“This means so much,” the Malcolm & Marie star, 26, said while accepting the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. “To all the incredible actresses in this category, I’m so honored to be beside you. Thank you to the incredible, incredible cast and crew of Euphoria for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show. I love you all so much.”
The former Disney Channel star also gave a shout-out to Euphoria creator and showrunner Sam Levinson. “Thank you to Sam for sharing Rue with me,” the Marvel actress gushed. “Thank you for believing in me even in moments when I didn’t believe in myself.”
The California native closed by thanking fans of the show, which is also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at Monday’s ceremony.
“And then lastly, I just wanna say my greatest wish for Euphoria is that it could help heal people,” Zendaya told the crowd. “And I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me. I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know that I am so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me and I carry them with her, so thank you so much.”
With Monday’s win, Zendaya became the first Black woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama twice as well as the youngest two-time winner of any Emmy in history, Variety reports.
Zendaya previously won the same award in September 2020 for Euphoria, becoming the youngest woman ever to win in her category. The occasion was somewhat more subdued, however, as the in-person ceremony was pared down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is pretty crazy!” the K.C. Undercover alum said in her speech, which she delivered via Zoom. “To the incredible cast and crew of Euphoria … I’m inspired by everything you do. To Sam Levinson, I appreciate you so much, you’re my family.”
The Dune actress also acknowledged that COVID-19 gave her win a different feel. “This feels like a really weird time to be celebrating,” she explained. “There is hope in the young people out there. To all my peers out there doing the work, I see you I admire you. Thank you.”