Da’Vine Joy Randolph: Major Prizes, Major Attention, Major Unease

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The “Holdovers” star Da’Vine Joy Randolph has had a charmed run through awards season so far: Considered the favorite for the supporting actress Oscar, she has already taken the Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award and prestigious trophies from both the New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

The 37-year-old actress is well-aware of the power of those prizes, and knows that even being in the Oscar conversation can change the course of a career. But does that mean her awards season has been easy to navigate?

“It’s overwhelming, if I’m being really honest,” Randolph told me in a candid conversation last week. “You really do earn your stripes going through this awards-season thing.”

A monthslong Oscar campaign can be more arduous than people realize: a pileup of Q. and A.s, wardrobe fittings, round tables, photo shoots, interviews, red carpets, ceremonies, movie premieres, cocktail parties and festival appearances that demand always-on levels of poise and adrenaline. Everyone you meet at these events wants something from you — a conversation, a selfie, an autograph, an acceptance speech — and at the end of these glitzy and exhausting nights, there’s not much left over for yourself.

Randolph is no novice: Tony-nominated for her role in “Ghost the Musical” (2012), she earned Oscar chatter for her breakout film performance in “Dolemite Is His Name” (2019) and has worked steadily in films like “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (2021) and TV shows including “Only Murders in the Building,” “The Idol” and “High Fidelity.” Still, nothing she has experienced so far compares to the white-hot awards spotlight shone on her in the wake of “The Holdovers,” and Randolph is still figuring out how to adjust to its glare.

Clockwise from top left, Randolph in “Ghost the Musical”; “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” with Andra Day; “The Holdovers,” opposite Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa; and “Dolemite Is His Name,” starring Eddie Murphy.Credit…Clockwise from top left: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times; Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures and Hulu; Seacia Pavao/Focus Features; François Duhamel/Netflix

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