Garrett Hedlund Gushes About Son Rhodes, Plus: His Movie ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’
Actor Garrett Hedlund, known for his roles in “Mudbound” and “Tron: Legacy,” stars in the highly anticipated Lee Daniels film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
“Extra’s” Cheslie Kryst spoke with Garrett and his co-star Evan Ross about the movie, as well as their other big role… fatherhood.
Garrett just welcomed a baby boy, Rhodes, with his girlfriend Emma Roberts. Gushing about their son, Hedlund said, “Finding room in my heart to love ya know someone with just, the most amazing amount of love and compassion… he’s an angel, he’s really a special person.”
Evan and Ashlee Simpson also recently welcomed son Ziggy Blue, who he described as “amazing.” The two guys even shared their life-changing moments with each other. Evans commented, “When we were in the hospital, I sent photos to [Garrett]. When he was in the hospital, he sent photos to me.”
When Cheslie asked if the two have swapped dad stories, Evan responded, “Oh ya.”
"The United States vs. Billie Holiday” is a biographical drama focusing on the undercover sting operation against jazz singer Billie Holiday. In the movie, Hedlund plays the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics Harry Anslinger, who targets Holiday, portrayed by Andra Day. Evan takes on the role of Agent Sam Williams, one of the African-American agents hired by Hedlund’s character to take down Holiday.
As for why this movie is an important story to tell, Evan said, “I grew up with Billie Holiday, obviously, in my home — it was something I was luckily enough to be able to experience her music on a daily basis and know about her life. Now, I know a lot more. I’m excited for people of all ages to get the opportunity to do that because what she did was so powerful, so important.”
Garrett discussed why Harry was so obsessed with arresting Billie, explaining, “She represented everything that he despised… He was obsessed with arresting her because he wanted to make an example out of her.”
Garrett noted that Anslinger wanted to use Holiday to send a message that “he will not stand for drug addicts, jazz music and [people of color].”
In 1947, Holiday was arrested for possession of narcotics. After hearing that her lawyer wouldn’t come to trial to represent her, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to Alderson Federal Prison Camp in Virginia. Less than a year later, she was released, but she had lost her license for perform anywhere that sold alcohol.
After her release, she was arrested again for drug possession in 1949 and 1959, dying that same year at the age of 44.
"The United States vs. Billie Holiday” streams February 25 on Hulu.