Andra Day recalls “porn and sex addiction” before playing Billie Holiday

"I'm being very, very candid with you because I'm not the only one"

Andra Day has opened up about “dealing with porn and sex addiction” before she played Billie Holliday.

The actress made her big screen debut in Lee Daniels’ biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday, and has since spoken about why she was determined to not be sexualised in the film.

“I didn’t want any element of sexualisation. I had come out of something in my own life — dealing with porn addiction, sex addiction,” Day told InStyle in a new interview.

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“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.”

Day explained that she wanted to keep the focus on the music, despite Holliday’s notorious objectification in the music industry from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Andra Day
Andra Day as Billie Holiday in the new biopic. CREDIT: Sky

“I feel now, after playing Billie, that I’m honouring her, and the strength that is femininity,” Day continued.

“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.”

Andra Day earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role in the film. The award eventually went to Frances McDormand, star of Nomadland.

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In a four-star review of The United States vs. Billie Holliday, NME wrote: “Andra Day is extraordinary in her first real acting role. It’s a pitch-perfect performance; she embodies, rather than impersonates, this great figure of the 20th century.”

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