New Zealand director Jessica Hobbs has won the Emmy award for best directing of a drama series, for her work on The Crown.
Hobbs directed the season 4 finale “War”, which depicts the unravelling marriage of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales.
The visibly shocked director let out an expletive in surprise after her name was read out, and went on to thank writer and creator Peter Morgan, Netflix, and the television academy.
Hobbs thanked her children, and her partner Jonathan, before signalling her appreciation to female directors who have come before her.
“Not a lot of women have won this award, so I feel like I am standing on the shoulders of some really extraordinary people. I’m very grateful for the path that they led and I would particularly like to pay tribute to my mum, who at 77 is still directing.”
Hobbs’ mother is drama and documentary series maker Aileen O’Sullivan.
Hobbs was born and raised in Christchurch and began directing short films in her 20s, during an eight year stint as an assistant director. After helming Cliff Curtis teleplay Overnight in 1995, she moved to Australia and added City Life, Heartbreak High, Love My Way and The Slap to her resume. After relocating to England, she directed miniseries Apple Tree Yard, before working on The Crown.
The 2021 award is Hobbs’ first Emmy win – she was also nominated in 2020 for an episode in The Crown’s third season.
The drama series was one of the big winners of the night, picking up 11 awards in total including for outstanding drama series and best actress for Olivia Colman.
Most of the cast and crew were beamed into the event from London, after Covid-19 restrictions prevented many from attending. Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4, and won the award for lead actor in a drama series, was the only cast-member in attendance in LA.