Zendaya’s competition consisted of Killing Eve‘s Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, Ozark‘s Laura Linney, The Morning Show‘s Reese Witherspoon and Yellowjackets‘ Melanie Lynskey.
In 2020, Zendaya took home the Lead Actress Drama statuette for her performance in Euphoria‘s first season, besting perceived frontrunners Jennifer Aniston and Laura Linney. At the time, she made history as the youngest woman to win that race.
Earlier this year, TVLine singled Zendaya out as one of our Dream Emmy nominees, writing that the Disney Channel alum “is so. damn. good. at what she does.” In Episode 5, aka the hour in which her character’s mother confronted her about her drug relapse, “Zendaya steered Rue through her erratic and emotional hairpin turns at high velocity, careening the character toward disaster but always (barely) pulling her back from the brink.”
She also won tons of viewer acclaim, coming in first in among TVLine readers in our poll of who should win this year’s Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. Zendaya nabbed 28 percent of the vote, followed by Linney (27 percent), Lynskey (22 percent), Comer (12 percent), Oh (7 percent) and Witherspoon (5 percent).
In addition to the acting nod, Zendaya also was nominated as an executive producer of her series, which was up for Outstanding Drama, and two nominations for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for Season 2’s “Elliot’s Song” and “I’m Tired.” (Schmigadoon‘s “Corn Puddin'” ultimately took home that win at the Creative Arts Emmys, held earlier in September. See a list of winners.)