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Nominee Andra Day Is Already Golden in Her Precious (as in Metal) 2021 Oscars Look

Best Actress nominee Andra Day, dressed for the part in winning gold, talks to Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet about doing Lady Day justice in The United States v. Billie Holiday.

By Natalie Finn Apr 25, 2021 11:41 PMTags
Watch: Why Andra Day Initially Turned Down Billie Holiday Role

Andra Day may have only recently leaned into acting, but she certainly knows how to dress the part.

The Best Actress nominee for The United States v. Billie Holiday showed up at the 2021 Oscars on Sunday clad in top-to-bottom gold, a custom metal (that's right, metal) creation by Vera Wang that required a welder along with a tailor.

So, her look accented with more than $2 million worth of Tiffany & Co. jewels, Day was already perfectly statuesque making her way down that red carpet—quite the change from emotionally delivering her acceptance speech via Zoom when she won a Golden Globe for her riveting performance as Holiday, her first-ever lead role.

One that, as she has said, she really did not want at first.

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Oscars 2021 Red Carpet Fashion

Asked why she had such trepidation about taking on the part of the iconic blues singer, the "Rise Up" singer told E! Live From the Red Carpet host Giuliana Rancic, "I think because starting out—Lee [director Lee Daniels] tells me not to say this anymore—but I was not an actor at the time. So I was terrified of being terrible."

Chris Pizzello/Pool/Shutterstock

Day continued, "I'm a huge Billie Holiday fan, I didn't want to somehow spoil her legacy. So you know, it was a real leap of faith to dive in, she's a heavy character to play and she deserves all of that work and that effort."

Day obviously put in that work, impressively channeling Holiday's mannerisms on stage and her unmistakable tone, as well as her simultaneously steely and vulnerable behind-the-scenes self when she wasn't performing, commanding a room in her glittery gowns with her trademark gardenia pinned to her hair.

And now, Day is a first-time Oscar nominee, with her big sister along as her date. "It was just a way for me to get free stuff and gifts for them," she joked of her unexpected journey to the movies' biggest night.