Andra Ray became one of the ‘hardworking’ and dedicated actors from the world by moulding the character of Billie Holiday in her biopic named The United States vs Billy Holiday. Cassandra Montique Batie, professionally known as Andra Day is an American singer, songwriter and actress.
She rose to fame ever since her 2015 album ” cheers to fall” which was later nominated for the Best R&B Album and the single “Rise” in the 58th Grammy awards 2016. Later she went all along as by 2020 Andra Day became one of the most requested artists among Jazz Joy and Roy Global radio listeners. She bagged in a guest cameo role in the 2017 film Marshall as a nightclub singer. Later she rented her voice in Cars 3 for the character Sweet Tea which was released in 2018.
Andra Day Reveals Her Weight Loss Secret
For portraying the on-screen persona of the legendary Billie Holiday she took an ‘offbeat’, almost formidable processing in transforming her physique and complexion for the character. She was willing to cross the lengthy barriers to present the character in its adroit form as she underwent an extreme weight loss of nearly 40 pounds for the Bille London biopic.
Billie Holiday was an iconic persona who has a celebrated career in American jazz and swing music singing. Her career was active spanning for two decades from 1930-1950. She was given the nickname ‘ Lady Day’ by her friend and her onstage music partner Lester Young. The works of Billie holiday is a benchmark in the American jazz and pop singing legacy.
Her songs “I’ll Be Seeing You”, “Billie’s Blues (I Love My Man)”, “The Very Thought of You”, “Them There Eyes” we’re considered celebrated to this day. Her vocal style which was forcefully inspired by jazz instrumentalists pioneered a new of wielding phrasing and tempo. She found solace in alcohol and drugs during the late phase of her career thus pushing her into debauchery and poor health.
The film The United States vs Billie holiday accounts for the conclusive phase of her career, her addiction and her controversial death.
In an interview that is surrounded by W Magazine which was published on February 23, the 36-year-old singer turned actress revealed what she underwent to physically transform to replicate the on-screen persona of the late legend. The United States vs Billie Holiday is Andra Day’s first major film role after her cameo appearance in Marshall and in lending her voice in Cars 3.
The former ‘rising star ‘ went all long into a new chapter as she won the Golden Globe for the category of Best Actress in Drama role. She also received a nomination for the Academy Awards for the Best Actress for portraying the role. Before it, the world has witnessed some pure form of dedication and discipline of some finest actors before the camera who underwent strange physical transformations for playing the role of Andra Day unknowingly slots among them for her hard work and passion for art.
We all know about the magic of Christian Bale who sacrifices his body for art, the legend immersed his physique and soul into a different mould as in 2004 he lost 60 pounds for The Machinist, later a bulk physique for The fighter and losing some pounds once again in Vice and Ford v Ferrari.
Joaquin Phoenix, the Oscar winner for the Best Actor for his role in Joker took a wild transformation process in his physique and complexion. Also, we all are known of Chris Pratt who cut of some of his body shackles for his role in the Guardian of Galaxy.
In the interview, the former Grammy award nominee confesses that she was willing to choose the dark path to present the physique of the time. She says ” I did some pretty extreme things for the character, there was the drastic weight loss” the actor confesses ” I wanted to have a body that looked like that period in time.
Starving myself made me very weak onset and slowed me down in a way that really helped with the scenes with heroin. Then I started smoking cigarettes; it made me feel like Billie. I’m very fast and she’s like molasses. Smoking helped to drop me into the dark places.” She paused and elaborated on the weight loss noticing by ” I was originally 163 pounds when I started. I got down to 124.
I don’t necessarily recommend but to me, I didn’t want my body to look like a gym body of 2020 or 2019 at the time. For me, it was important in having a period body”, she concludes.
The world has seen intense workout, gym training videos of actors get posted on various social media pages to reveal their transformation journey from fit to fat or fat to fit. It can be inspirational to many as they get praised by many and get reposted on other platforms. On the contrary, the path which took by Andra Day was too strange and ill motivating.
The actor confesses that smoking cigarettes and poor diet and eating habits shunned the health of the body and caused her in slowing down physically that made her ” focus on the emotion” of each scene.
She admits that her journey is uninspiring and ill motivating for the majority but also admits a personal emotion to choose the strange path to make herself moulded into the character. We heard of Hitchcock moulding his actors by procuring them like cattle to redeem their devotion for vital results.
Here Andra Day herself choose her transformation remedy and even drank gin and bourbon to immerse herself into the persona of Billie London. She says ” even though you’re really not supposed to do that, but look – apparently, that’s a cardinal rule to not do that, but look, I was desperate, okay? She burst into laughter and continued ” I didn’t want to be terrible”.
The journey can be uninspiring for the public, but it may benefit her in becoming on-screen Billie London in adroit.