Welcome Message
Welcome to Miss Billie Piper! Site dedicated to award winning actress, Billie Piper. She will be making her directorial debut in 'Rare Beasts' in 2020/21. 'I Hate Suzie' will be airing on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in August 2020! Stay tuned for updated content and exclusive images and posts!

August 19, 2021  No comments Uncategorized

You first started writing this 8 years ago, has it changed at all since,  were any of the changes made in to the final film? 
I started writing it when I was just leaving my 20s and into my early 30s, I had just had my second son, and that for me was a rude awakening I would say. I became very conscious of myself, the world around me. I became incredibly anxious. I felt like the culture messaging was that we as women could do it all and that we should and that we should do it really well, and that we’d be able to balance it all. And yet, all I could see around me was female crisis. I wanted to unpack that stuff in a very exposing way. Since then, how have things changed? I guess I have learned how to cope with anxiety. Personally, lots of things in my life have really changed. The character of Mandy is a nihilist for sure, and I think I was very nihilistic as a young adult until probably five years ago. So for me, that has changed. I’m not part of some religious group, but I’ve welcomed something bigger than myself. That’s taken a lot of work.

Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?
I’ve always thought about it. I’ve always wanted to create something from the ground up. I just didn’t have the confidence to do it. There is a lot of technique required and it took me working on sets as an actor for like 13 years, 14, 15. I can’t remember. I can’t bear to do the math. It took that time to come to terms with the fact that I might actually know a thing or two about how to do things.

What would you say is the biggest challenge you overcame as you started directing?
When I was actually directing, I felt so unbelievably alive and so connected and so excited. That part of it was thrilling. Thrilling to see the actors say the words and bring these things to life. Thrilling to see what a DoP can do to interpret your vision. All of it was so moving to me, I felt constantly emotional about the process. The thing that I found really, really, really hard, was this sort of game of nerves involved when making an independent film. It can fall apart at any time. You might not be able to get the location that you started to marry a scene to. Maybe you’ll have to stop filming. Maybe you won’t have enough money for post-production. How can you swindle more time in the edit suite? It’s all that stuff that I had to overcome in terms of levels of anxiety and working out how to get the f**king thing done.

While you were developing the tone of the film, were there any works that inspired you?
I was watching lots of Busby Berkeley and Pina Bausch and Paul Thomas Anderson, Cassavetes. My usual go-tos really.

I can really see the influence of Pina Bausch’s dance work. What is it that you love about Pina?
The symmetry of it, the color, the shapes. How strange and beautiful her work is, and how she can ride both of those things so that the audience is connected to it and not out observing it without an emotional investment.

I love your unique use of sound to evoke Mandy’s anxiety.
That was another level that felt like choreography. I absolutely love the sound design. I knew that to make those ideas work, I had to jump back inside my head of my late-20s, early-30s and just bring all that shit to life. My anxiety at that time was crippling, so it was really accessible. I was desperate to make the world feel really, really loud, really threatening. I wanted to show an inability to filter out sounds, almost like a processing disorder where you can’t not experience all these senses at once. It feels like your sensory system is compromised when you are that anxious, so I dipped into my memory of that.

Were any of the awkward date scenarios based on anything you’d actually experienced?
I’ve never had that level of hostility on a date. I’ve always wanted people to be as honest as that, but I’ve never experienced it quite so full throttle as let’s say the first date. So, I cherry picked things that I had heard and then imagined them as I wanted to imagine them, and put that out there. What I’m ultimately saying with that level of how coarse it is and how acerbic it is, is that I do think it’s gotten so bad—it was bad then, but it’s arguably worse now—that the level of respect for one’s self and then other people has diminished. There’s little etiquette now. I’m not talking about Victorian manners, I’m talking about how we want to fast track everything now. And how brutal we can be to each other, you know? It’s very entertaining to watch, but it’s quite hard to be on the receiving end of it.   

Full interview

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Miss Billie Piper is an unofficial fansite for Billie Piper. We are in no way affiliated with her, her management and we don't know anyone who is. This site is non-profit, and is in no way trying to infringe on the copyrights or businesses of any of the entities. All content posted up on this site is used under the Fair Use Copyright Law 107. All images are copyright to their respective owners. If something belongs to you, please email us before taking any legal action and we will give you credit or remove it straight away.