Billie Piper admits she was 'insanely jealous' of Britney Spears during pop star fame
Billie Piper says she was jealous of the success of Britney Spears during the later days of her career as a teenage pop star in the 1990s.
The actor was just 15 years old when her debut single Because We Want To hit the charts in 1998 and she became a music sensation, until stepping away in favour of an acting career in 2003.
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In an interview with The Guardian to promote the return of TV series I Hate Suzie, Piper said that she never met Britney Spears during her rise to fame, but that she was very much aware of her.
She said: "My career was dying out as she was hitting mega-stardom. I was insanely jealous of her, but also loved her and was a fan. But our paths never crossed."
Piper is returning to the title role of I Hate Suzie for a three-part Christmas special on Sky UK and NOW, reprising the former child star character in the wake of the first series.
The specials follow Suzie as she competes in a celebrity dancing show, with the hope of winning back the support of the public.
Read more: Billie Piper says she wouldn't want to be a teen star today
“We talked a lot about Britney Spears and Caroline Flack and Amy Winehouse," said Piper.
She added: "Obviously this stuff has been going on for years, but it’s the more contemporary stars who have had what people call a public meltdown."
Working on the show alongside playwright Lucy Prebble has helped Piper reckon with her own experiences of fame, saying good treatment and bad treatment are both "disproportionate".
She said: “There are very few people who can be normal around it, or normal around you. It makes for a very warped world. I love what I do professionally, but I also like not being too close to the shininess of it."
Read more: Billie Piper admits she was left "jaded" by fame
As well as I Hate Suzie, Piper recently debuted her first movie as a writer-director with the twisted 2019 romcom Rare Beasts.
The film received strong reviews from critics when it arrived in cinemas in 2021, two years after it first premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Watch: Trailer for the first series of I Hate Suzie