Billie Piper is returning to our TV screens later this month in brand new comedy series I Hate Suzie, which the former Doctor Who star co-created alongside her Secret Diary of a Call Girl collaborator Lucy Prebble.
The series is about woman who had a successful pop music career in her teenage years before transitioning to TV acting work, and so it would be easy to see it as a tale based on Piper’s own life – with her career having taken a similar path.
But the actor says there is much more to the series than simple autobiography – and hopes viewers don’t get too hung up on that aspect of the story.
Speaking in the latest issue of Radio Times, she said, “There are lots of moments I really wouldn’t want people to think were autobiographical.
“They’re real feelings Lucy and I discussed, but the actual narrative is completely made up. The temptation is to say, ‘That must be autobiographical,’ but hopefully people will get over that quite quickly.”
However Piper did admit she was able to draw on her own personal experiences when playing the character, claiming, “I know exactly what that feels like and I’m sure it feeds into my performance.”
She added, “I’m only coming to terms with a lot of it right now. In my 20s a lot of my stress from that period was buried, and I still struggle to remember a lot of it.
“I don’t regret it. I love what I do and where I’m at personally. But I certainly wouldn’t want my children to go that way. There’s an anxiety of me as a child that I probably on some levels smother my children with.”
The show’s writer Prebble – whose previous credits include Succession – was also keen to point out that inspiration came from lots of different sources, not just Piper’s own life.
“We talked a lot about Lily Allen, Charlotte Church, Britney Spears,” she claimed. “People who suddenly became visible and were quite psychologically affected by it. So it’s not even Billie we’re drawing on, it’s looking at it in quite a winking way.”
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times, out now.