Andra Day Shares Why She Initially Turned Down Her Role As Billie Holiday

Ata Owaji Victor
·2-min read
Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images
Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images

After stepping out on the red carpet for the 2021 Oscars looking incredible in a molten gold custom Vera Wang gown, Andra Day shared why she initially turned down the role of Billie Holiday in her recent biopic movie, The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

In a red carpet interview ahead of yesterdays 2021 Oscars ceremony, E! News host Giuliana Rancic questioned the Rise Up songstress over the fact that she initially said no to playing the historic role.

'You almost turned this down, or you did turn this down,' said Rancic, to which Day confirmed yes 'I did'. The host then continued by asking, 'Why did you turn it down and what finally convinced you to take the role?', to which the actor explained that she was 'terrified of being terrible.'

'Starting out, I was not an actor at the time so I was terrified of being terrible,' said Day.

The actor then continued, saying, 'I'm a huge Billie Holiday fan and I didn't want to somehow spoil her legacy so it was a real leap of faith to kind of dive in because she is a heavy character to play and she deserves all of that work and all of that effort.'

Despite this hesitation, the singer-turned-actor went on to play the role in the movie which follows the true story of the drug sting operation launched on legendary singer Billie Holiday as she attempted to use her platform to call out racism.

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Further into the interview, and when asked about how she decided who would be her plus one for the awards, the actor joked that choosing between family members was a 'great way to get free stuff and gifts from them.'

'But it was probably going to be her anyway,' continued Day - referring to her older sister who accompanied the singer to the event.

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