To portray the life of Civil Rights movement leader Billie Holiday, Andra Day had to drop 40 pounds; however, this didn’t make the Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner prettier, according to her latest interview with InStyle. “I’ve had people ask me, ‘Do you feel prettier now that you’ve lost weight?’ I was like, ‘Hell, no! I liked being juicy! I was cool,’” Day told the outlet.
As reported by the publication, although her weight loss didn’t positively impact her new appearance, the actress and singer confirmed that it improved her health. “But I do like the way [the weight loss] feels on my body; I like the way it feels on my joints,” the star added. “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. It’s just about being confident, loving yourself, and understanding your value.”
The star of The United States vs. Billie Holiday also said she considers herself a beautiful person. “I definitely do,” Day told InStyle. “It has to do with Billie. 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.”
In January, the actress told Leslie Odom Jr. in Variety’s Actors on Actors how she prepared to channel the Civil Rights movement leader. “I basically abused my body for a long time,” Day says. “I’m joking and not really joking. I got the role at the very top of 2018. Reading everything I could get my hands on, listening to every interview. Apparently, I exhausted the internet of Billie Holiday photos. Apparently, the internet will tell you that you’ve reached the end.”
According to Day, she did not only lost almost 40 pounds, but she also started smoking and drinking. “I put my family through it; I put myself through it,” she said. “I went from 163 pounds to 124 pounds. I would talk like her, and I don’t drink or smoke, but I started smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Not that I recommend people do this; I just was desperate because this is my first role. I just asked God to give me all of the pain and trauma. I asked him to give me her pain and give me her trauma.”