Zendaya has made Emmy history once again.
The mononymous actress and singer won her second Emmy for her role as Rue Bennett in HBO’s Euphoria on Monday evening, and in doing so, became the first Black woman to win the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series twice. The win also made Zendaya, who recently turned 26, the youngest two-time winner of any Emmy in history.
Laura Linney (Ozark), Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets), Reese Witherspoon (The Morning Show), Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) were also up for this year’s award.
Zendaya’s lead actress win in 2020 for the first season of Euphoria was also a first: at the time, she was the youngest woman to ever earn that accolade.
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Zendaya was also up for the coveted Outstanding Drama as an executive producer on Euphoria’s second season, but the show ultimately lost out to fellow provocative HBO drama Succession.
Zendaya Shares Her “Greatest Wish” for Euphoria Role’s Impact
Zendaya’s portrayal of teen drug addict Rue Bennett is gritty and at times, hard to watch. Having turned to drugs to cope with the tragic loss of her father and poorly-managed mental illness, Rue struggles to maintain sobriety and manage relationships with her loved ones. As the teenager slips into a relapse not long after leaving rehab, Zendaya stuns with her performance, showing the uncomfortable, ugly sides of addiction—especially as it all comes to a head in the fifth episode of season 2.
The actress said that at the end of the day, she hopes that her work on the show will help provide healing to those who feel like they can relate to Rue (or her loved ones, watching almost helplessly as she self-destructs).
“My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people,” she said, intimating that this was not a role that she takes lightly and thanking the cast and crew for creating “a safe place to make [a] very difficult show.”
“I want to thank anyone who has loved Rue or feels that they are a Rue, I want you to know that I’m so grateful for your stories,” she added. “I carry them with me and I carry them with her.”
Also starring Hunter Schafer, Sydney Sweeney, Alexa Demie, Barbie Ferreira, and Maude Apatow, Euphoria season 1 and 2 are now streaming on HBO Max.