Andra Day Stuns in Chilling Trailer for Lee Daniels' The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Singer Andra Day transforms into the legendary Billie Holiday for the Lee Daniels biopic
Andra Day transforms into jazz singer Billie Holiday in the first trailer for her big starring debut.
Day, 36, plays Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, telling the little known story of how Holiday was a Civil Rights leader before the movement became mainstream.
The moving trailer introduces the vibrant Holiday and her growing success as a singer, for both Black and white audiences. But as her song "Strange Fruit," a chilling ballad about lynching, gains popularity, Holiday becomes a target for the FBI.
"It's a song about important things, you know? Things that are going on in the country," Holiday says of the song in the trailer.
But the FBI sees it differently, as an agent is then seen discussing Holiday and the song.
"This Holiday woman is causing a lot of people to think the wrong thing," the agent says.
"Those lyrics provoke people," says another.
The FBI decides to go after her for her drug use, and the trailer shows how the movie will tackle her prison stint and ongoing addiction as she continues to fight for the song.
The movie is directed by the iconic Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director behind movies like Precious and The Butler. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to highlight Holiday's unknown role in the Civil Rights movement.
"When you think of Civil Rights leaders, you think of men," Daniels says. "When you think of Billie Holiday, you think of this brilliant tortured jazz singer that happened to have been a drug addict. I didn't know that she kicked off the Civil Rights movement. Before there was a Civil Rights movement, there was Billie Holiday and 'Strange Fruit.' The government saw that song as a threat and she was a target. That's history and they keep it from us."
The United States vs. Billie Holiday lands on Hulu Feb. 26.