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What’s life like as an Emmy winner?
For Sheryl Lee Ralph — victorious as best supporting actress in a comedy on Monday night for her work on ABC’s Abbott Elementary and viral for a roof-raising acceptance speech — it’s been full throttle.
Walking the red carpet in West Hollywood on Thursday night to receive her second trophy of the week, this one for three decades of HIV/AIDS activism, Ralph opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the post-Emmy glow.
“It has been nonstop,” she said with a smile. “But it’s work and celebration, work and celebration. The main thing is work because, you know, we had to go straight back to work the very next day, there was no time off and there’s no day off we’re working on Saturday because we have to make up that day [for Monday’s Emmys].”
But you won’t catch Ralph complaining. She’s focused on capturing the moment by turning up, confirming press requests and answering all the questions because, as a veteran star, she’s aware these moments can be fleeting. “It’s, like, OK, here we go,” explained Ralph, accompanied to the event by her two children. “I’m not going to say no because this moment doesn’t come back around. I think next year will be an even bigger, fuller year for all of us.”
Speaking of fuller, Ralph said the best special surprise she’s received following her win was a delivery from the queen of TV herself, Oprah Winfrey. The arrangement was so large that “they had to open the double doors and get a trolley” to move them in, and later rent a truck to deliver them to her home. Previously, Ralph told THR that the biggest arrangement she’d received was from EGOT winner (and fellow Dreamgirls star) Jennifer Hudson.
“It’s been outdone and I’m talking with Jennifer Hudson tomorrow and I’m like, ‘Girlfriend, you had the best flower story but it’s done now because Oprah took it over,'” she said.
Winfrey wasn’t the only one who sent love Ralph’s way. “Beyoncé’s flowers were amazing,” she said, before confirming that she received a call from Vice President Kamala Harris. “She called and I had to say, ‘We did it Kamala. We did it.’ It was great. It’s been wonderful. The governor called [from] Pennsylvania, the mayor called [from] Philadelphia. Everybody’s happy. Jamaica’s over the moon. It’s been amazing.”
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