American singer Andra Day gives an emotional performance at the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Picture: ANA / Ian Landsberg
American singer Andra Day gives an emotional performance at the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Picture: ANA / Ian Landsberg

Andra Day: Oscar nomination is 'crazy'

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Mar 16, 2021

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Andra Day thinks her Oscar nomination is "crazy" and she's proud that she and Viola Davis have become the first two black women to be nominated for Best Actress in the same year since 1973.

The 36-year-old star has been shortlisted for Best Actress thanks to her role in “United States vs Billie Holiday” and she found out the news on Monday when she received a "flood of messages" from her friends and family congratulating her on the achievement.

She said: "“When I looked at my phone I saw that it was full of messages.

"I figured this might mean we got the green light on the nomination. [I had this] flood of messages that I’m super grateful for. It’s crazy, it’s amazing.”

And when she realised the happy news, Andra wanted to get in touch with her castmates and director Lee Daniels.

She told 'Entertainment Tonight': "I really wanted to talk to my cast because they’re like a second family, a second organ for me.

“The very first person I did have to call was Lee Daniels, obviously. He just poured into me in such a powerful way.”

Andra - who has already received a Golden Globe for her portrayal on Billie Holiday in the movie - is particularly thankful for the support she's received from Black women.

She said: “I’ve had so many beautiful Black women reach out to say to me ‘we felt seen, we felt represented, we felt loved, we felt touched by this movie.’

"Lee’s experienced the same thing because that’s who he made it for, for Black women. When no one else received or supported him, Black women did.”

"It’s amazing to see this community rallying behind me, rallying behind Viola [Davis]."

This year marks the first time two Black actresses - Andra and “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom's” Viola Davis - have been nominated for Best Actress in the same year since Cicely Tyson and Diana Ross in 1973 and the “Marshall” star insisted their inclusion is a big deal.

She said: “It matters. I also feel like, as Black women, that it’s been so long that we’ve believed the narrative... that there’s limited space. It has blessed me so much to encounter all these supportive, beautiful, wonderful Black women who feel seen and supported by this film and by Billie’s story.”

And if she does take the statuette next month, it would mean "everything" to Andra.

She said: “For me it would mean everything... It would mean everything to me to be a part of vindicating her legacy... Billie deserves it."

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