No matter where you’ve met the talented Da’Vine Joy Randolph on her artistic journey, it’s pretty clear that she is having a moment. Some may know the Yale school of Drama grad for her turn in Ghost The Musical, taking on Oda Mae Brown (the role popularized by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie) which earned her a Tony Award nomination in 2012.
Others may know her as the feisty yet alluring songbird Lady Reed in the Rudy Ray Moore biopic Dolemite Is My Name. The latter has earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and we couldn’t agree more with that acknowledgment.
Randolph is transcendent as Rudy Ray Moore’s protege, Lady Reed, so much so that when she utters lines like “I’ve never seen anyone that looks like me up on that screen,” you feel that this role is personal for her. The significance of this film’s sheer existence is not lost on her.
“You come to learn and understand the privilege that it is to be in this position,” she told BET. “The responsibility and the duty that you have as a person of color. And as we talk about themes of representation and perseverance and not allowing the powers that be to shut you down and to cultivate for yourself, but I also think it’s important that you cultivate for your people first. And then branch out.”
Randolph is currently starring in Hulu’s revamp of High Fidelity as quixotic artist Cherise and will be in the upcoming The United States Vs. Billy Holiday. While she is blessed to have these opportunities, she knows that nothing comes easy in Hollywood for Black creatives.
“If Eddie can see the void, if he’s done all these movies, he could do anything he wanted, and he’s been wanting to do this for fifteen years? That tells you something,” she says of the time it took just to get Dolemite Is My Name produced.
“It took 15 years for someone at the top of the food chain to make this happen and that keys you in with where we’re at. We’ve come a long way, but it shows you how far we need to continue to go.”
The NAACP Image Awards air live on BET on February 22nd at 8 p.m. ET (CHECK LOCAL LISTING FOR TIME)
Photo Credit: Netflix