Billie Piper forced to reexamine her 'unsavoury' 20s in new role

Sarah Ilston
·3-min read
Photo credit: Mike Marsland
Photo credit: Mike Marsland

From Red Online

Billie Piper has revealed she has been forced to 'look back' on her 'unsavoury' 20s as part of her lead role in a new Sky show.

I Hate Suzie is an upcoming drama about former child star Suzie Pickles (played by Piper), now an actor, performer and mother to a young child, who, upon being given the role of a lifetime, simultaneously finds her phone hacked and compromising photos leaked.

The eight-episode series follows Pickles as she tries to make sense of what's happened to her and regain her sense of self, after the life she knows falls apart.

Speaking to The Sunday Times – alongside show writer and friend Lucy Prebble, with whom she collaborated with on Secret Diary of a Call Girl back in 2007 – the 37 year-old actress revealed that, although the main narrative of the series is different from her own, she could relate to her experiences with being a woman in her thirties and the reflections and realisations that come with that.

She said: 'Overall they feed into something very similar — coming to terms with who you are, where you came from, how that’s impacted your life, your mental health...It’s, ‘Why do you keep doing this? Where are you headed? Why haven’t you achieved enough? Why am I so restless?’ All questions that for me and people I know seem to start emerging around those early thirties years.'

Piper said these experiences helped feed her character on the show.

After rising to fame as a pop star in the noughties, before transitioning to a respected actress via early roles in Doctor Who and Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Piper has found herself twice divorced (firstly from Radio presenter Chris Evans and most recently from actor Laurence Fox) and is now a mother to three young children.

Although she's never experienced having private photographs stolen firsthand, she can still relate to what the show's main protagonist Suzie is going through, telling OK! Magazine that: 'I certainly understand the emotions and the feelings of being a woman in my 30s, which the show is about as well. It’s an unmasking of a woman.'

Prebble revealed the inspiration behind the show was a culmination of multiple conversations between the pair, who've been friends for 15 years and are both now in their late thirties: '[Being in your 30s] feels radically different to what it felt like to be in our 20s. We wanted to shine a light on that in a way that felt very true and authentic and exposing.In your thirties you can’t really pretend to be someone different from who you are because it’s more pleasing and easier and convenient.'

I Hate Suzie is available to watch on Sky Atlantic and Now TV from 27 August

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