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Billie Piper says her early 30s felt “like a journey back in time” for this relatable reason

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Lauren Geall
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Billie Piper

Speaking ahead of the release of her new Sky drama I Hate Suzie, Billie Piper spoke about how her early 30s forced her to “look back” on her life – and revealed how those experiences fed into the narrative of the show.     

Billie Piper isn’t afraid to get real. Throughout her career, the actor has repeatedly shown her commitment to showing life at its most real and honest.

From her award-winning performance on stage in Yerma to the ‘bare all’ approach she adopted for her Stylist guest-edit last year, Piper’s authenticity is just one of the reasons we love her so much. 

And it won’t be long before we get to see that raw and honest approach once again, as Piper returns to our screens in the upcoming Sky original drama I Hate Suzie. 

The show – which saw the actor reunited with Secret Diary of a Call Girl writer Lucy Prebble – will star Piper as Suzie Pickles, a former child star who finds herself at the centre of a scandal after her phone is hacked and compromising images of her are leaked online. The series follows Piper’s character over eight episodes as she processes what’s happened and navigates the rollercoaster of emotions that come with such an experience.

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But underneath this main narrative, the show also explores the reflections and realisations which come with being a woman in her 30s – an experience Piper shares with her character.

Speaking in a new interview with The Sunday Times, Piper explained how turning 30 had forced her to “look back” on the life she had lead in her 20s – and explained how her and Prebble’s experiences played into that part of the show.  

“Our experiences have been different for both of us… but 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,” Piper explained. “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 continued: “For me it was like a journey back in time, coming into my thirties. I was forced to look back, and some of it has been quite unsavoury.”

Even though Piper and Prebble have been very clear that I Hate Suzie is not based on the former’s life, this isn’t the first time Piper has spoken about how her own conversations and experiences of being in her 30s fed into the show’s narrative.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the series at Sky’s Up Next event earlier this year, Piper said: “It was a culmination of many conversations about what it’s like to be a woman in your 30s, which 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.”

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Although Piper’s character may find herself in a rather unique situation, it sounds like there’ll also be lots of relatable, honest moments throughout the eight-part series.

Yet again, it sounds like Billie Piper has absolutely nailed it, and we can’t wait to watch.

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

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