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Before Andra Day hit it big in Hollywood, fashion designer Kai Millard Morris caught her performance outside of a Los Angeles strip mall in 2010 and raved about her to then-husband Stevie Wonder. According to InStyle, he connected Day with Adrian Gurvitz and she later released two albums, a few EPs, and her song “Rise Up,” which became the “unofficial anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement in 2017.”
Now Day is determined to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry with her first role in the Hulu film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” She took playing Holiday so seriously that she lost 40 pounds by “smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol,” according to Variety. The movie was nominated for an Oscar, so it’s clear the film was well-received.
As for the weight loss, she appeared indifferent about how her body looked. “I was like, ‘Hell, no! I liked being juicy! I was cool,'” she said. “But I do like the way [the weight loss] feels on my body, I like the way it feels on my joints. You do notice a difference. 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.”
Day also revealed that working on “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” wasn’t as easy as it looked. Keep reading for more details.
Andra Day was addicted to porn and sex
Andra Day wanted “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” to focus on music and not Holiday’s “hypersexualized image” because she was dealing with her own addiction issues. “I didn’t want any element of sexualization,” she told InStyle. I had come out of something in my own life — dealing with porn addiction, sex addiction.”
She continued, “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.” The role was in Day’s favor because playing Holiday helped her overcome her addiction.
“I feel now, after playing Billie, that I’m honoring her and the strength that is femininity,” she said. “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.”
Day said taking on the role as Holiday pushed her to view herself in a more positive light, saying, “She opened me up to valuing myself in a way that I hadn’t fully before.”
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