Andra Day “tried to run” from her stunning role of Billie Holiday, director Lee Daniels has revealed.
Day is celebrating two Golden Globes nods for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
But Daniels told a starry virtual audience — including Madonna and Cher — that he had to persuade Day to take the role of the iconic singer and civil rights fighter.
He said: “She didn’t believe that she could do it. When I met her, she was talking herself out of a job! She loved Billie Holiday and wanted to honor her.”
He told host Tom Ford that taking the helm of the film “affected me in a way that I had never been affected before by anything — the beauty and everything that film represented.”
Day has now been nominated for Globes for best actress — motion picture, drama, as well as for best song for “Tigress & Tweed.”
She will also be honored by the Palm Springs International Film Awards with the 2021 Breakthrough Performance Award, festival organizers announced Friday.
Attendees at the Cinema Society and Hulu-hosted screening also included Janet Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Debbie Harry, Kerry Washington, Maya Rudolph, and Renee Zellweger.