At the event, Zendaya picked up the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Euphoria, marking the second time she has won the accolade for her portrayal of Rue Bennett on the hit HBO series.
She previously took home the same award in 2020, becoming the first Black woman to win the Emmy for lead actress in a drama twice. And at 26, she is also the youngest actress ever to win two Emmy awards.
Before receiving her reward, however, host Thompson seized the opportunity to make a joke about her age, saying: “Zendaya just turned 26. 26 is a weird age in Hollywood. Young enough to play a high school student, but too old to date Leonardo DiCaprio.”
This isn’t the first time an awards host has quipped about DiCaprio’s apparent tendency to date women below the age of 25.
During the Academy Awards in March this year, co-host Amy Schumer also made a joke at the actor’s expense.
“Leonardo DiCaprio, what can I even say about him?” she said. “He’s done so much to fight climate change and leave behind a cleaner, greener planet for his girlfriends. Because he’s older, and they’re younger.”
Zendaya’s Emmy acceptance speech was expectedly a more serious affair, with the actress telling the audience: “My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people, 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.”
Zendaya triumphed in the lead actress in a drama series category over Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Laura Linney (Ozark), Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) and Reese Witherspoon (The Morning Show).