Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge scooped the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy tonight, ending Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Veep streak in the same category at six. The win was Waller-Bridge’s second of the evening, coming a few minutes after she accepted a trophy for writing Fleabag. Stunned on stage, she howled, “Nooo. Oh, my God, nooo,” then began mimicking the speech she had given just a few minutes earlier, saying, “I find acting really hard and really painful…”
Louis-Dreyfus remains the performer with the most wins for playing the same role in the same show and is tied with Cloris Leachman as the TV Academy’s most decorated performer at eight Emmys. Had she won tonight, she would have set a new record.
But Fleabag clearly has momentum this evening. It also tonight scored a directing Emmy for Harry Bradbeer. Season 2 of the Amazon Prime series roared to 11 total nominations this year after largely being ignored the first time around and picked up two prizes at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend. Waller-Bridge also is nominated tonight for executive producing the buzzy show. (The busy, versatile talent further has a nomination for writing Killing Eve tonight.)
The multi-hyphenate added during her speech for the acting win, “To be nominated with these unbelievable actresses, I have loved and watched, means so much.” She sent “huge thanks” to the Fleabag gang, saying, “It’s sickening how much we love each other.”
In a fourth-wall-breaking turn that’s at once comedic and heartbreaking, Waller-Bridge’s titular lead character is dealing with the run-up to her father’s wedding to her godmother in Season 2. Along the way, she falls hard for Andrew Scott’s “hot priest,” a taboo twist with bittersweet consequences.
Apart from Louis-Dreyfus in the Lead Actress category, Waller-Bridge beat fellow nominees Christina Applegate (Dead To Me), Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel), Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll).