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“Thank you so much. Thank you to the Academy, thank you to HBO,” the actor, who plays Kendall Roy on the show, began his acceptance speech. (He briefly paused that speech to kiss his wife, Emma, offscreen.) “I gotta thank some people who have been there for me and believed in me when something like this felt basically impossible,” he said, before listing a series of names including his mom and dad.
The actor then quoted a poem by Stephen Dunne, which he said went, “All I ever wanted was a book so good I’d be finishing it for the rest of my life.” He added, “This job is that for me.” Armstrong also addressed Jesse Armstrong, the creator of Succession, saying, “I owe this you. Brian Cox, I share this with you.” (Cox plays Strong’s father on the show and was also nominated in the same category.)
Backstage, Strong expressed that he felt an entertainment awards ceremony felt a bit “incongruous” amid the COVID-19 pandemic but he felt that the telecast paid appropriate homage to first responders: “ It does feel a bit incongruous with our world right now to be giving out awards to actors and I wish we could be giving out awards to people working on the front lines and hospital works and delivery drivers but I feel like it was reflected in the ceremony tonight that this community appreciates and acknowledges those people,” he said.
Of his award, he added, “It’s kind of beyond my wild imaginings when we started working on this, so it feels incredibly meaningful to have made something that has penetrated the culture in the way that it has. That’s kind of all you can hope for as an actor.”
It’s the actor’s first Emmy win and first nomination. Succession, which was nominated for 18 Emmys in 2020, walked away with seven, including outstanding writing, directing, casting and the night’s top award, drama.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 2020 Emmys aired live at 5 p.m. PT on ABC from the Staples Center and remotely.
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