A pair of performers with sturdy roots in Oakland received huge Sunday evening throughout the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.
Main the best way was Zendaya, who scored a shocking — and historic — victory as Excellent Lead Actress in a Drama Sequence for her function in HBO’s “Euphoria.”
With the main upset, she turned the youngest-ever winner within the class. The previous Disney star, who was born and raised within the East Bay, turned 24 earlier this month.
Additionally putting Emmy gold was Oakland’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was honored as Excellent Supporting Actor in a Restricted Sequence for his twin function in HBO’s “Watchmen.”
However Zendaya and Abdul-Mateen weren’t the one native standouts feeling the Emmy love. Earlier within the week — throughout the so-called “Inventive Arts” portion of the awards — the HBO documentary “We Are the Dream: The Youngsters of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest” earned honors as Excellent Kids’s Program. It’s a movie govt produced by Oakland native and two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali.
Additionally within the Inventive Arts Emmys, Pixar Studios’ “Forky Asks a Query” captured the prize for Finest Quick-Type Animated Sequence. Mark Nielsen, a resident of Piedmont, is a producer on the present, which steams on Disney+.
Like different winners throughout Sunday’s socially distanced, digital telecast, Zendaya delivered her acceptance speech remotely — surrounded by family and friends members who set free boisterous cheers and hugged and cried in what seemed to be a lodge suite.
“That is fairly loopy. I don’t actually cry,” she stated, earlier than thanking “Euphoria” solid members and producers.
Host Jimmy Kimmel, noting Zendaya’s youth, later quipped, “Wow, how about that? She’s youthful than Child Yoda and she or he already has an Emmy.”
On an evening dominated by favorites, Zendaya’s win was arguably the most important shock. A primary-time Emmy nominee, she beat out a stacked subject that featured final yr’s winner Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), in addition to a lineup of esteemed veteran actresses, together with Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Present”), Olivia Colman (“The Crown”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”).
Final yr, at age 26, Comer set what turned out to be a short-lived class file because the youngest lady to assert the coveted prize.
The Emmy victory for Zendaya is the best profession honor so far for the previous Oakland Faculty for the Arts pupil who acquired her first huge break in Hollywood as a lanky 14-year-old on the Disney Channel buddy comedy “Shake It Up.” She went on to turn out to be a runner-up on Season 16 of “Dancing With the Stars.”
She’s solely the second Black actress to earn the award, following Viola Davis’ 2015 win for “Find out how to Get Away With Homicide.”
“Euphoria” marked a significant threat and dramatic leap for Zendaya, who performs 17-year-old drug addict Rue Bennett within the edgy cable sequence. Her uncooked, unsettling efficiency clearly wowed Emmy voters, together with her older lead actress rivals, who may very well be seen applauding her from their distant websites.
“I’m so grateful for Rue,” Zendaya stated. “I know this seems like a extremely bizarre time to be celebrating, however I simply need to say there’s hope within the younger individuals on the market. I do know that our TV present doesn’t at all times really feel like an awesome instance of that, however there’s hope within the younger individuals.”
Zendaya completed off her speech with arms outstretched, Emmy in hand and an enormous smile on her face.
Abdul-Mateen was simply as stoked — and shocked. Born in New Orleans, he moved to Oakland as a baby and attended McClymonds Excessive Faculty. He went on to graduate from UC Berkeley with a level in structure and labored as a metropolis planner in San Francisco earlier than finally setting his sights on appearing.
“Man I’m shocked,” he stated, delivering “an enormous shout out to all of West Oakland,” in addition to New Orleans.
“There’s lots of people the place I’m from making lots of noise proper now.”
In “Watchmen,” Abdul-Mateen performs Calvin “Cal” Abar, stay-at-home husband to Regina King’s Angela, and properly because the all-powerful, glowing God often called Physician Manhattan. A re-imagining of the acclaimed superhero comedian sequence, “Watchmen” is ready in an alternate America the place cops in Tulsa, Oklahoma put on masks to cover their identities amid a raging risk from white supremacists.
“’Watchmen’ was a narrative about trauma. It was a narrative in regards to the lasting scars of white home terrorism,” Abdul-Mateen stated in his acceptance speech. “It was a narrative about police corruption and brutality. However within the midst of all that, it was additionally a narrative a few god who got here right down to Earth to reciprocate to a Black lady all of the love she deserved. He did all that within the physique of a Black man, and I used to be so proud that I used to be capable of stroll into these footwear.”
Abdul-Mateen went on to dedicate his award to all the Black ladies in my life,” together with “the individuals who believed in me first — my early traders,” earlier than elevating a glass of champagne.
The victories by Zendaya and Abdul-Mateen capped what was maybe the very best one-year Emmy displaying by performers and producers with roots within the Bay Space. Different nominees included actors Mahershala Ali (“Ramy”), Redwood Metropolis native Linda Cardellini (“Useless to Me”), Danville’s D’Arcy Carden (“The Good Place”) and Berkeley-based writers and producers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman (“Unbelievable).