Sandra Oh Lands Third Straight Lead Actress Emmy Nomination for 'Killing Eve,' Continues Historic Run

Sandra Oh
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

The actress and executive producer landed another nomination for her performance as Eve on the BBC America drama.

Sandra Oh continues to make history.

The star and executive producer of BBC America's acclaimed spy drama, Killing Eve, earned her third straight Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series on Tuesday for her performance as Eve Polastri. Oh continues her hot streak at the Emmys with her latest nomination. (Her co-star Jodie Comer also landed an Emmy nomination, following up last year's win.)

In addition to Oh and Comer's acting nominations and Killing Eve's Outstanding Drama Series inclusion, the series snagged an additional five, including one for Fiona Shaw in Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Killing Eve's Emmy nominations haul is eight.

In 2018, Oh became the first woman of Asian descent to be recognized in a lead actress category -- for either comedy or drama -- in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards. And last year, she became one of a handful of actors who earned multiple nominations, two for Killing Eve (one as a producer)another for guest hosting Saturday Night Live and a fourth for co-hosting the Golden Globes alongside Andy Samberg.

As Oh's latest nomination cements her place as a trailblazer for Asian representation in mainstream media, the 49-year-old actress continues to be an Emmy darling. Prior to Killing Eve, she earned five straight nominations in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category, from 2005 to 2009, for portraying Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. Though she is still seeking her first career Emmy win, Oh has the distinct honor of being the most-nominated Asian performer and the first to land multiple nominations in the same year.  

Following Oh's history-making lead actress nomination in 2018, Oh issued a statement to ET, celebrating the milestone.

“I feel tremendous gratitude and joy with this nomination. I am thrilled for [Killing Eve creator] Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s nomination and for the entire cast/crew of Killing Eve. I share this moment with my community,” she said at the time. “P.S. I think my mother at this moment may actually be satisfied.”

While speaking with ET’s Kevin Frazier on the red carpet ahead of the 2018 ceremony, in which she brought along her proud parents, the actress stressed that any type of historic change takes time. “I hope that the wave continues and we see real change,” Oh 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 expressed.

Oh’s latest Emmy nomination for Killing Eve comes 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. 

In the drama, Oh plays Eve, a bored, desk-bound MI-5 officer who becomes entrenched in the high-stakes world of a brilliant psychopathic assassin, Villanelle (Comer) -- the latest killer she's been ordered to bring down. As their cat-and-mouse game intensifies, Eve's obsession with Villanelle reaches dangerous proportions. It's a character that holds special meaning for Oh, who spent most of her film and television career in largely supporting parts.

Last year, Comer, 27, beat Oh to win her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Soon after, Comer revealed what she told her co-star on her way to collect her trophy onstage. 

"I think I said I loved her and I appreciated her," Comer told ET backstage. "Because honestly, this whole experience we've gone through together. We believed in the show, but we had no idea how humongous it was going to turn out to be. And to kind of have gone through it with her, she's been extremely generous on the screen, so I'm very, very grateful of her."

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will take place Sunday, Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on ABC. Check out ET Live and ETonline for ongoing coverage of the awards.  

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