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Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge: 5 Things to Know

If audiences weren’t familiar with Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge before watching the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, they will be now!

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Waller-Bridge, 34, walked away with an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Fleabag on Sunday, September 22. She beat out Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Christina Applegate (Dead to Me), Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) for the top prize.

The British star additionally earned an award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on the acclaimed BBC series. The series also won for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Harry Bradbeer won Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series for his work on the show.

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“I find acting really hard and really painful. But it’s all about this,” she joked in her Lead Actress acceptance speech as she held up her trophy. “Thank you to be nominated with these unbelievable actresses who I have just looked up to and watched and laughed at and with for so many years. It means so much, I mean that in a nice way. And this means a huge amount to me.”

Scroll down for five other facts about Waller-Bridge!

Phoebe Waller-Bridge arrives at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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Fleabag Wasn’t Always Apart of Her Plan

Though Waller-Bridge’s role on Fleabag made her a breakout star, she revealed that her creation of the titular character wasn’t planned. The actress, in fact, created the character while performing a brief bit at 2012’s London Storytelling Festival. In 2017, she told The Gentlewoman: “I just felt like being outrageous, and what popped out was this girl who is wickedly honest about her sex life.”

She Nearly Starred on Downton Abbey

In 2017, Waller-Bridge opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about losing out on a role in the popular PBS series. “I went in thinking, ‘I’m going to give my best, sincere, heartbreaking performance,’” she explained. “It was a really beautiful scene in a church; there’s a little clue. And I went in and I gave this really heartfelt audition, and when I finished, they were like, ‘We had no idea she was so f–king hilarious!’ I had really given myself, and they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re not right.’”

Her Work Behind-the-Scenes

In addition to creating, writing and starring on Fleabag, she also had a significant role in shaping another critical gem: Killing Eve. Not only did Waller-Bridge write and produce the Sandra Oh-led BBC series, she also served as the program’s showrunner. She also helped to cowrite the screenplay for the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die.

She Was in Solo: A Star Wars Story

In the Star Wars spinoff, Waller-Bridge voiced the droid L3-37. However, during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show in 2018, she hilariously admitted to never seeing a Star Wars movie before landing the part.

She Comes From a Showbiz Family

Waller-Bridge isn’t the only person in her family who works in the entertainment industry. Her brother, Jasper Waller-Bridge, is a music manager and her sister, Isobel Waller-Bridge, is a composer.

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