'As an actor, I never really thought I'd win an award, nevermind at 17 years old.'

Donegal actress Amybeth McNulty has scooped her first award for her lead role in Netflix’s Anne with an E.

The seventeen-year-old star was honoured as the best Female for an Outstanding Performance in the 17th annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto on Saturday.

Amybeth, who grew up in Milford and is of Irish-Canadian descent, has made waves in Canada and worldwide for her spirited portrayal of plucky orphan Anne in the latest adaptation of the timeless novel Anne of Green Gables.

Amybeth’s work has been recognised with numerous award nominations, but the weekend’s triumph was celebrated as a first for the hard-working actress.

In her acceptance speech, Amybeth said:

“As an actor, I never really thought I’d win an award, nevermind at 17 years old. This wee girl, from the middle of nowhere in Ireland.”

She thanked her family, series writer Moira Walley Beckett and executive producer Miranda de Pencier, her cast and crew and friends at home.

Amybeth dedicated the award to her great grandmother Martha, who inspired her in her role.

She commented: “I’ve never met her, she had a very similar experience to the character I play. She was a slave at 11 years old to really cruel people. I take a lot of her characteristics into this part.”

Amybeth McNulty – Anne with an E. Image via Netflix

Amybeth has often been highly engaged with her fans online and an inspiration to other young actors starting out in the industry.

On this note, she said: “I hope to give a voice to a lot of young girls who may be struggling to find their voice. The world is waiting to hear it, I am waiting to hear it. Fight to change our society.”

Showing her gratitude on Instagram later, Amybeth wrote: “This was truly an unforgettable night, I am forever in awe that this is my life.”

Next up for the bright young actress is the production of Anne with an E season 3, while she is also nominated for a viewers’-choice Cogeco Fund Audience Choice Award in Canada.