You might know Andra Day for her hit "Rise Up," but now, she has people — and awards prognosticators — talking for an entirely different reason. Day stars as Billie Holiday The United States vs. Billie Holiday. The 36-year-old performer transforms into a legendary jazz singer, changing her singing and speaking voice, the way she moves, and connecting with Holiday's state of mind.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday focuses specifically on Holiday being targeted by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. While this was said to be over her drug use — Holiday was a heroin addict — the feds were actually trying to take her down because she was an activist for civil rights for Black people. They were particularly upset over her song "Strange Fruit," which spread the harrowing truth about lynchings in America.
So, in addition to Holiday, the film from director Lee Daniels also features the head of the Bureau of Narcotics, the Black agent who was selected to follow Holiday, a few of the singer's friends, and her husbands.
Click through the slideshow to find out more about the real people who are featured in the movie, and about the actors who portray them, and to see how they compare.