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Zendaya makes history with her first Emmy Award for HBO's 'Euphoria'

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ABC(LOS ANGELES) — Who knew, that in 2015, actress Viola Davis would have paved the way for young Zendaya to become the second Black woman to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series and the youngest winner in that category overall.

At the 72nd annual Emmy Awards Sunday night, the 24-year-old actress won an Emmy for her role in HBO’s highly acclaimed drama, Euphoria.

Zendaya plays Rue, a teenage drug addict navigating high school, relationships, and social media among other issues in the series, which also won outstanding contemporary makeup. 

After a passionate and tearful acceptance speech, Zendaya explained why she connected so much to Rue’s “layered and complicated” character during a backstage press conference.

“Rue, to me, what’s so special about her character is that she is a full, whole human being, and she’s layered, and she’s complicated,” she shared. “And I think as the show goes on, you know, we’re also able to empathize with addiction and what that looks like and what that does to a family and be able to understand and still root for Rue.”

Aside from winning, Zendaya said landing her first Emmy nomination was such a huge “honor” itself. 

“It means so much to me. I think every single woman in that category I obviously admire immensely and, you know, their work and everything they continue to do,” she said. “So…just to be mentioned within a category at all was something and then just to have their support, and having them smile and wave to me meant a lot to me.”

Other nominees in the category included Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Colman, Ozark‘s Laura Linney, and Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer and Sandra Ohwho all virtually appeared in applause for Zendaya. 

By Rachel George
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