Categories I Hate Suzie Interviews Project Update Rare Beasts

How Billie Piper tried to reimagine a British style for Venice title “Rare Beasts”

Actress Billie Piper makes her directorial debut with Rare Beasts, which has its world premiere at Venice’s Critics’ Week on August 31.

Rare Beasts – described as a pitch black comedy or ‘anti-rom-com’ – follows Mandy (Piper), a modern woman and single mother still dealing with the separation of her parents (David Thewlis and Kerry Fox). She falls in love with a complicated man Pete (Leo Bill). Piper also wrote the original script. Vaughan Sivell produces for Western Edge Pictures, in association with Ffilm Cymru Wales, Moffen Media, Fields Park and 42.

Piper is a former singer who has starred in TV hits including Doctor Who, The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl and Penny Dreadful. In 2017, she won an Olivier Award for best actress for her role in the Young Vic’s stage production of Garcia Lorca’s Yerma. 

How long did you know you wanted to direct?

If I’m honest I’ve always loved writing and I really danced with the idea of becoming a writer since I was very young. I got my teeth stuck into writing this story. I needed a bit of pushing with the idea of directing – I’m fascinated by directors’ work. I’m a massive film buff, I’ve studied a lot of films. But I needed somebody to say do it, basically, and someone did – my friend [director] Wayne Yip. It made more sense to do it as a writer/director rather than a director for hire. I don’t know that I could direct someone else’s writing.

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