The 'Beef' actress is the first Asian woman to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a limited or anthology series or television movie
Ali Wong can add an Emmy to her growing list of awards!
The standup star and actress on Monday won her very first Emmy Award at the 2023 ceremony, for her lead performance in the limited series, Beef — making history at the same time as the Emmy's first Asian woman to win in the category.
Her victory comes on the heels of trophies Wong took home earlier this month at the 2024 Golden Globes and 2024 Critics Choice Awards. Her costar, Steven Yeun, also won Monday for his role in Beef, as did Lee Sung Jin, who took home two Emmys for directing and writing. Beef was named outstanding limited or anthology series.
"I wouldn't be standing here without my parents, my amazing parents, my mother and my father who I so wish was alive to share this moment with me," Wong said in her speech, "My hilarious father who loved me unconditionally and taught me the value of failure."
"To my beautiful daughters, you are my everything and thank you for inspiring me," she added of her two girls — Mari, 8, and Nikki, 6 — whom she shares with ex-husband Justin Hakuta. "This is for you."
In Beef, Wong walked a fine line between drama and comedy as Amy Lau, an entrepreneur who seemingly has it all: a thriving business about to be acquired for millions of dollars and a loving family. But after a road rage incident with Steven Yeun's Danny Cho, Amy found her and Danny's lives unexpectedly and unrelentingly intertwined.
While speaking to PEOPLE in April 2023, Yeun shared that the actress helped to alleviate some of the heavier moments while filming the darkly humorous show.
"She's an amazing costar because she holds a lot of weight," he said. "She is someone who knows how to uphold a lot of the good vibes and a lot of the unseen, and I deeply appreciate that about her."
Wong took home the Emmy Monday night in a stacked category that included Riley Keough from Daisy Jones and the Six, Swarm's Dominique Fishback, Jessica Chastain of George & Tammy, Tiny Beautiful Things' Kathryn Hahn and Lizzy Caplan of Fleishman Is in Trouble.
Based on Taylor Jenkins Reid's best-selling novel of the same name, Keough led Daisy Jones & The Six, which chronicled the rise and fall of a fictional '70s rock band — loosely inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Revolving around Keough's Daisy and Sam Claflin's Billy Dunne, the series was structured like a documentary and saw band members reflecting on their glory days decades later.
Keough, 34, previously told PEOPLE that her mother Lisa Marie Presley and Presley's career was a source of inspiration for her performance, explaining she was "raised by somebody who did their own thing and didn't really care what other people thought."
Fishback, 32, starred in Amazon Prime Video's Swarm as Dre, a Houston-based fan whose obsession with a Beyoncé-esque pop star led her down a dark and dangerous spiral.
"When we did the mall scene in the first episode, she was there for a while," she told E! News. "We got to talk. We plan on meeting up and chatting and continuing to build our relationship. I just want to know what she wants to do next. Maybe we can do something together."
Chastain was nominated for her performance as country legend Tammy Wynette in George & Tammy.
The show was adapted from the memoir of Wynette and George Jones' only daughter Georgette Jones Lennon, The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George. Chastain has been connected to the project since 2011, per The Hollywood Reporter, and also served as a producer on the series.
"I'm very protective of them and I can't imagine anyone else playing her, and I couldn't imagine anyone else playing George, which was why I called Mike," the actress, 46, told THR of the couple.
She added of recruiting fellow nominee Michael Shannon to play opposite Jones: "I know how protective Mike is of the characters he plays, so it just felt like the right recipe for a working environment."
Hahn starred in Hulu'sTiny Beautiful Things, which was based on the New York Times best-selling novel Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. The actress took on the role of Claire, a mother on the brink of personal combustion amid divorce, grief and parenting a teenage daughter.
In a conversation with PEOPLE, Strayed shared what it was like to work with Hahn: "She has this extraordinary way of being funny and deep and vulnerable and smart and exceptional and also like all of us in her every move. I feel so honored she said yes to this role. She's sheer brilliance."
Caplan received an nomination for her performance as Libby Epstein in Fleishman Is in Trouble, which followed a 41-year-old divorced father of two (Jesse Eisenberg) braving dating post-divorce, only to have his world thrown into a tailspin by the disappearance of his estranged wife (Claire Danes).
In May 2023, Caplan told PEOPLE how her priorities in life had shifted over the years and noted that several of her Fleishman costars had reached similar points in their lives, which ultimately benefited the show.
"We're all married, we all have kids," she explained. "And so getting to do a show that's examining all of that with people who are just pros, really, it was a dream."
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