The Primetime Emmys aren’t until next Monday, but breakout star Uzo Aduba has already claimed a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress In a Comedy Series. Her work on the Netflix smash hit Orange is the New Black as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren has garnered much praise from critics as the character has quickly become a fan favorite. The role is Abuda’s first major acting job and she has made the best of it.

“It’s surreal,” she told People on the red carpet before the awards. “All I can hold onto today is this idea of the day I got this job, I was leaving this business, I had quit, and now I’m at the Emmys, and I’m nominated for an Emmy, and my show is nominated, and my cast-mates are nominated.”

Little did Uzo know that only a few hours later she would be getting her award presented by none other than Morgan Freeman! The Massachusetts-raised actress tearfully accepted with grace and admitted to being a bit star struck afterwards.

“It’s like you’re walking and you’re aware that you’re walking toward Morgan Freeman, but you’re fairly certain you should still be sitting on your seat,” she said in the press room. “You’re like, ‘Maybe I’m embarrassing myself, maybe they didn’t call my name, maybe somebody else’s name. I don’t know what’s happening.’ “

It’s incredible how far Abuda has come as her parents fled war torn Nigeria when she was very young. What an inspiration! The newly minted star certainly handled herself with grace and was quite appreciative of her humble beginnings. If you haven’t watched Orange is the New Black, do yourself a favor and watch it now. Abuda steals the show even in the company of amazing performances in a truly funny and edgy show. This is surely the first award of many to come.

Featured image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com