Sunday, March 7, 2021

‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ Stars Spill CoStar Tea (Watch)


*This Friday, pull up to Hulu for the premiere of “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” with Trevante Rhodes, Tyler James Williams, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Miss Lawrence. The biopic based on the governments most wanted icon, Billie Holiday (played by Andra Day), will be trending and tweeted about.

The stars spilled case mate secrets, museum memories and doggy funeral laughs with EUR correspondent Fahnia Thomas.

THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY, Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes
Andra Day and Trevante Rhodes in THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Takashi Seida.

Q: What’s one thing you learned about your co-stars while filming?

TJW: Trevante will give you a master class in subtlety and nuance – it’ll just happen, you’ll see it and then you’ll be [eyes widen big] – it’s cold.

DJR: We all kind of knew of Andra…The thing that took me [aback] was how ferocious her work ethic is and her dedication which makes sense as an artist.


Q: What was the most challenging or rewarding scene to film?

TR: The lynching scene and when we’re inside the building.

TJW: …That’s my most fulfilling one to watch – I’m not present for that scene but – I remember watching it and thinking these motherf******!

Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Andra Day, Miss Lawrence, THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Andra Day, and Miss Lawrence in THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Takashi Seida.

DJR: There were a couple…with Lee (DDDD) it’s never a cake walk – in the best sense possible. The lynching scene is super intense and the scene when she gets beat in the beginning. The funeral scene was difficult because it was challenging but it was fun…

ML:…That was the hardest scene because we’re crying real tears about the dog…Plus, I’m not the one to show my emotions in public. I don’t like the idea of crying in public because too many things are happening – I can’t breathe out my nose, my Botox starts doing weird stuff, everything turns into a problem.

Tyler James Williams, Andra Day, THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
Tyler James Williams and Andra Day in THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY from Paramount Pictures.

Q: What was your first Billie Holiday experience?

TJW: I grew up in New York and my grandmother would take me to The Schomburg Center after school, that was the first time I heard “Strange Fruit.” I remember seeing a section on the lynching’s of the South and I remember being scared.

TR: I grew up in the South listening to jazz and blues and my mom and grandmother had Billy playing in the house. When I think about Billy I [can] smell Southern cooking.

For more details on “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” go to hulu.com or follow @usvsbillieholiday. The film drops February 26th on Hulu.

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