Growing up, Moira Driscoll loved to “riff” on the fabled Boston accent, making herself sound like a toughie from Southie one minute or a rabble-rouser from Roxbury the next.

Driscoll went on to use her facility with accents during a 30-year acting career, and she riffed her way right into the film “Spotlight,” which won the best picture Oscar on Sunday night. The Portland actress had one scene, playing the tenant of a Dorchester triple-decker being interviewed on her porch by a Boston Globe reporter.

“I’m the youngest of five siblings, and when they saw the movie they said, ‘You’ve been practicing for this part your whole life,’ ” Driscoll said Tuesday.

“Spotlight” is based on The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series about the Catholic church’s cover-up of sexual abuse by priests. The film has been celebrated for both its treatment of the victims’ plight and its portrayal of the often-tedious investigative work done by the reporters.

Driscoll is billed in the cast list about 50 names down, as “woman interviewee,” so she wasn’t among the cast invited to the Oscars Sunday night in Hollywood. She watched the Oscars at home in Portland with her husband and daughter, while texting with her son in college. When the movie won, she began getting texts and calls from friends and family.

“I think a lot of the response was because the movie was so great, and people would say, ‘You were in that,’ ” said Driscoll, who grew up in Dedham, which borders Boston. “To be watching on Sunday night and see (a film she was in) win the Oscar was an extremely exciting and rare experience.”

Driscoll has been based in Portland for 15 years and worked full time in New York for 15 years before that. She’s been in several Portland Stage Company productions, including “Papermaker” last year. Her TV roles have included the HBO productions “Olive Kitteridge” and “Boardwalk Empire,” and the NBC series “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” She also coaches actors and has worked with Portland school productions.

Her scene in “Spotlight” is part of a montage showing Globe reporters going door to door in Boston neighborhoods trying to talk to people about various priests. Driscoll is smoking a cigarette, sitting on her front porch and talking to a reporter played by Rachel McAdams. In response to McAdams’ questions, Driscoll’s character says something like, “I got a cousin in Quincy, she saw him on the street a couple years ago. He was put in their parish.”

The scene was shot from an upper-story porch of another house, across the street.

“My job as an actor is to tell stories, no matter how small the part,” Driscoll said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.