9-?? favorite Billie pictures
Billie Piper for Vanity Fair UK
THINGS I LEARNED AT BILLIE PIPER’S INTERVIEW AT GALLIFREY ONE 2014:
- She doesn’t like to watch her own stuff. She’ll catch an episode of Doctor Who if it’s on TV, which apparently is quite often in Britain if her kid seems interested, otherwise I think it makes her feel awkward.
- She hates her action figure, LOL. She says it looks nothing like her. She told a story about this wall of merchandise she has at home that she constantly has to tell her children to leave alone. One time, her young son found the action figure. She told him it was her. He just looked at it and was like, “…no it’s not.” The room cracked up at that one, too.
- She loves coming out to L.A. for these types of things, which is great because we like having her here.
- She considered leaving when Eccleston was leaving. She said it was like, “Well, if you aren’t gonna do it, I don’t want to do it, either!” She was convinced she’d do maybe 4 episodes of the next season and call it quits. Then she met David, who she adores, and decided, “Yeah, sorry Chris, I’m sticking around, bye.” The room cracked up at that, too. She said she felt like an unfaithful wife, lol.
- She really didn’t know anything about Doctor Who before she started on it, and she still doesn’t, lol. But it was fun working with David because he is SUCH a huge fanboy. When it came to old references and everything, he’d be a great source of info for her in terms of acting and putting things into perspective. She also said his enthusiasm was infectious.
- One question was whether there was tension between her and Elisabeth Sladen when she came back. Oh, not at all. They got along swimmingly.
- She was also asked if it was jarring being gone, then coming back for Doctor Who after she left. Also, if she ever had to think about going back or not. Oh, no no no. Each time she was asked, it was an immediate YES. She said it was like being with family, and just slipping back into character was easy because it’s … nostalgic, I guess, in a way? It’s familiar and easy that way.
- On the topic of coming back, she was asked if it was weird coming back as not-Rose, because even she thought she was coming back as Rose. But nope, she was the Moment. She’d worked with Matt and David before, so that was fine. Turns out the cast of Doctor Who has a bit of Six Degrees of Friend Separation going, so they’re all in a lot of each other’s circles. She spent New Year’s and a few other holidays with Jenna, which just made me pleased as punch, lol. I had no idea they knew each other. But anyway, she REALLY enjoyed working with John Hurt. He’s such a legend and everything, and apparently they liked to hit up the bar after a day’s work, LOL.
- John Hurt was actually pretty humbled about being in the Who gig, so as starstruck as the cast was, he was equally as amazed because … this was Doctor Who, essentially, and he got to be on it.
- Back on topic: In the end, she was glad she wasn’t Rose because Rose at this point was probably too far overdone (paraphrasing, so sorry) and it was a bit fun playing something so different.
- She wished Chris (Eccleston) a happy birthday. Hopefully they got that on camera and can broadcast it to him somehow, lol.
- Some girl asked if she could get a hug, and the executive guys were like, miming “NO NO NO,” so Billie said she couldn’t, but if the girl would meet her after the panel, Billie’d give her a huge, huge hug until she couldn’t breathe. Did I mention how sweet Billie is?
- She was asked (unfortunately), like, 3 times what her favorite episode she did was. In different ways, but still, same question, essentially. She said working on Tooth and Claw was really fun because the werewolf was portrayed by a guy in a suit with dots on it who had a stick on top of his head with a tennis ball on the end. Of course it was mapping for the CGI later, but it was hysterical to work with. She said someday they should release everything they had to do on green screen WITHOUT all the digital effects because it’s just downright hilarious.
- So yeah, she brought up Tooth and Claw a lot in those questions, but she also liked Father’s Day. She made it sound like it was her favorite episode she ever did. (I can understand why. It tested her acting ability and showed a very human side to Rose.)
- She also liked being Cassandra in New Earth. She didn’t go into much detail about why, but she did say she liked acting like a know-it-all and a horrible human being, which you don’t get the opportunity to do very often.
- To go with that theme, she had an anecdote about one of the most embarrassing things she had to do on the show. Her story, she admitted, was embarrassing to HER, but everyone else thought it was hilarious. While filming The Age of Steel/Rise of the Cybermen, she had to wear that skimpy maid outfit and run around in the dead of night in it. In Wales. Where it gets very cold at night. They were filming, and it got to the point where she was trying to say her lines but simply couldn’t because her jaw was clamped shut and they had to rush her to the emergency room (presumably for hypothermia). I’m not sure where the hilarity came from myself, but she was embarrassed because she physically couldn’t say her lines, and then they had to ambulance her away in a big fuss.
- She will call her fans by pet names. She’s just very sweet that way.
- She was relatively satisfied with the ending to SDoaC. (I haven’t seen it, but apparently it’s been fairly controversial.) Her character had to choose between a better life with a man and staying with her typical life, and her character chose her old life. Billie explained how she liked it because it was a very human thing to do. It said a lot about her character’s … character. As if she was almost addicted to her job. So yes, while a lot of people may have disliked it, she liked that it wasn’t a typical fairy tale ending, that it showed that sometimes people make bad decisions, sometimes people have skewed views of the world, in essence.
- While it’s evident in the series 2 blooper reel, she admitted that in The Idiot’s Lantern, when she had the marks on her face for the special effects crew to reference for the face-blurring effect, she and David had a VERY hard time keeping straight faces and it took some 25 (HER WORDS) takes. The blooper reel shows 4. She says 25. That is a LOT of takes, my goodness.
- Being famous at age 13 and 14 for her was difficult because she had to be a role model during tumultuous adolescence. She wasn’t allowed to grow and rebel and do all of that because she had to be a good role model, so she wasn’t fond of that era or aspect of her life. (Justin Bieber should take lessons. I think this speaks volumes for her integrity since so many teenage pop stars try to grow up and get all edgy despite their role model status.)
- She holds the record for the youngest person to hold a #1 song on the charts. (Pop charts? She didn’t say which.) IIRC, she was either 13 or 14. While she was starting to work with her publisher, in the months while everything was happening, she turned 14.
- She caught the flu a couple of days before the Con and cancelled, but at the last minute, caught her flight anyway. She was clearly still sick, but upright, at least. She said she’d been flooded with “pharmaceutical drugs” by fans, which she found amusing.
That’s all I can remember. It was a very interesting panel, and I’m glad I could attend it!