Golden Globe winner Andra Day won the award for Best Actress for her role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. While she came out on top, she considered leaving the acting business altogether.
Day’s rigorous and potentially dangerous method of getting into Day’s mindset, which included smoking, drinking, and losing 39 pounds, made her consider not acting anymore after her role was complete.
“I thought I was gonna retire after this movie from acting because I thought, ‘This shit is too deep.’ I’ve always loved actors and always had respect for them, but now I have a whole new respect for them and how deep they have to go,” she said to Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast. “If I had to do something like this again: not eating, not sleeping, just drinking and smoking, I don’t know if I could survive that shit.”
Day’s performance wowed critics despite the rest of the film, directed by Lee Daniels from a script by Suzan-Lori Parks, being confusing and cluttered. Day rose above the muck and shown as a defining representation of Holiday in all of her tragic glory.
The film is currently streaming on Hulu.