The 47-year-old actress extended her historic Emmy streak when she landed her second consecutive lead actress nomination for her acclaimed role as Eve Polastri on the BBC America series Killing Eve as well as a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for hosting Saturday Night Live. Last year, she became the first woman of Asian descent to be recognized in a lead actress category -- for either comedy or drama -- in the 70-year history of the Primetime Emmy Awards.
While the nomination is a breakthrough for Asian representation, Oh is no stranger to the Emmys. She earned five straight nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. Despite zero wins so far, the actress is also the most nominated Asian performer and the first two score multiple nominations in the same year.
Oh’s nominations come after The Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi became the first actor of Asian descent to win an acting Emmy -- for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2010. In 2017, Riz Ahmed became the second actor of Asian descent to win an acting prize for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The Night Of. Ahmed has since become the only Asian actor, male or female, to win a leading Emmy category.
Following her history-making nomination last year, Oh issued a joy-filled statement to ET. “I feel tremendous gratitude and joy with this nomination. I am thrilled for [creator] Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s nomination and for the entire cast/crew of Killing Eve. I share this moment with my community,” she said. “P.S. I think my mother at this moment may actually be satisfied.”
There’s no doubt that both of Oh’s parents are proud of her accomplishment. The two joined their daughter at the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards. Posting an image of them on Instagram, she wrote, “Proud [immigrant parents.] Just took me 30 [years]...”
While speaking with ET’s Kevin Frazier on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony, the actress echoed that sentiment, stressing that historic change takes a long time to happen. “I hope that the wave continues and we see real change,” she said. “But it's also [important] to be patient, you know what I mean? Because change is slow and I don't want people to ever give up on it.”
“We can talk about how long it is, but change does take a long time, so the more that we talk about it, the more that we have opportunities to be in front of an audience, to say, ‘Hey, we're a part of culture too,’ I think just the better,” she continued.
While Oh’s still waiting on a coveted Emmy prize, her Killing Eve role did earn her a 2018 Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.