Entertainment

Maya Rudolph Becomes Second Black Woman to Win Back-to-Back Acting Emmys in Same Category

Maya Rudolph has picked up a second consecutive guest comedy actress Emmy for “Saturday Night Live,” just hours after she picked up her second consecutive character voice-over performance Emmy.

With these wins, Rudolph also becomes only the second woman of color and the fourth person of color overall to pick up back-to-back acting wins in the same category from the Television Academy. Bill Cosby was the first to achieve this, with consecutive lead drama actor wins for “I Spy” in 1966, 1967 and 1968. Charles S. Dutton became the second, winning a guest drama actor statue in 2002 for “The Practice” and then the same race in 2003 for “Without A Trace.” Regina King was the first woman to do this, winning the supporting limited series/TV movie actress race first in 2015 and then again in 2016, both times for “American Crime.”

“I feel really honored to be a part of something like that,” Rudolph told reporters via Zoom backstage on Sunday. “I feel really honored that I’m part of a legacy. … It’s wild to be part of any group of anybody or anything, and I think it’s especially sweet for somebody like me, who just really feels like I am very much my own person and my own thing. I’m just doing only what I know how to do, so it feels really good to be acknowledged in that way.”

In 2020, Rudolph won guest comedy actress for appearing as then-Sen. Kamala Harris in the Eddie Murphy-hosted episode of NBC’s late-night sketch comedy series. This time, however, her statue is for portraying a number of characters, including a return to Beyoncé, in the Season 46 episode she hosted. She beat fellow “SNL” host Kristen Wiig to take this trophy, as well as Jane Adams from “Hacks,” Bernadette Peters from “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” and both Yvette Nicole Brown and Issa Rae from “A Black Lady Sketch Show.”

“This one feels particularly sweet and like an enormous personal achievement just because ‘Saturday Night Live’ is genuinely something that I dreamt up since I was a kid and loved as a kid and watched my parents watching growing up and then it became a part of my life,” Rudolph said. “It holds such a special place in my heart, and it’s the first place where I really found my people in work and created a work family. And I feel really proud that it’s for something that I love so much. It’s just wild to love something and then be recognized for it. That’s even better than you imagine because I think that when you love something so much, that is the reward. So, it’s nice when people recognize something that you’re already happy about.”

When it comes to character voice-over, she won again for Netflix’s animated comedy “Big Mouth,” on which she plays Connie, the Hormone Monster. Specifically this year she won for the episode titled “A Very Special 9/11 Episode.” Here she topped Stacey Abrams for “Black-sh: Election Special Part 2,” Julie Andrews for “Bridgerton,” Tituss Burgess for “Central Park,” Seth Macfarlane for “Family Guy,” Stanley Tucci for “Central Park” and the late Jessica Walter for “Archer.”

When it came to the latter award, Rudolph said that recording voice-over during a pandemic was a “testament to having such a great team.”

“Everything was in place and ready to go, and all we had to do was find quiet places to record away from our children on Zoom,” she said. “So, the hardest part, I think, was setting up temporary recording studios at home. At one point, Nick [Kroll] and I were joking about recording under furniture blankets. I did a lot of sweating during recording during quarantine because some of the things we set up that looked like little teepees on a tripod that you stick your head in and your head is sweating and your body’s cool.”

Despite the adjustments it required, Rudolph said that “recording the show through the pandemic was actually a saving grace and helped get a sense of normalcy that was really comforting for me.”

Jazz Tangcay contributed to this report.




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