Miss Billie Piper
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Posted By missbillie   August 16th, 2017  Uncategorized

I ought to be fine interviewing Billie Piper. She’s my best friend. We chat rubbish about our lives every other day. But coming in and talking to her for Stylist feels different..

At the shoot, I find Billie smiley but very much in charge and I’m reminded briefly that, ‘Oh yeah, Billie is a star’. Stars have a gravitational pull that can’t be explained; people orbit them. And today, it’s not Billie, my hungover, rolling-up mate; it’s Billie, the award-winning actress who stunned critics with her incredible portrayal of a childless woman in 2016’s Yerma. She is perched on a chair reminiscing with make-up artist Karin, who, by coincidence, is the same make-up artist who worked with Billie at the very beginning of her career. It’s fitting Karin being here because, at 34, it feels like Billie is embarking on a whole new phase of life, one that’s as big as her Nineties transformation from Swindon teen to pop superstar.

I met Billie over 10 years ago when we worked together on the TV show Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. I wrote it, she starred in it. It turned out lighter than we both wanted and the critical reception was fierce so ultimately it wasn’t the perfect creative experience for either of us, but I clearly remember her turning to me at the end and saying, “I want to be your friend.” What an honour. Since then she’s also starred in my 2012 play, The Effect, and we’re now creating a new TV show together, about a woman in her 30s going through a life crisis. That’s something we both can relate to.

In the last 18 months, Billie has ended her eight-year marriage [to actor Laurence Fox] and embarked on an emotionally shattering performance at the Young Vic with Yerma – about a woman craving motherhood in a society that demands it – collecting a prestigious Olivier Award for Best Actress in the process. The play has recently returned to the stage and will be broadcast to 2,500 venues in 60 different countries via National Theatre Live on 31 August. She also has a BBC thriller, Collateral, coming up about the repercussions after a shooting, alongside Carey Mulligan. From teen pop star to power player on the British acting scene, it feels like Billie’s subverted expectations and turned her life upside down. We often talk about our mid-30s and how for both of us, it’s been an age of reinvention and risk. Or, as Billie would say, ‘an absolute sh*tshow’…

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