Published On: Tue, May 11th, 2021

Billie Piper says ‘questioning her mental health’ has made her writing more ‘honest’

Billie Piper has said that looking at her own mental health has helped improve her work, making it more ‘honest and authentic’.

The actress, 38, whose directorial debut Rare Beasts is set for release in May, also detailed how she’s found it ‘hard to have a creative thought’ during lockdown and while home-schooling her three children.

She told The Radio Times: ‘I’m questioning my own mental health and have been… I suppose it’s been quite a focus study of mine for the last seven years.’  

‘I think the work is better for it’: Billie Piper has said that looking at her own mental health has helped improve her work, making it more ‘honest and authentic’ 

‘There’s a level of honesty and personal authenticity that I don’t think I have been able to touch in the past. And I think the work is better for it.’

Billie has been very candid about her struggle past eating disorders, anxiety and going to therapy in previous years. 

Elsewhere in her interview, which happened in March, Billie spoke about home-schooling during the UK’s lockdown, saying: ‘I’m so solidly with children, which has been wonderful in many ways, but it’s not conducive to musing.

‘If I’m honest, it’s hard to have a creative thought during lockdown. Some people have been wildly creative. I’m brain-dead at the moment!’ 

On screen: The actress, 38, whose directorial debut Rare Beasts (pictured in the film) is set for release in May, also detailed how she's found it 'hard to have a creative thought' in lockdown

On screen: The actress, 38, whose directorial debut Rare Beasts (pictured in the film) is set for release in May, also detailed how she’s found it ‘hard to have a creative thought’ in lockdown

Billie is mum to Winston, 12, and Eugene, nine, who she shares with ex Laurence Fox, and two-year-old daughter Tallulah, who she shares with beau Johnny Lloyd.    

She will next be seen in movie Rare Beasts, which she directed and stars in as single mum Mandy who is navigating her failed love story with Pete [Leo Bill]. 

The star’s character is said to be a modern woman in a crisis who is also trying to raise her son, Larch [Toby Woolf] in the midst of a female revolution. 

Mandy is also seen mining the pain of her parents’ separation when she falls upon a troubled man, Pete, who is searching for belonging and ‘restored’ male identity. 

Rare Beasts was written back in 2012 when Billie was pregnant with her second son, Eugene, who she shares with her ex husband Laurence Fox. 

Changes: Billie explained how her thoughts towards Rare Beasts have changed since she first worked on it, saying she now sees it as being about 'what it costs to be a woman' (pictured with on-screen son Larch [Toby Woolf] in the trailer)

Changes: Billie explained how her thoughts towards Rare Beasts have changed since she first worked on it, saying she now sees it as being about ‘what it costs to be a woman’ (pictured with on-screen son Larch [Toby Woolf] in the trailer)

And although the ‘anti-romantic comedy’ premiering at the Venice Film Festival back in 2019, it has only now been given a release date of May 21.

Billie explained how her thoughts towards the film have changed since she first worked on it, saying she now sees it as being about ‘what it costs to be a woman’ as well as feeling a bit like ‘a mental health journey’.     

Read more: Billie's interview appears in this week's edition of Radio Times

Read more: Billie’s interview appears in this week’s edition of Radio Times

Billie has also starred in the 2019 indie film Eternal Beauty, playing the sister to Sally Hawkins’s schizophrenic, and in the jet-black Sky Atlantic comedy drama I Hate Suzie. 

Turning turning her attention to getting back to work as lockdown restrictions ease, Billie admitted that she’s ‘terrified’ of trying to write the second series of I Hate Suzie.

It comes after Billie said boozy nights with Chris Evans helped her to overcome her teenage eating disorder.

The star, who topped the charts at 15, said the anorexia she had at the time ‘was a reaction to the chaos’ of fame and a punishing schedule of working up to 19 hours a day. 

But she told Sunday’s Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 that she found ‘love and support’ with Mr Evans, who is 17 years her senior, and they enjoyed partying.

‘People looked upon that as me rebelling and falling apart. I’d stopped caring about how I looked, I’d put on loads of weight and was in pubs all the time,’ she said.

‘But that wasn’t my experience. My experience of that time was I needed that. That felt like my sort of formative uni years. I felt loved and supported and we had a great time.’ 

Family: Billie has spent lockdown with sons Winston, 12, and Eugene, nine, whoseex Laurence Fox, and two-year-old daughter Tallulah, who she shares with beau Johnny Lloyd (pictured together)

Family: Billie has spent lockdown with sons Winston, 12, and Eugene, nine, who she shares with ex Laurence Fox, and two-year-old daughter Tallulah, who she shares with beau Johnny Lloyd (pictured together)

Candid: It comes after Billie said boozy nights with Chris Evans helped her to overcome her teenage eating disorder (pictured together in 2001)

Candid: It comes after Billie said boozy nights with Chris Evans helped her to overcome her teenage eating disorder (pictured together in 2001)

The couple, who married in 2001 and divorced six years later, remain friends. 

And although the mother-of-three may be one of the UK’s most in-demand actresses, she said: ‘I think fame is my least favourite thing about what I do. I really just find it quite repellent.’ 

She said she quit her initial stint as Rose Tyler in Dr Who in 2006 due to the pressure of being back in the public eye, adding: ‘It was great in many ways… 

‘But it made me really famous again in that sort of mainstream fame way that I find really uncomfortable. I loved that show. I loved Rose Tyler… I didn’t like the responsibility of being a sort of role model.’ 

Huge role: Billie, pictured with David Tennent as Rose from Doctor Who, described being 'uncomfortable' as her fame rose

Huge role: Billie, pictured with David Tennent as Rose from Doctor Who, described being ‘uncomfortable’ as her fame rose

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