The star, who was given the prize for her work as Rue on Euphoria, was overwhelmed by her win and cried as she accepted the award. There were many other talented actresses in the category who were nominated along with her, including Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show), Olivia Colman (The Crown), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Laura Linney (Ozark) and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve). Zendaya is also the first Black star to win the award since Viola Davis took the trophy in 2015.
"I admire you all so much," Zendaya told her fellow nominees, tearing up. "This is pretty crazy – I don't really cry. Whew!"
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 21, 2020
The actress and singer, who got her start on the Disney Channel's Shake It Up, won for a role that was a departure from her previous work. Her character battles drug addiction and navigates teenage life in an anxious, post-9/11 world.
"I know that this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating, but I just want to say that there is hope in the young people out there," she also said in her speech, acknowledging the heightened anxiety over COVID-19.
"I know that our TV show doesn't always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in the young people, and I just want to say to all my peers out there doing the work in these streets: I see you, I admire you, I thank you."
Congrats to Zendaya!