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‘Holdovers’ actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s grandmother’s glasses helped her ‘get back to the center’

Da’Vine Joy Randolph thinks it is “imperative” to pay it forward as a performer of color.

“The people who have done it before me allow me to be in the position I’m in now,” Randolph said backstage, discussing her win for supporting actress for her performance in “The Holdovers.” “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.”

The actress raked in awards this season for her performance as cafeteria matron Mary Lamb in “The Holdovers.”

Dominic Sessa, Paul Giamatti and Da'Vine Joy Randolph in "The Holdovers." - Seacia Pavao/Focus Features
Dominic Sessa, Paul Giamatti and Da'Vine Joy Randolph in "The Holdovers." - Seacia Pavao/Focus Features

Randolph was introduced during the presentation for the supporting actress category by previous winner Lupita Nyong’o, who both honored Randolph and shared some trivia.

“Da’Vine my friend, your performance is tribute to those who have helped others heal in spite of their own pain,” Nyong’o said. “It’s also a tribute to your grandmother, whose glasses you wear in the film. What an honor to see the world through her eyes and yours.”

Backstage, Randolph was asked about her grandmother’s glasses and said they were “crucial” to her award-winning performance.

“I knew that this was gonna be a difficult for me to take on and that it was going to require a lot of vulnerability from me,” Randolph said. “And I knew that she was just someone in my life that would allow me to get back to the center.”

The actress said she did other subtle things through her hairstyling and accessories to honor other women of the time in what she said felt like “a love letter back to Black women.”

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