Not the girl from the ensemble!" she says. "But I think it's cool that it is."
RELATED VIDEO: Ariana DeBose Recalls When Her Mom Came to West Side Story Set and Met 'Señor Spielberg'
DeBose, who performed in the ensemble of the Broadway hit Hamilton and understudied lead roles in her earlier years in theater, adds that she's "just tried to wield whatever influence in whatever spotlight or platform I have with grace so that we can have the conversations that need to be had."
She says, "I think we have taken steps in the right direction, but I feel that with the moment that I'm having in my career, there is an opportunity to continue to get some of these doors that may have been closed before to open a little wider and to create a longer table. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity, and I just hope that I can continue to be a part of positive change."
The 75th annual Tony Awards will air live coast-to-coast from the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 12 beginning at 8 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast live on both CBS and Paramount+.