Billie Piper has good cause to be frazzled. Not only is she at the end of a 14-hour day directing her first feature film, Rare Beasts, which she also stars in and wrote. Not only is she promoting a completely different film, Two For Joy, in which she plays a charming but negligent mother. She’s also in the middle of her third pregnancy.
“I’ve just stepped off the set, so I’m sorry if I make very little sense,” Piper says down the phone. Poppycock. Sure, she has done three weeks of mammoth days on Rare Beasts, with two more weeks of them to go. Yes, she’s gestating a rapidly growing human. This, though, is the middle trimester, that mythical time of blooming, nesting and heroic multitasking. Piper reckons she’s zippier than ever on the London set; think Keanu Reeves processing data at hyper-speed in a certain sci-fi movie.
“I’m in the Matrix zone where you’re actually very sharp mentally and you have extraordinary energy,” she says in a voice that slightly surprises me in its precise poshness. “That’s what I’ve found throughout my pregnancies. Much further along it would be a very different story.”