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Julia Garner took home her third Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama, all three for her role as Ruth Langmore in the Netflix series Ozark.
“Thank you for writing Ruth; she’s changed my life,” said the actress while accepting her award at the 2022 Emmys. “I want to thank Jason Bateman for taking a chance on me, and Laura Linney, you’ve been such a guiding light to me. I feel really grateful to be here and be with such amazing, beautiful artists.”
The four-time Emmy nominee and now three-time winner beat out Patricia Arquette (Severance), Jung Ho-yeon (Squid Game), Christina Ricci (Yellowjackets), Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul), J. Smith-Cameron (Succession), Sarah Snook (Succession) and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria).
Garner previously won for her role in Ozark in 2019 and 2020. This year marked her last chance to nab the trophy for playing Ruth, as the Bateman- and Linney-starring show wrapped with its fourth and final season this year.
“I think what Ruth gave me, in a deeper way, was a sense of confidence and I just learned so much from her,” said Garner backstage to the press, while revealing that she had a meditative dream about how the series ends for her character — an ending she called bittersweet. “I’m not happy that it ended. I’m actually very sad that it ended. … She’s such a beautiful character and person. I’m gonna say person, because I look at her as a person. Not only did she change my career, but she changed me as a person, and I’m so grateful for her every single day.”
She continued of the role, “I think the thing that I look for in a character, and it’s never gonna change, is deep curiosity. If a character has really deep curiosity, there’s a lot going on and there’s a lot to do. That’s just really important to me. Not only as what I’m looking for as a character, but also with people. A sense of curiosity and a sense of hopefulness.”
Industry eyes were on this category, which was stacked with not only two Succession co-stars, but also Better Call Saul star Seehorn, who scored her first nomination for the final season of AMC’s Breaking Bad prequel — some long overdue recognition, according to critics.
In a column for The Hollywood Reporter, chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg had asked the TV Academy to finally recognize Seehorn, calling her work as Bob Odenkirk’s (Saul Goodman) main scene partner Kim Wexler the “heart and soul” of the show. THR TV critic Angie Han later praised the nomination.
The category was also poised to make history had Jung won for her role as Kang Sae-byeok (Player 067) in the smash Netflix hit Squid Game. The survival drama — the most watched series in the streamer’s history — is the first non-English-language series to ever be nominated for best drama at the Emmys. It is also responsible for the first native Korean nominees in many categories including Jung’s, as well as drama writing, lead actor in a drama and supporting actor in a drama. Lee Yoo-mi became the first Korean actress to win in the best guest actress in a drama category during the 2022 Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month.
Jung, Ricci and Sweeney each graced THR covers throughout awards season, with the Squid Game star discussing her expectations for the Netflix series before it became a smash hit, Ricci reflecting on her career trajectory with her fellow Yellowjackets co-stars, and Sweeney discussing the pressures of fame and success amid her Euphoria and White Lotus recognition.
The category included a series of potential first-time winners if Snook, Jung, Seehorn, Sweeney, Ricci or Smith-Cameron had won the award; Seehorn, Jung, Sweeney and Smith-Cameron are also all first-time nominees. Both Sweeney and Garner, meanwhile, went into the night as double nominees, with the Euphoria star also nominated for her role in White Lotus and the Ozark star also nominated for her role in Inventing Anna in the limited series acting categories.
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