Updated at 11:14 p.m. ET on September 22, 2019.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge has had a wild year. In May, the second and final season of her dark-comedy series, Fleabag, was released to widespread critical acclaim. Months later, she performed the one-woman play on which the Amazon Studios show was based for the final time at London’s 760-seat Wyndham’s Theatre. Just last week, the theater company announced it would screen a taping of that production in cinemas across the United States.
And tonight, Waller-Bridge won her first-ever Emmy—for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Fleabag. “I’m properly shaking. Oh my God, look at her!” Waller-Bridge said, pointing to the trophy after taking the stage at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards. “I find writing really, really hard and really painful,” she said. “I’d like to say, honestly, from the bottom of my heart, that the reason I do it is this,” she added, addressing both the massive auditorium crowd and audiences at home.
Fleabag, which Waller-Bridge created, wrote, and starred in, is a work of astounding wit and empathy. Over the course of two seasons, the series followed the trials and sporadic growth of its titular character, a deeply complicated woman who struggles to reconcile her sex addiction and misanthropy with the demands of self-actualization. The writing is concise, sharp, and delightfully hilarious. In one Season 2 episode, Fleabag’s sister (played by Sian Clifford, who was nominated for a Supporting Actress award for her performance) complains about an ugly haircut and exclaims, “I look like a pencil!”