The gallery has been updated with 442 HD captures from episode ten of Penny Dreadful – And They Were Enemies! So what did everyone think about season two?
In her home country of England in the late ’90s, Billie Piper began her career as a Spears-esque, insouciant pop star, releasing tween-friendly hits such as “Because We Want To,” “Girlfriend,” and “Honey to the Bee” under the mononym Billie. She was 15 years old. Piper released her second and final album in 2000 and officially retired from the music business, despite her popularity, in 2003. Two years later in a career switch-up, she joined the massively popular sci-fi show Doctor Who, quickly becoming a fan-favorite by playing Rose Tyler, the Doctor’s headstrong and down-to-earth companion, opposite Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.
The Who-niverse aside, it’s Piper’s work as an actress on stage and in television that has brought the now 32-year-old Brit international acclaim; particularly her roles as prostitutes in ITV2’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Showtime’s macabre-lite horror-drama Penny Dreadful. Both roles, however, have transcended their seedy beginnings; Piper’s portrayal of the high-end call girl Belle de Jour was defined by intelligence, eloquence, and confidence, cheekily navigating the London call-girl scene with style and grace. On Penny Dreadful, Piper began season one as Brona Croft, a poor Irish immigrant working as a prostitute who, despite slowly dying of consumption and attempting to escape from a dark past, is equal parts vivacious and charming.
At the end of the season, however, Victor Frankenstein (one of the many characters on the smorgasbord of 19th-century literary homages on the show) murdered Brona by suffocating her with a pillow, speeding up her seemingly eventual death in order to “create” a bride for his “Creature.” Stored in a tub of water, she’s awakened at the start of season two at the behest of an electrical surge from a thunderstorm, with no memory of her previous life (or perhaps some memory…) and a fresh British accent. She’s now Lily, the immortal bride of Frankenstein—an erratic and seductive force to be reckoned with who brazenly goes through men while slowly revolting against her creator. “Never again will I kneel to any man,” she declares to the Creature, perhaps a premonition for how Lily fared in the finale. “Now they shall kneel to me.”
Before the show’s season two finale this past Sunday, we called Piper to discuss her evolution from Brona to Lily. She was at home in London, we were in New York.
Billie attended Montreal Comic Con over the weekend, 65 photos from both days have been added to the gallery, enjoy!!
How did Billie Piper get to where she is today; starring in Showtime’s high-budget horror Penny Dreadful with top names in the industry? FAULT talks pop beginnings, wild teenage years and how acting was always the plan. It feels like only yesterday we were putting on our best pair of cargo trousers and singing ‘Because We Want To’ into our hair brushes but Billie Piper, the teenage pop princess, grew up into one of British television’s favourite actresses. With two platinum albums, 70 award wins and nominations and two children already in the bag by 32, is she a go-getting, force to be reckoned with? No, says Billie, she’s just restless.
FAULT Issue 21 features the star on our internal Style cover and we chat Penny Dreadful, upcoming movies and what it takes to go from teen POP-star to simply a popular culture icon – Only available in Issue 21!
The gallery has been updated with 338 HD captures from episode nine of Penny Dreadful – And Hell Itself My Only Foe!
The “Penny Dreadful” season two finale had a lot of work to do. First, it had to wrap up the main narrative with the final showdown between sorceress supreme Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and the unholy team of Lucifer and his servant Madame Kali (Helen McCrory). Then, it had to set things up for season three, which is the bigger task because the protagonists have now gotten the best of both Dracula and the devil. Where do they go next, and who will be the most formidable villain for them to take on?
Right now, it looks like there will be two big baddies next season: the immortal and amoral power duo of reanimated Lily Frankenstein (“Doctor Who” veteran Billie Piper) and portrait-protected Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). Together, they aim to dominate the world by indulging in cruelty and forging a new “master race.”
The villainous turn for both characters comes at just the right time. The importance of each to the overall narrative of the show always was a mystery as they both played tangential, if sizable, parts until recently. Dorian was concerned mostly with mining new experiences for fresh sensations, and Lily hasn’t even been Lily the whole time. Last season, she was the diseased Irish prostitute Brona Croft, who had a tragic love affair with American werewolf in London Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), and she spent much of this season playing the innocent with her creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). As the season reached its close, though, Lily’s true intentions burst through the surface.
Speakeasy talked to Piper about the evolution of her character and what she hopes will happen in season three. An edited transcript follows.
Shifting gears a bit, I’d love to talk about Lily and Billie Piper, who’s been absolutely fantastic. How early did Billie know what was coming for her character this year?
Before we started filming. She had to very carefully build that performance, which was extraordinary. It’s one of the most extraordinary things I’ve seen an actor do in my career — the way she modulated the character of Lily so that when you first meet her, she’s innocent, and she’s confused, and she’s frightened, and she gets more confident, until finally it all comes out in that amazing speech that she gives in episode 8. I think it’s an extraordinary performance and one that I’m most proud of this season.
31 photos of Billie at Glastonbury on Friday and Saturday have been added to the gallery! Thanks to Miss Billie Piper for some of these!
THE PERFORMER | Billie Piper
THE SHOW | Penny Dreadful
THE EPISODE | “Memento Mori” (June 21)
THE PERFORMANCE | Seething with jealousy after spying his betrothed out painting the town with pretty boy Dorian, the Creature intended to demand that his fiancée behave like his fiancée. But when push came to shove, it wasn’t the green-eyed monster who did the shoving but Lily. Careening from fluttery fear to blistering cruelty to righteous outrage, the erstwhile Brona at last exposed her true nature — and her awareness of it — to “Mr. Clare.” And her portrayer? Lord almighty, Piper spat out series creator John Logan’s brutal monologue with such power, such passion, that we were left as shell-shocked as the Creature. Seriously — damn!
Even more impressive than the ferocity of Piper’s performance was the absolute control she displayed. Though Lily’s diatribe against the indignities of Victorian womanhood called for the actress to veer from one emotion to the next at breakneck speed, she made the transitions seem as organic as the movements of a dance. So, suffice it to say, by the time the would-be bride of Frankenstein suggested that she and her fellow “corpse” show Victor exactly what kind of monsters he’d created — and kill their maker! — Piper already had slain us. She doesn’t just deserve an Emmy nod, she deserves a bloody altar!