Andra Day Reveals She Was Overcoming Two Addictions While Filming Billie Holiday Movie
The actress revealed that she's in a healthier place, now.
May 13, 2021 at 12:45 am
Golden Globe-winning actress Andra Day recently revealed that she struggled with addiction prior to playing Billie Holiday in the Hulu biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday and that she found the strength to overcome her battle while embracing the role.
In an interview for Instyle’s latest cover, Day went into detail about the joys and obstacles she faced while playing the role of the jazz musician.
She also shared that she was against any hypersexualized portrayal of Holiday. The multi-hyphenate star said that her stance felt necessary to the role since Holiday had been treated as an object of desire in the male-dominated jazz industry.
During a personal revelation, the 36-year-old added that since she was coming out of her own addictions to porn and sex during that time, she didn’t want “sexualization” to discredit any part of Holiday’s legacy.
“I didn’t want any element of sexualization,” Day said about starring in the role. “I had come out of something in my own life — dealing with porn addiction, sex addiction. I’m being very, very candid with you because I’m not the only one. But I knew I wanted all of that very much gone.”
“I feel now, after playing Billie that I’m honoring her, and the strength that is femininity. I’m definitely in a healthier place to enjoy that because I’m outside of the addiction, if you will. So, yeah, it’s been really fun, because it’s been very new for me,” she continued.
As Blavity previously reported, Day received a Golden Globe award in February for her role in the movie. She became the second Black woman ever to win the award for best actress in a motion picture.
Following the award win, Day told the media that she was going to "eat everything" to celebrate the culmination of a taxing role, according to Yahoo Entertainment.
"I've been on a diet for three years for this movie role, to drop the weight and everything, so there's cake outside," she said. "We just got to eat so much food. We're very hungry. Me, I'm very hungry."
In the sit-down with Instyle, Day expressed that the demands of the role required her to lose 40 pounds. She also took up smoking and drinking as a way to be more aligned with the role. Despite the weight loss, Day said she loves her body and its beauty.
“Besides, to me, there is no such thing as a classic beauty. Beauty takes on so many different forms, in different times and depending on the nation. It’s just about being confident, loving yourself, and understanding your value,” she said.
The Grammy-nominated singer credited the role as a key component in discovering the value in herself like never before.
“It was almost like she said, ‘Sis, we’re going to have to close this, because I have to survive.’ She opened me up to valuing myself in a way that I hadn’t fully before,” Day said.