Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day had by no means starred in a film earlier than she channeled Billie Holiday in a brand new biopic directed by Lee Daniels.
In “America Vs. Billie Holiday,” which might be launched by Hulu on Feb. 26, Day performs the enduring jazz singer as she’s being focused by a authorities investigation within the last years of her life.
To totally inhabit the legend, Day ready extensively for the position, as she informed Leslie Odom Jr. in Selection’s Actors on Actors, introduced by Amazon Studios. (Odom Jr. additionally portrays a musical trailblazer — Sam Cooke — in Regina King’s “One Evening in Miami.”)
“I mainly abused my physique for a very long time,” Day says. “I’m joking and not likely joking. I obtained the position on the very high of 2018. Studying every part I may get my arms on. Listening to each interview. Apparently, I exhausted the web of Billie Holiday images. Apparently, the web will inform you that you just’ve reached the tip.”
“I put my household by means of it; I put myself by means of it,” Day provides. “I went from 163 kilos to 124 kilos. I might speak like her and I don’t drink or smoke, however I began smoking cigarettes and ingesting alcohol. Not that I like to recommend folks do that; I simply was determined as a result of that is my first position. I simply requested God to give me the entire ache and trauma. I requested him to give me her ache and provides me her trauma.”
Day additionally had to change her voice to sing as Holiday, performing a few of her best hits — together with the painful 1939 music “Unusual Fruit,” concerning the lynching of Black Individuals.
“That was an early choice that we made immediately to do the singing,” Day says. “Each time I might sing a music I’d go, OK, Lee’s going to hear this and he’s going to fireplace me. However I wouldn’t have achieved it in the event that they’d been, ‘Do it in your voice.’ That for me would have in all probability been a no. There’s victory and there’s ache in her voice. So to me it was identical to we’ve obtained to get it, now we have to get it, you understand what I imply? It’ll have to be my interpretation of it, but it surely has to be there.”
For extra from our dialog with Day and Odom, click on right here, and watch the total dialog under.