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Andra Day Says She's Still Recovering From Playing Billie Holiday

Andra Day Says She's Still Recovering From Playing Billie Holiday

Andra Day has revealed that to become Billie Holiday for Hulu’s The United States vs. Billie Holiday she dived deep into the singer’s life.

“There’s still a lot that I am working out in me from playing Billie,” the 36-year-old singer and actress shared in an interview about the movie. “She gets in, you know what I mean? She gets ahold.”

Andra explained that while diving in psychologically, she also did physically as well.

“It was a commitment,” she shared. “I think it’s one I’m recovering from still. I’d never smoked cigarettes before. Just starting out smoking, I was practicing with my acting coach … I was like, ‘I want some of your American Spirits. That first day I was drinking vodka and smoking cigarettes, and I went home and threw up, like, five times!”

Andra added that she was able to quit after they “finished the last pickup shots last year. But what I expected to be a four-, five- or six-month habit ended up turning into about a year and a half.”

On top of the smoking, Andra also started to drink as well. Billie actually died in 1959 of complications from cirrhosis caused by alcohol abuse.

“I drank a lot of gin, I drank bourbon,” she recalled. “I hadn’t drank in so long, and it was never really a big part of my life, even when I did when I was younger.”

Andra also says that she was losing a lot of weight for the role too: “I was losing it healthily throughout that [period], and then once it got closer to shooting, that’s when I let everyone know, ‘OK, I’m gonna just kinda starve myself at this point!’”

Now though, she’s starting to gain it back.

“I’ve actually just recently started to gain back a little bit of weight. I’m up to, like, 140, which is good, ’cause I was 124 on set.”

Andra‘s “Tigress & Tweed” from the soundtrack is nominated for her first Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday is streaming NOW on Hulu.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Andra Day

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