Andra Day recalls ‘dealing with porn addiction, sex addiction’ before portraying Billie Holiday

The "Rise Up" songstress embodied Billie Holiday in awarded film

Andra Day is speaking her truth and opened up about the personal struggles she fought during her acting debut portraying Billie Holiday.

The "Rise Up" songstress, 36, embodied the hyper-sexualized performer in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" and earned a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her effort in the Hulu film. The movie follows Holiday in the 1940s when a Black federal agent, Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), is ordered to help get her arrested for heroin use and stop her from singing her anti-lynching song "Strange Fruit."

In the Lee Daniels-led biopic, Holiday’s life as a singer and victim of abuse, addiction and government persecution is on full display but Day said in an interview with InStyle that acting as Holiday only opened her eyes to her own skirmishes within herself as she tried to separate herself from the character of Holiday when filming had wrapped.

"I didn't want any element of sexualization. I had come out of something in my own life — dealing with porn addiction, sex addiction," Day told the magazine its latest cover issue. "I'm being very, very candid with you because I'm not the only one. But I knew I wanted all of that very much gone." 

'BILLIE HOLIDAY' STAR ANDRA DAY ON WHAT HELPED HER MOST TO PLAY THE REAL-LIFE JAZZ SINGER

This image released by Hulu shows Andra Day in 'The United States vs Billie Holiday.' (Takashi Seida/Hulu via AP, File)

This image released by Hulu shows Andra Day in 'The United States vs Billie Holiday.' (Takashi Seida/Hulu via AP, File)

Throughout her portrayal as the troubled Holiday, Day pressed that she placed a huge focus on the musical elements of the film so as not to be sucked into the negative aspects that riddled much of Holiday’s reign.

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"I feel now, after playing Billie, that I'm honoring her, and the strength that is femininity," said Day. "I'm definitely in a healthier place to enjoy that because I'm outside of the addiction, if you will. So, yeah, it's been really fun, because it's been very new for me."

The Grammy-nominated performer had also worked tirelessly to lose some 40 lbs. in her preparation for the role and said during her transformation, many asked if she felt "prettier" in her new body but the singer-actress rebuffed the sentiment, telling the outlet, "Hell, no! I liked being juicy!"

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Andra Day in 'The United States vs Billie Holiday.' (Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures via AP, File)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Andra Day in 'The United States vs Billie Holiday.' (Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures via AP, File)

"I was cool,'" added Day. "But I do like the way [the weight loss] feels on my body, I like the way it feels on my joints. 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."

In addition to the impressive weight loss, Day said she felt a new sense of confidence in playing such a beloved figure not only in music but in Black culture.

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"It was almost like she said, 'Sis, we're going to have to close this, because I have to survive,’" Day said of her connection to Holiday’s soul. "She opened me up to value myself in a way that I hadn't fully before."

Day also echoed pushback she said she gave to one person who warned her to "make sure you don't get typecast because you don't want to always be playing the powerful Black woman.’"

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"I was like, 'Yeah, I do," said Day. "I also am one.'"

Meanwhile, Daniels told Fox News of the project in February: "What I respect most about her was her determination and her ability to stand up to the government. She was just determined to do it her way. I don't think she looked at herself as we do, which is now a civil rights leader," he said at the time.

Holiday died at the age of 44 in 1959, following her wrestles with drug addiction.

Fox News' Jessica Napoli contributed to this report.