Da'Vine Joy Randolph Gives Tearful Oscars Win Speech for 'The Holdovers'


Da’Vine Joy Randolph is halfway to an EGOT, having won her first Oscar tonight for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers. It’s been quite the awards season for Randolph, who has also won best supporting actress trophies at the SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit awards, in addition to a handful of critics prizes.

“God is so good, god is so good,” Randolph began her tearful acceptance speech, adding that she never thought she’d become an actor after getting her start as a singer. She credited her mother for giving her the push she needed to stretch her creative wings. “For so long, I always wanted to be different,” she said. “Now I realize, I just need to be myself.”

In The Holdovers, set in a prestigious all-boys boarding school in 1970s New England, Randolph plays Mary Lamb, a trained chef who oversees the school’s kitchen—and who is mourning the death of her son in the Vietnam War. Over one holiday season, Mary, lonely student Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa), and curmudgeonly teacher Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) find chosen family with each other. The film was a hit with audiences and critics alike, and was nominated for five Oscars total, including Best Picture.

Before her breakout moment in The Holdovers, 37-year-old Randolph was already on the rise this year, appearing in Only Murders in the Building, playing gospel legend Mahalia Jackson in Rustin, and breaking through the madness of The Idol. The musical theater star already has a Tony (for 2012’s Ghost in the Musical), and has been making waves onscreen since, starring in Dolemite Is My Name and High Fidelity.

Read Randolph’s full Oscars acceptance speech, below:

God is so good. I didn’t think I was supposed to be doing this as a career. I started off as a singer and my mother said to me, “Go across that street to that theater department, there’s something for you there.” I thank my mother for doing that. I thank you to all the people who have stepped in my path and been there for me, ushered me and guided me. I am so grateful to all you beautiful people out here. For so long, I’ve always wanted to be different, and now I realize I just need to be myself, and I thank you. I thank you for seeing me.

Ron Van Lue, I thank you when I was the only Black girl in that class. When you saw me and you told me I was enough, and when I told you, “I don’t see myself.” You said, “That’s fine. We’re going to forge our own path. You are going to lay a trail for yourself.” I’m so grateful to all the women who have been by my side: Colleen Camp, Barbara Broccoli, Tracy Brennan, Sarah Fargo. I have to give a special shout out to my publicists, and I know y’all said, “Don’t say nothing about no publicists,” but you don’t have a publicist like I have a publicist! You have been by my side for the entire thing, and I am forever grateful. I pray to God that I get to do this more than once. I thank you for seeing me. Have a blessed night. Thank you so much.



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