Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March...

Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Credit: AP/Jordan Strauss

LOS ANGELES — While tears rolled down Da’Vine Joy Randolph's face, she collected her first Oscar then delivered a powerful speech about her realizing that she's good enough as an actor.

“I always wanted to be different. Now I realize I just need to be myself,” said Randolph, who won the best supporting actress statuette Sunday for her role as Mary Lamb in Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers.” She concluded with a heartfelt shoutout to the women who had helped her through her career, and to her publicist.

“I pray to God,” she continued. "I get to do this more than once.”

Randolph portrayed a New England boarding school cafeteria manager dealing with grief and loss. She continued her awards season sweep, previously winning at other shows including the Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and Golden Globes.

“I don't think I was supposed to be doing this for my career,” said Randolph, who is a trained opera singer but had no dreams of being an actor growing up. Her mother convinced her to take an acting class.

"My mother said to me, ‘Go across that street to that theater department. There’s something for you there,’ and I thank my mother for doing that,” Randolph recalled. “I thank you to all the people who have stepped in my path and ushered me and guided me. I’m so grateful to all you beautiful people out there.”

Randolph spoke more backstage about the importance of people color being able to perform well in any role.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March...

Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Credit: AP/Jordan Strauss

“My stride for authenticity and quality allows there to be a new standard set where we can tell universal stories in Black and brown bodies,” she said. “It can be accepted and enjoyed among the masses. It’s not just Black TV or Black movies for Black people.”

Randolph's tears first started to pour while sitting in her seat as Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o stood on stage and paid homage to "The Holdovers” actor. Nyong'o spoke about the stellar performance by Randolph, who wore her grandmother's glasses in the film.

“What an honor to see the world through her eyes and yours,” Nyong'o said.

Along with her grandmother's glasses, Randolph said she used other accessories in the film as a “love letter to Black women.”

Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March...

Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Credit: AP/Jordan Strauss

“I knew this would be a difficult role to take on. It was going to require a lot of vulnerability from me," she said. “I knew (my grandmother) was someone in my life that would allow me to get back to my center. But it was many other women. I did a lot of research and did a little subliminal messages with hairdos, details and accessories. Beyond the glasses, the homage to women from 'The Jeffersons’ I included all these women who left an impression on me.”

Randolph earned a Tony Award nomination in 2012 for “Ghost The Musical” and her film roles include “ Dolemite Is My Name ” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday." On the small screen, she was in “Empire” and “Only Murders in the Building.”

For her win, Randolph beat Emily Blunt in “Oppenheimer,” Danielle Brooks from “The Color Purple,” America Ferrera in “Barbie” and Jodie Foster from “Nyad.”

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