The Orange Is the New Black actress picked up a new piece of hardware on Sunday, tearfully accepting the honor of Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 2015 Emmy Awards. The honor comes one year after she was awarded Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Crazy Eyes. (OITNB made the jump from the comedy to drama for this year's competition.)
The 34-year-old couldn't help but cry as she thanked show creator Jenji Kohan, along with Netflix, Lionsgate, her fellow cast members, and her own team of managers, agents and lawyers -- of whom she said, "I love you mostly because you let me be me."
Of Kohan, she gushed: "I love you so much. I appreciate you for putting belief back in my heart. Thank you for making this show, for creating this space, for creating a platform."
But Aduba was especially grateful for her mother and sister, who were by her side in the audience on Sunday night. Backstage, she opened up to ET's Kevin Frazier about the emotional moment.
"These are people who have helped me read lines for auditions and stayed up late learning the script with me, and my mom has stood for me when I couldn't stand myself and carried me in time when I was weak," she said. "If I could live to be one-tenth of the woman that she has lived to be, I would have lived."
Aduba has been open about her struggles in the entertainment industry before landing her breakout role on Orange. "The day I got this job was the day I had stopped acting," she said earlier this year during an acceptance speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"It's not like the path behind me is so far gone that I can't remember it," she told ET on Sunday. "I can feel it right here behind me, beside me even, and so every time -- today I just started thinking, I was like, this is unbelievable."
Aduba says she will place her new trophy proudly on a shelf in her home in New York. But for the night, she'll party with her Orange Is the New Black co-stars. "Go, team Orange!" she triumphantly declared.