In Lee Daniel’s upcoming “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” coming to Hulu on Feb. 25, Andra Day plays legendary Billie Holiday. The film centers around her 1940s court trial and her encounters with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
Leslie Jordan plays journalist Reginald Lord Devine, who sits down with Holiday for an interview to discuss “Strange Fruit.” The song, which condemns the U.S. history of lynching Black people, caused Holiday to come under fire by the agency.
Of Jordan’s casting, Daniels says, “I’m a big fan of Leslie’s and I’ve always wanted to work with him. When I was thinking about this character — a journalist who interviews celebrities down on their luck – I envisioned a fusion of Quentin Crisp and Skip E. Lowe, a role I knew only Leslie could bring to life.”
Jordan has built himself a varied career over the years. In 2006, he won an Emmy for his role as Beverly Leslie on “Will & Grace.” He has also appeared in “American Horror Story” and in 2012’s “The Help.”
The film also highlights aspects of Holiday’s complex relationship with Jimmy Fletcher, played by Trevante Rhodes, the Black agent tasked with tracking her movements.
Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Miss Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Evan Ross, Tyler James Williams, Tone Bell and Erik LaRay Harvey also star.