In I Hate Suzie, Billie Piper plays an actress who years prior appeared in a TV show that made her a favourite with cult TV fans. But despite the obvious parallels with her own life, the ex-Doctor Who star insists the black comedy isn’t based on her own life.
Piper has co-created the show with Succession writer Lucy Prebble, the pair having previously collaborated on Secret Diary of a Call Girl, with both writer and star telling RadioTimes.com that I Hate Suzie is more about “what it’s like to be a woman in your thirties”.
“We were looking at what it is to be a woman in the public eye at the moment and though of course Billie can relate to that, many of us can relate to that a little bit – more and more with social media and things like that,” said Prebble.
“Everyone has a profile now, so our character of Suzie I think is quite a relatable character right now.”
Speaking about the inspiration behind the series at Sky’s Up Next event, Piper said: “It was a culmination of many conversations about what it’s like to be a woman in your thirties, which feels radically different to what it felt like to be in our twenties. We wanted to shine a light on that in a way that felt very true and authentic and exposing.”
In the series, Piper’s character has her world turned upside down when her phone is hacked and an image of her in a “compromising position” is leaked.
“Everybody’s life can be torn apart very easily,” Piper said. “It’s something we now all potentially could experience, everything’s potentially incriminating, we all live in a permanent state of anxiety and fear about what is to come… so I think everyone can relate to that bit.”
Suzie’s on-screen interaction with fans isn’t much like Piper’s own either (“I would say I’m much nicer! And more patient.”) but she did admit that it felt “very comfortable and familiar” to be filming scenes for the series at MCM Comic Con last year.
“We got to use real fans who came along and supported us – some of the audience who were actually there, which was really lovely and we also found that a few members of our crew were fans of things at Comic-Con!” Prebble revealed.
“They dressed up for the day,” Piper laughed. “And there were a few Doctor Who fans in amongst the crew…”
I Hate Suzie is coming soon to Sky Atlantic