Ten-year-old Black child actor Keivonn Montreal Woodard has made history with his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Woodard gained recognition for his poignant performance as Sam, a clever and lovable deaf apocalypse survivor in HBO’s The Last of Us.
His nomination, announced on July 12, has generated a fresh wave of acclaim for his exceptional talent.
Woodard’s nomination is noteworthy as he becomes the youngest nominee in the Outstanding Guest Actor category and the second youngest Emmy nominee of all time. Only Keshia Knight Pulliam, known for her role in The Cosby Show, earned a nomination at the age of six. What makes Woodard’s achievement even more remarkable is that The Last of Us marks his first acting role.
In an interview, Woodard expressed his excitement and admitted to feeling a bit overwhelmed by the recognition. He eagerly awaits seeing the final product of his work on screen, having thoroughly enjoyed watching the other episodes. Woodard shared that he is not afraid of being on camera and meeting new people.
Woodard credited his co-star Lamar Johnson, who portrays Sam’s dedicated and protective older brother in The Last of Us, for making the process easier. The young actor revealed that one of his favorite scenes to act in was a thrilling sequence where he and Johnson had to evade a pursuing truck, hide under cars, and navigate through a chaotic environment. Woodard’s enthusiasm and dedication to his craft shine through his portrayal of Sam.
Woodard is joined by his on-screen brother Lamar Johnson and fellow Black actress Storm Reid, both of whom are also Emmy nominees in his category. The Last of Us has received widespread recognition, earning an impressive total of 24 Emmy nominations in various categories, including Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Pedro Pascal), and Best Actress (Bella Ramsey). The show’s remarkable success further solidifies Woodard’s achievement as part of a talented ensemble.