Da’Vine Joy Randolph is wowing audiences as Mary Lamb in The Holdovers. Blavity’s Shadow and Act film/TV columnist Sharronda Williams got to speak to Randolph, as well as co-stars Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa, about their roles and the film.

When speaking to Randolph, Williams said that one thing she loved about Mary was how she is the strong, uplifting maternal presence in everyone’s life. When asked who were those people in Randolph’s life, Randolph said her family helps her stay grounded.

“My family is definitely my core unit, to have that ground zero so to speak, that even outside of this industry, they keep me grounded and rooted and humble and don’t let me get a little too cocky in no way, shape or form,” she said. She also said that there are a few people in Hollywood who she can reach out to for help and guidance.

“Several people that get it and they’ve always made and created space for me and allowed me to ask them questions and reach out in certain scenarios…It’s nice when you’re able to have that soundboard,” she said.

When approaching the roles she might play, she says that she tries to stay out of being typecast. Being typecast, she said, would be “the death” of her love for her career.

“While I was on the set for Rustin, I got the call for On the Come Up. Whatever is the thing I’m doing now, let’s go and do the opposite, the complete opposite,” she said.

The reason she chose to star in The Holdovers is because her character was one that wasn’t in service to anyone, something very important to Black actors, but also very rare when taking a look at the roles offered to them.

“Why I take such pride in this woman is…that it is one of few experiences in which I have a character that can literally just be herself and not have to be the help literally to someone else,” she said. “She can have her own feelings and take up space and not have it be about anything more or less than that.”

Watch the full interview, featuring out chats with Sessa and Giamatti as well, below: