The 24-year-old Zendaya became emotional after she took home the trophy for her role in the HBO series, scoring one of the few long-shot victories Sunday (20 September) night. She is only the second black actor to claim the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award, following Viola Davis’ groundbreaking 2015 win for How To Get Away With Murder.
Zendaya along with her gleeful family and friends screamed, cheered, hugged and cried behind her as she accepted the award.
“I usually don’t cry,” she said in a virtual backstage interview. “I got through it without letting it take over me. It was a very emotional moment. I still can’t believe it myself. It’s pretty crazy.”
On Euphoria, Zendaya plays Rue Bennett, a teenage addict struggling with her sobriety and recovery on the series that delves into sex, drugs, trauma and identity among high-school students.
“I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there," she said. “I know our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that," but she thanked them for “doing the work.”
Zendaya said she was grateful to share the moment with family and friends despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has restricted interaction with loved ones.
“I think it’s moments like this that we really have to hold on to and cherish,’’ said the actor, who overcame a strong group of nominees that included Aniston, Olivia Colman, Jodie Comer, Laura Linney and Sandra Oh.
“I definitely felt like this wrapping of love around me as I was sitting here,” Zendaya continued. “I’m just trying to take it all in. Just being grateful for the moments that we do have of joy and happiness.”