Andra Day Says It's a 'Little Overwhelming' to Be Nominated for an Oscar Alongside Viola Davis

Andra Day Says It's a 'Little Overwhelming' to Be Nominated for an Oscar Alongside Viola Davis
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Salina Tsegai
·3 min read
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Andra Day is celebrating all the women nominated alongside her for their outstanding performances this past year.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday Golden Globe winner, 36, sat down with People (The TV Show) and talked about the chance to play the iconic Black jazz singer Billie Holiday, and what it felt like to be nominated alongside Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, Vanessa Kirby and Carey Mulligan at the 93rd Academy Awards.

On playing Holiday, Day said, "This experience, outside of my niece and nephew, was the greatest experience of my life."

The actress, who had credits in two other films (Cars 3 and Marshall) before acting on Lee Daniel's 2021 biographical film, took awards season by storm with several nominations and a Golden Globe win for best actress in a motion picture - drama this year.

RELATED: Andra Day on How She's Celebrating Her Historic Golden Globes Win: 'I'm Gonna Eat Everything'

Rob Latour/Shutterstock

RELATED: Andra Day Says She Said No 'Multiple Times' to Playing Billie Holiday: 'I Was Terrified'

When asked about how she felt being nominated for awards alongside veteran actresses like Davis and McDormand, Day said she wasn't in any sort of competition with the women in her category.

"We're just sharing this space, we are representing multiple stories, and we are loving on each other. I'm celebrating them, rooting for them," the Grammy-nominated star said.

Day also mentioned how special it was to be nominated for Best Actress next to Davis, which is historic in itself.

"Just being with Viola in this space, especially being the first time two Black women have been nominated since Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson, it's amazing," Day said. "It feels a little overwhelming."

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Day is referring to the 45th Academy Awards, when Ross was nominated for her role as Billie Holiday in the 1972 biographical drama Lady Sings the Blues, and Tyson was nominated for her role as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder about an African American family in the Deep South during the Great Depression. It was the first time two Black women were nominated for Best Actress at the awards show.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures/Hulu Billie Holiday; Andra Day

Day also gave few details about her dress for the Oscars this year, but said she was going for something "feminine" and inspired by the other women who played Holiday in two other films before her.

"I want it to be something different," Day explained. "I want it to be something that's very sexy, very feminine but also strong and confident at the same time because that's kind of what she brought out of me."

She continued, "I wanted [Holiday] represented in it, I wanted Diana Ross' Billie Holiday from the '70s… I wanted sort of the strength and focus of Audra McDonald's Billie Holiday," the star said, "and then me, 2021, my Billie."