Zendaya says she cares “deeply” about Rue, her Euphoria character: “She is a full, whole human being. She’s layered and she’s complicated… I’ve been grateful for the people who feel they connect to Rue.”
For the second year in a row, the lead drama actress Emmy has gone to a fresh face: a first-time nominee and the youngest on the ballot: “Euphoria’s” Zendaya.
And Zendaya has made history with this win, not only for becoming the youngest-ever Emmy winner in the category (she turned 24 just a few weeks ago; the incumbent winner Jodie Comer was 26 when she stepped on-stage to accept her statue in 2019), but also for being the second-ever Black woman to win the category, following Viola Davis (“How To Get Away With Murder”), who won in 2015.
She thanked her family, team and “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson.
“I appreciate you so much; you’re my family,” said Zendaya, addressing Levinson, who based the series on his own battle with drug addiction. “I’m so grateful for Rue. I’m so grateful that you trusted me with your story.”
“I know this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating,” she added. “But I just want to say that there is hope in the young people out there. I know that our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in the young people. And I just want to say to all my peers out there doing the work in the streets, I see you, I admire you, I thank you.”
Zendaya won for her gritty portrayal of teenage drug addict Rue on the HBO high school drama, and this attention from the Television Academy for it marked her first-ever major awards attention in general.
To come out victorious, Zendaya topped Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”), the aforementioned Comer and her “Killing Eve” co-star Sandra Oh, Olivia Colman (“The Crown”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Zendaya (“Euphoria”).