Even though she’s already won two Emmys, both for her turn as Rue Bennett on HBO’s “Euphoria” (2020, 2022), Zendaya has never even been nominated for a Golden Globe or Screen Actors Guild Award. But that might not be the case for much longer, thanks to the actor’s acclaimed performance in Season 2 of the dark teen drama. As of this writing, she is firmly in the Best Drama Actress Top 5 in the respective odds for the Globes and SAG Awards, sitting in second place for the former and in third place for the latter.
At the Globes, the two-time Emmy champ presumably came very close to making the Best Drama Actress five for Season 1 of “Euphoria” in 2019. In fifth place in our odds at the time, she checked every box of a traditional Globe nominee: She was a rising star who had never been nominated for a major award and gave a revelatory breakthrough performance in a hip, cool freshman series in which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) — a group that is notorious for wanting to be the first to acknowledge anything or anyone — could plant its flag. Her omission is a head-scratcher, even in hindsight, not least because she went on to snatch the Best Drama Actress Emmy for “Euphoria’s” debut season when only very few predicted her.
But Zendaya and her fans probably don’t need to worry about history repeating itself this year. The performer’s 2020 Emmy victory has gone a long way in raising not just her own but also her show’s profile. “Euphoria” Season 2 — which ran from January to February earlier this year — brought in record-breaking viewership for HBO and made a killer showing at this year’s Emmys. There, it went from six nominations and three wins for its first season to a whopping 16 and six, respectively, for its second, and Zendaya became the first actor under the popular vote system to repeat in a drama lead acting category. This all goes to suggest that both “Euphoria” as a whole and Zendaya individually might just be too big for the HFPA to ignore at this point.
At the SAG Awards, it’s less surprising that Zendaya was overlooked for her show’s inaugural installment. The guild made up of 160,000-plus members is known for being behind the curve and typically taking a while to catch on to new(er) shows, barring some few exceptions. Despite attracting impressive viewership straight out of the gate, “Euphoria” was still perceived as an underdog awards contender for Season 1, which aired during the summer of 2019 and didn’t compete at the Emmys until the following year. And Zendaya, though certainly not an unknown at the time, did not yet have the name recognition that would have allowed her to overcome the show’s lack of visibility, least of all at the SAG Awards, where lead and supporting performances are combined into one category.
But now that Zendaya has two Emmys to her name and “Euphoria” is a proven awards contender, there’s no reason to count her out at the guild. Although the Best TV Drama Actress category is not kind to actors from HBO series — Sarah Snook (“Succession,” 2022) and Thandiwe Newton (“Westworld,” 2017) are the network’s only representatives since 2008 — Zendaya gives the type of showy, emotion-laden performance in Season 2 of “Euphoria” that her peers in SAG-AFTRA are bound to eat up.
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