‘The Holdovers’ Da’Vine Joy Randolph: “We Can Tell Universal Stories In Black And Brown Bodies,”; This Is “A Love Letter To Black Women” – Oscars Backstage

‘The Holdovers’ Da’Vine Joy Randolph: “We Can Tell Universal Stories In Black And Brown Bodies,”; This Is “A Love Letter To Black Women” – Oscars Backstage

“This is a love letter to Black women,” Da’Vine Joy Randolph said backstage at the Academy Awards, having just collected her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Holdovers.

Asked how important it feels to her to feel and be seen, Randolph said, “It’s imperative, because the people who’ve done it before me allow me to be in this position now, and so the type of work I do, my strive for authenticity, for quality, allows there to be a new standard set where we can tell universal stories in black and brown bodies, and it can be accepted and enjoyed amongst the masses. It’s not just Black TV or Black movies for Black people, instead of a universal performance that can be enjoyed by all.”

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In the Alexander Payne-directed The Holdovers, Randolph stars as Mary, a cook in an East Coast boarding school. While she struggles with the tragic loss of her own son, Mary offers a wryly funny compassion for lonely teacher Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) and his teenage charge Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa).

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Randolph also touched on the fact she had brought her own grandmother’s glasses to the set.

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“[Having them] was crucial,” she said. “I knew that she was just someone in my life that would allow me to get right back to the center. And there were many women. I did a lot of research and did little subliminal messages, if you will, with hairdos and details and accessories beyond the glasses, giving homage to women—from the Jeffersons; Phyllis Hyman… I felt like it was a love letter back to black women.”

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Randolph added, “I think we as Black people are very good at is making a lot out of very little, and I think that’s a superpower, and something that we should applaud ourselves for and uplift ourselves. So there’s nothing that’s never too little. It’s always just enough.”

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