Published On: Wed, May 12th, 2021

Andra Day discusses losing 40lbs to portray Billie Holiday

Andra Day discusses losing 40lbs to portray Billie Holiday as she admits she DIDN’T feel more attractive: ‘I liked being juicy!’

She gave an Oscar-nominated performance in The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.

And Andra Day is opening up about losing an incredible 40lbs to play the jazz icon, but admits that slimming down didn’t make her feel more attractive. 

Speaking to InStyle about her transformation, Day, 36, said: ‘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,” 

‘I liked being juicy! I was cool’: Andra Day said of how she felt after losing 40 pounds for her role in The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.

‘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.’ she explained.

‘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.’

Day’s connection with Holiday was so strong, that she credits the late singer with helping her find a new inner confidence.

'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.' the 36-year-old actress said of her transformation

‘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.’ the 36-year-old actress said of her transformation

‘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.’

Also in the interview, Day admitted that playing the legendary singer – who was objectified for her looks – helped give her a new understanding of femininity that she had been struggling with herself. 

‘I didn’t want any element of sexualization,’ she explained, appearing to reference how she prepared to play the role of the late star.

‘I had come out of something in my own life – dealing with porn addiction, sex addiction… 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.’

'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.' Day said. She is pictured here in 2017

‘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.’ Day said. She is pictured here in 2017

Holiday was considered to be hypersexualized throughout her career in the male-dominated world of jazz music, and Day hints in the interview that she felt a connection with the troubled star.

‘I feel now, after playing Billie, that I’m honoring her, and the strength that is femininity,’ Day explained.

‘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.’

Cover beauty: The American singer-turned-actress made the comments in a cover feature with InStyle

Cover beauty: The American singer-turned-actress made the comments in a cover feature with InStyle

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