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The actress beat out other nominees Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You), Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha), Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision) and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit).
When accepting the award, Winslet was quick to honor her fellow nominees, noting that the time calls for “women having each other’s backs. … I support you. I salute you. I am proud of all of you.”
Winslet described Mare of Easttown as a “cultural moment” that “brought people together” and “gave people something to talk about other than a global pandemic.”
In addition to thanking the cast and crew, Winslet also gave a special thanks to show creator and writer Brad Ingelsby: “You created a middle-age, imperfect, flawed mother, and you made us all feel validated.” She also quipped to director Craig Zobel, “All your actors have won stuff,” before adding, “I loved being in the room with you every day.”
She finished her speech by thanking her husband who, she says, “I get to hold hands with for the rest of my life. Yes! I am the winner.”
Earlier in the evening, Winslet’s Mare co-stars Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters won for best supporting actress and actor in a limited series, anthology or TV movie.
In the HBO mystery — which garnered a total of 16 nominations and one win already at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys — Winslet stars as a Pennsylvania police detective trying to solve the murder of a local teen, while also having to confront a personal tragedy. The limited series was created and written by Ingelsby (The Way Back) and directed by Zobel (The Leftovers, Westworld).
Following its release, the series’ popularity was immediate, even inspiring a Saturday Night Live spoof. Despite calls for a second season, Ingelsby told THR that he would love to give the show and characters “a second life” but isn’t sure how to approach another season. In the Emmys press room, Winslet shared the same sentiments of a potential second season.
“I honestly don’t have a clear answer. There have been conversations about it of course, because the success of the show did surprise us… We wouldn’t be able to match what we already did, nor should we try,” Winslet said. “So honestly we’ll see, I truly don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Speaking further of her character, Winslet expressed hope that “the dynamics of how leading ladies are seen on screen” are shifting.
“The shifts are happening and we’re finger pointing a lot less at women in terms of how they look, their shape. We stop scrutinizing them and, in turn, what happens then is that younger generations of women who are not in our industry start to feel okay within themselves too, and that’s more important than anything else. It’s up to us to absolutely being real and representing ourselves with integrity and authenticity and celebrating each other and not judging one another other. If we’re not doing that with our industry, nobody else has got a hope in hell.”
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, aired live on CBS and Paramount+.
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