Da’Vine Intervention

Da’Vine Joy Randolph is on a roll. She stars in Hulu series High Fidelity, a reimagining of Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel, alongside Zoë Kravitz, who is executive producer. Randolph plays Kravitz’s boisterous friend Cherise. The series premieres Feb. 14.

Randolph, who starred in the Netflix film Dolemite is My Name alongside Eddie Murphy, has also appeared in Fox’s Empire, TBS’s People of Earth and Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. In 2012, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in Broadway’s Ghost the Musical.

Randolph spoke with Multichannel News about High Fidelity and the increasing appeal of streaming services to African-American viewers.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph in Netflix's 'Dolemite Is My Name.'

Da'Vine Joy Randolph in Netflix's 'Dolemite Is My Name.'

MCN: What drew you to High Fidelity?
Da’Vine Joy Randolph:
When Zoë came on board, I had a certain idea of what this was going to be, and as we got to break it down and go deeper into the story, [Hulu] allowed us to go into detail and really figure out these characters. The characters are not stereotypes but are complex — this one is vulnerable or that one is awkward — and there are more sides to the characters. What I also loved about it wasn’t about colorism; I hope people see that it never shows up, and that’s huge.

MCN: You worked with Netflix on Dolemite is My Name. Are streaming services like Netflix making inroads in providing content that’s representative of people of color?
I had a great experience coming off of Netflix, and I think [Netflix] developing the derivative of “Strong Black Lead” [a Netflix marketing and media initative] is huge. That is a very conscious effort by them to promote their representation efforts.

MCN: Are you finding this time in your career as the best time to be an actress given all the outlets developing original scripted content?
I think you have to get in where you fit in, so that [eventually] you can create what you love. I think you are blessed when you get opportunities like this — it doesn’t always happen.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.