In the Netflix film, Dolemite Is My Name, actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph steps into the role of Lady Reed, a comedian, actress and a frequent collaborator of the comedy legend Rudy Ray Moore who made some of the most memorable cult classic Dolemite films from the ’70s. Everyone knew about Moore but as for Lady Reed, there has been little to no record of the mark that she left on the industry as a woman of color. Randolph visited the New Hollywood Podcast to talk about why it was important to bring Lady Reed’s narrative to the forefront and how it is crucial to put shine on narratives — primarily of people from marginalized communities — that are seldom overlooked.
A classically trained vocalist who also studied musical theater before she stepped into the world of television and film, Randolph has a long resume of stage productions, films and TV series including the short-lived (and gone way too soon) comedy Selfie and has appeared in Empire as well as People of Earth. She can be seen in the Showtime series On Becoming a God in Central Florida and the forthcoming Hulu series High Fidelity. She received a Tony nomination for her role as Oda Mae Brown from Ghost: The Musical and was featured in the comedy feature Office Christmas Party. She is currently working on the upcoming film The United States vs. Billie Holiday and she is clearly the breakout of Dolemite Is My Name. She talked to us about making the film, her journey to get there, unpacks the term “Blaxploitation” and tells us why “It’s Not Easy Being Green” makes her emotional. Listen to the episode below.