This year’s Emmy host Kenan Thompson seemed to never run out of jokes. On Monday night, he made the audience roar with his one-liners.
“Zendaya just turned 26, happy birthday,” he said. “26 is a weird age in Hollywood. Young enough to play a high school student, but too old to date Leonardo DiCaprio.”
That was the cue to laughter. Everything was fun and games until the actress herself took the stage to accept her award for best actress in a drama series and gave an emotional speech.
This is her second Emmy for the role of Rue in “Euphoria,” a teen drama that tackles themes like self-harm, substance abuse and sexual assault. It was renewed for a third season this year, per CNN.
Her character, specifically, deals with suicidal ideation and drug addiction as her friends and family struggle to help her.
“This means so much. Thank you so much. To all the incredible actresses in this category, I’m so honored to be beside you. Thank you to the incredible, incredible cast and crew of ‘Euphoria,’” Zendaya said on stage. “Thank you for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show, I love you all so much. Thank you to the academy, thank you to my friends and family, some of which are here tonight.
“Thank you to Sam (Levinson) for sharing with me. Thank you for believing in me, even in moments when I didn’t believe in myself,” she continued, per Entertainment Tonight.
“Lastly, I just want to say, my greatest wish for ‘Euphoria’ was that it could help heal people,” the actress said. “And I just want to say thank you to everyone who shared their story with me. I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue, or feels like you are a Rue, I’m so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me and carry them with her. Thank you so much.”
Suicide was the twelfth leading cause of death for Americans in 2020, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, marijuana and psychedelic use is rising among young adults.
Here are some resources to tap into for those struggling with their mental health, per CNBC:
- Call 988, the 24/7 Suicide Crisis Lifeline.
- Talk to a mental health professional. There are online resources available, too.
- Consult a primary care doctor or physician.
“Euphoria” is rated TV-MA and is available to stream on HBO Max.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported suicide as the leading cause of death in 2020. Suicide was the twelfth leading cause of death in 2020, not what was originally stated.