Top of the Bill for the Girl Piper; Billie Loves Her First Lead Role in New TV Drama the Ruby in the Smoke the Big Interview the Doctor Who Star's Acting Career Is Now Booming after Getting off the Pop Treadmill

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), December 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Top of the Bill for the Girl Piper; Billie Loves Her First Lead Role in New TV Drama the Ruby in the Smoke the Big Interview the Doctor Who Star's Acting Career Is Now Booming after Getting off the Pop Treadmill


Byline: BY GRAHAM KEAL

Billie Piper has come an awful long way in her brief acting career but if her beautifully measured performance in The Ruby In The Smoke is a guide, she is still moving decisively onwards and upwards.

Billie, 24, leads this cracking festive thriller, based on the first of Philip Pullman's four novels following the adventures of self-assured young Victorian heroine Sally Lockhart.

It's an atmospheric tale set amid the dives and opium dens (hence the smoke) of London's Docklands, though it was actually filmed on location in Liverpool.

And it's Billie's first leading role as well as her first period piece - unless you count travelling back and forth in time with The Doctor.

Unassuming and unpretentious as ever, she is confident enough to confess her insecurities.

She says: "Leaving Doctor Who was a big wrench.

"Even now I miss it so much. It was a big gamble when it began and we were all rooting for it so much we became like a little family. But the great thing about Doctor Who is that it goes on and on and I've got my Doctor Who magazine subscription that keeps me up to date.

"I'm still really good friends with David so I have my secret spy network to keep me in touch."

She adds: "I was pretty scared at first because The Ruby In The Smoke was my first drama after leaving Doctor Who and I wasn't sure I could pull it off. There were lots of firsts there, but I had the support of people around me. JJ and Julie (co-stars JJ Feild and Julie Walters) had both worked on loads of period dramas, as had Brian Percival the director, so I was in really good company.

"I suppose there is a danger in working on a show like Doctor Who because audiences fall in love with a certain character and they can't get used to seeing you in something else.

"It must be the same for soap actors who move on."

But it's not only audiences who got used to seeing Billie as the intrepid shop-girl turned time-traveller Rose Tyler.

She says: "I found it difficult to look at footage of Sally Lockhart when I was doing the ADR work (where actors dub their voices to replace unclear dialogue) because I've only ever seen myself as Rose. I know I've done other things like The Miller's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing, but I really felt that Rose was mine."

She may feel the same way about Sally in time. Billie has already made the sequel, The Shadow in the North, and the BBC is reportedly keen to film adaptations of all four books.

The Ruby In The Smoke starts with our heroine newly-orphaned, her mother having died when she was a child and her father having recently drowned when his ship went down with all hands.

But a mysterious note reaches Sally, warning her to avoid 'The Seven Blessings'.

In trying to discover what they are she is drawn to investigate the real reason for her father's death and the whereabouts of a fabled Indian jewel, the Ruby of Agrapur.

Opium dens, corruption, ruthless men (and Julie Walters' exceedingly nasty woman) who would stick a knife in you soon as look at you, litter Sally's route to solving the riddles in the note and continued in the last page of a book passed on to her by an old associate of her father's.

The trail leads Sally into contact with a fervent admirer (JJ) and reveals the truth behind her own family background. It also taught Billie how to conduct herself in a corset and period costume while filming over one of the hottest summers in years.

She says: "In the beginning you find you eat very little because it sits on your chest, but after a while I got so used to it that I was totally able to wolf down a shepherd's pie for lunch without blinking. I wore layer after layer but

I found the corsets really helped me get into character. It is actually really hard to become a Victorian woman without one because the minute you put it on you hold yourself differently - your hair is up and you're wearing period jewellery. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Top of the Bill for the Girl Piper; Billie Loves Her First Lead Role in New TV Drama the Ruby in the Smoke the Big Interview the Doctor Who Star's Acting Career Is Now Booming after Getting off the Pop Treadmill
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.