‘The Holdovers’ sensation Da’Vine Joy Randolph embraced an unconventional approach to portray a mourning mother in Alexander Payne’s latest tragicomedy

It wasn’t that Da’Vine Joy Randolph had never witnessed Alexander Payne’s cinematic works. She simply was oblivious to Alexander Payne’s identity.

“Embarrassingly enough, this is the sequence of events,” the 37-year-old thespian recounts her tale about the initial encounter with the illustrious writer-director, celebrated for productions such as Election, Sideways and The Descendants, for his most recent piece, The Holdovers.

“I received a message from my representatives saying, ‘Alexander Payne desires a conference with you.’ I acknowledged, ‘All right.’ We proceed to this virtual meeting, I am in discourse with this gentleman, and he’s expounding on his new venture. And he expresses, ‘I am contemplating you for this part.’ To which I responded, ‘Great. Should you have any films you’d recommend to aid my familiarity with you and your oeuvre, feel free to suggest them.’”

Payfack.payne hesitantly brought up Sideways. “Ah, the wine film!” Randolph exclaimed. Next, The Descendants. “Ah, the one with George Clooney

Not taking offense, the director cast Randolph — who garnered a Tony nod for Ghost: The Musical, has graced the series High Fidelity and Only Murders in the Building, and can claim her most substantial film role to date in the Eddie Murphy-starring Dolemite Is My Name — in what could be the definitive performance of her nascent screen saga. The Pennsylvanian is viewed as one of the leading contenders for an upcoming Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa star in The Holdovers. (Seacia Pavao/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection)Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa star in The Holdovers. (Seacia Pavao/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa headline in The Holdovers. (Seacia Pavao/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection)

She portrays Mary Lamb, the chief cook at a preparatory school in 1970s New England who steps in amidst the climbing discord between a surly academic (Paul Giamatti) and the sole pupil (promising talent Dominic Sessa) left stranded at the academy during winter recess. The lingering sorrow from the demise of Mary’s son in Vietnam fuels a robust yet heart-rending representation by the Yale School of Drama graduate.

“The tale’s inherent despair was substantial,” Randolph posits regarding the profound mourning in the plot. “Ultimately, I was so driven to narrate her story, finding it profoundly moving, that I was prepared to act as the conduit for it. The beauty in performance arts lies in embodying individuals’ lives and artistically showcasing a spectrum of potentials. I must be sincere in this instance and entirely yield to this.”

Randolph decidedly adopted what one could term as the antithesis of Method acting.

“Honestly, it’s the middle of winter in Boston. That’s melancholic in and of itself for me, so I abstained from delving deeper into a depressive state throughout the entire winter. Instead, I actively pursued the contradiction. I indulged in animated shows, embraced humor, played the clown on location, and such. This ensured that my emotive space was prepared for then having that.”

The Holdovers is presently screening.

Check Also

The It List: Bradley Cooper transforms into Leonard Bernstein in ‘Maestro,’ Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ reunites him with Joaquin Phoenix, Netflix animated musical ‘Leo’ stars Adam Sandler as an old pet lizard

WATCH IT: Bradley Cooper conducts his latest Oscar hopeful, Maestro A new directing star was …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *