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Andra Day Reveals Past Struggles With Porn & Sex Addiction: 'I'm Definitely In a Healthier Place'

Andra Day
Myriam Santos via Getty Images

Andra Day is seen in their award show look for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles.

In a new cover story interview with In Style magazine, Golden Globe winner Andra Day opens up about the struggle to bring The United States vs. Billie Holiday to screen and how she poured so much into the Oscar-nominated role that it helped her process some of her past struggles.

"It's a little scary," she told the publication about leaving behind the all-consuming role she's referred to as an "exorcism" and a "divorce" in earlier interviews. "Because you're on a precipice a little bit, and you're going, 'OK, who am I? And who am I supposed to be? How am I supposed to be in this season?'"

Day said she went into her first major acting role with the intention of putting the focus on Holiday's music and not the way she was objectified and hyper sexualized by the male-dominated jazz world in the 1930s and '40s.

As it turns out, that choice was intentional for a very personal reason. "I didn't want any element of sexualization. I had come out of something in my own life -- dealing with porn addiction, sex addiction," she said. "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."

Now that she's lived through the intense period of playing Holiday and running the awards season gauntlet, Day said she's developed very different ideas about beauty and sexuality. "I feel now, after playing Billie, that I'm honoring her, and the strength that is femininity," she said. "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 interview also finds Day talking about her early years, the flood of scripts landing on her doorstep now, feeling beautiful under the intense glare of the stage lights and the infamous moment when Regina King crashed Day's Access Hollywood interview after the singer's Globe win.

"I didn't even know she was in the hotel," Day said of the acclaimed actress-turned-director. "I was so grateful for how excited she was, and how personal it was to her. But I was also just shocked as a fan. I was like, 'That is Regina F---ing King!'"