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Waddingham beat out fellow nominees Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live), Hannah Einbinder (Hacks), Rosie Perez (The Flight Attendant) and her Ted Lasso co-star Juno Temple.
As she took the stage to accept her award, Waddingham screamed out in celebration of her first Emmy win as her fellow nominees and award show attendees cheered. The British actress then thanked her Ted Lasso co-star Jason Sudeikis, telling him, “You changed my life with this and more importantly, my baby girl’s.”
Waddingham yelled again with delight over having just won before thanking Apple TV+, Warner Bros. and the writers room behind the Emmy-nominated series. “The thing that’s charming about you, all of you, is that you don’t realize how wonderful you are,” Waddingham said. “I just don’t think people realize what you bring to the room when we’re all quiet together. I am so grateful to even be in your gaggle.”
Waddingham paid tribute to her co-star and fellow nominee Temple, telling her if she could break off a part of her award to give to her, she would. “There’s no Rebecca without Keeley,” Waddingham said.
The actress then thanked her parents, who she noted she nearly lost during the filming of the series’ latest season, saying, “I am so glad that you are here to see this moment.”
Waddingham concluded her acceptance speech with an endorsement of West End musical theater performers, like herself, getting more screen time, as they “won’t let you down.” Waddingham performed in the original London production of Spamalot as the Lady of the Lake and as Desiree Armfelt in Trevor Nunn’s revival of A Little Night Music — roles that earned her two Olivier Award nominations.
Speaking with press after her win, Waddingham shared how she told her daughter about the honor. “My little girl and I have become such a little unit because I am a single mom, and I just wanted to say to her, she can have this in her bedroom to show her that her mommy will only ever be away when it’s for a really good reason,” Waddingham said. “I think it shows her that when she’s older she just has to fight that little bit harder and magical things happen.”
The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards took place on Sunday, returning to an in-person show after last year’s largely virtual, audience-free celebration. Cedric the Entertainer hosted the Television Academy honors, which aired on CBS from the outdoor L.A. Live event deck in downtown Los Angeles.
Click here for an immersive red carpet and THR Roundtable experience.
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