Andra Day, who portrayed the iconic jazz legend in Hulu’s The United States vs. Billie Holiday, has recently opened up about not feeling prettier after losing 40 lbs. to play Billie Holiday, revealing that she had mixed feelings about her weight loss.
In a recent interview with InStyle, the 36-year-old actress 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.’”
“But I do like the way [the weight loss] feels on my body, I like the way it feels on my joints,” Day continued. “You do notice a difference. Besides, to me, there is no such thing as a classic beauty. 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.”
Her award-winning portrayal of Holiday taught Day many things, including gaining the confidence to love herself, according to PEOPLE.
Talking about considering herself beautiful, Day told InStyle, “I definitely do. It has to do with Billie. 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.”
Day previously shared her weight loss journey before the Hulu biopic dropped in February with Leslie Odom Jr.
At the time, she said, “I basically abused my body for a long time. I’m joking and not really joking.”
“I went from 163 pounds to 124 pounds,” Day explained. “I would talk like her and I don’t drink or smoke, but I started smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Not that I recommend people do this; I just was desperate because this is my first role.”
“I just asked God to give me all of the pain and trauma,” she added. “I asked him to give me her pain and give me her trauma.” The article was published on PEOPLE.