Patricia Arquette Opens Up About Bittersweet Emmy Win as She Mourns Late Sister Alexis (Exclusive)

By Jennifer Drysdale‍
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Patricia Arquette's heart was with her late sister, Alexis, as she took home an Emmy on Sunday night. 

The 51-year-old actress won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in The Act and used her acceptance speech to advocate for transgender rights in honor of Alexis, who died in 2016. 

"The truth is, it's a wonderful moment, but... I really, really feel like I'm just starting to mourn her," Patricia explained to ET's Kevin Frazier backstage after her win. "So, I would be disingenuous if I was up there, and it wasn't a part of me."

The actress held back tears on stage while discussing the effect Alexis' death has had on her. "I"m so sad... I lost my sister, Alexis. And that trans people are still being persecuted. And I'm in mourning every day of my life, Alexis. And I will be for the rest of my life, for you, until we change the world so that trans people are not persecuted," she said. 

"Give them jobs," she added before walking offstage. "They're human beings. Let's give them jobs. Let's get rid of the bias that we have everywhere."

Patricia told ET that her win was bittersweet. "I think we are always running away from grief, and we're not processing. We're pretending like we're cool and we're pretending like we're fine. And I don't really feel completely fine right now. As wonderful as everything is, I also feel really sad," she expressed. 

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It's been an emotionally taxing time for Patricia, who is coming off two "heavy" roles -- Dee Dee Blanchard in The Act, and Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell in Escape at Dannemora, for which she was also nominated. 

"It kind of took a while [to shake off those characters]," she admitted. "Tilly really hung on in a way where she was so depressed, and I think depression can kind of hang on for a while. And with Dee Dee, she was just heavy. It was a very heavy story. So just emotionally, how diluted she was, and what she was willing to do for her own needs was really heavy."

"I just feel like I've only recently shook it all off," Patricia said. 

For now, she's looking forward to setting her Emmy on her office shelf alongside "her friends," an Oscar, a Golden Globe and more. She's also excited to get back to playing her favorite role, Mom. 

"I love when I go [home] and my kid's complaining and my kid wants chicken soup and takes me for granted. Sometimes I don't love it so much, but in general, it's like, 'Yeah, I'm your mom. You get to do that. You get to be kind of snarky sometimes. You get to take me for granted a little bit because I'm your mom. I'm not something outside of you,'" she shared. 

See more on Patricia in the video below. 

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Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.