Zendaya made history Sunday night becoming the youngest actress to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her turn as Rue in Sam Levinson’s Euphoria on HBO.
She was definitely up against stiff competition with Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, Ozark’s Laura Linney, The Crown’s Olivia Colman and The Morning Show’s Jennifer Aniston. When Zendaya’s name was announced as the winner, the actress and her family — and her fellow nominees — could be seen celebrating with joy from their remote location.
“It means so much to me,” Zendaya said during her virtual backstage interview (her family at that point was standing to the side, trying to contain their excitement). “Every single woman in that category I obviously admire immensely.”
She added, “Just to be mentioned in the category at all was something — and just to have them support me really filled my heart.”
Zendaya admits she almost shed a tear when she was honored with the Emmy — but the waterworks didn’t fully turn on. “I don’t usually cry,” she said. “I got through it without letting it take over completely. It was obviously a very emotional moment and I still can’t believe it myself — it’s pretty crazy.”
Her win marks a joyful moment during an uncertain and complicated time in history, but Zendaya sends out nothing but love to combat all that darkness. “I’m just grateful for moments like this — where we can have joy and wrap our arms around loved ones and tell each other we love each other,” she said. “It’s moments like this we have to hold on to and cherish.
Zendaya said that what was special about Rue in Euphoria is that she is a “full, whole human being” who is layered and complicated. “As the show goes on, we are also able to empathize with addiction, what it looks like, what it does to a family.”
She continued to say that the show makes us understand Rue and still root for her despite her mistakes. “We understand what’s going on through her head; we understand how she views the world and everything that happens to her and we’re able to empathize with her as a character which is a beautiful thing.”
“For me, I’ve always been very grateful for all the people who connect to Rue or feel that, through the show, they are able to attach words or find themselves within a scene or a moment where they otherwise felt alone” to have that feeling that there are people that feel what [Rue] feels is huge and very important…she’s very important to me.”