“I thought it was really awesome,” reveals Da’Vine Joy Randolph about bringing something new to her role on the latest “High Fidelity” adaptation, which is now available on Hulu. She adds, “Record store culture is a male dominated world and I was immediately intrigued by the fact that not only was it going to [feature] women, but women of color.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Randolph above.
“High Fidelity” follows Robyn “Rob” Brooks (Zoë Kravitz), an unlucky in love music fan who owns a record store in Brooklyn, NY. While trying to get over her one true love Mac (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Rob revisits her past relationships through music and pop culture and shares her innermost feelings with the audience (by breaking the fourth wall), alongside friends and co-workers Cherise (Randolph) and Simon (David H. Holmes) and on again off again love interest Clyde (Jake Lacy). The romantic comedy was developed for Hulu by Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka, based on the acclaimed novel by Nick Hornby. It premiered last February, 20 years after the Stephen Frears film adaptation of the same name that starred John Cusack, Jack Black and in some fascinating casting, Kravitz’s mother Lisa Bonet.
The show turns the source material on its head, as its three main characters are two women of color and a gay man. In portraying Cherise, Randolph was conscious about bringing something new to this adaptation, seeing it as an opportunity to be original and authentic rather than trot out some of the stereotypes that we often see with supporting characters, like the eccentric friend or the sassy woman of color.
“It is very important to me in all roles that I do, especially as an African-American woman, that I do not fall into the trap of doing that, of playing this with archetypes and stereotypical tropes. That’s something that I am very personally passionate about as an artist. I want to show a human being, who feels and does all these things, but never where they’re predictable,” the actress explains. “Zoë really pushed for authenticity, down to the coffee cup. It had to be authentic. So that being said, a stereotypical character was immediately out the window and not an option,” she says. “I think it’s more interesting and relatable that way.”
Randolph is enjoying a great time in her career. This past fall, she received excellent notices for her supporting work opposite Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name” for Netflix.
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