Billie Piper has joined the cast of Lena Dunham’s feature adaptation of “Catherine, Called Birdy” for Working Title and Amazon.
Piper stars in the medieval coming-of-age comedy opposite “Fleabag’s” Andrew Scott and “Game of Thrones” breakout Bella Ramsey. The film, written and directed by Dunham, is in the early stages of production.
“Catherine, Called Birdy” has been a longtime passion project for Dunham, who first announced plans to adapt the award-winning 1994 children’s novel by Karen Cushman into a film in 2014. The coming of age story, set in 13th century England, follows a 14-year-old girl named Catherine (Ramsey) who “bucks against convention,” namely the arranged marriages her father (Scott) has planned out for her. Piper will play Catherine’s mother.
Working Title, in association with Dunham’s Good Thing Going banner, is producing the project.
Earlier this month, Variety exclusively reported that Dunham recently wrapped a secret feature titled, “Sharp Stick,” the first film she’d written and directed in a decade. The indie project, financed by FilmNation, stars Kristine Froseth, Taylour Paige, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jon Bernthal, Scott Speedman, and Dunham. The “Girls” creator and “Tiny Furniture” filmmaker produced also the film for Good Thing Going.
Piper, a celebrated actress on stage and screen, most recently starred in “I Hate Suzie,” a series which she co-created with Lucy Prebble and which debuted on HBO Max last August. The show has been picked up for a second season. In 2019, Piper earned a BAFTA TV Award nod for best supporting actress for BBC/Netflix’s “Collateral.” Other major credits include “Doctor Who,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Mansfield Park” and “Secret Diary of a Call Girl.”
On the stage, Piper starred in “Yerma,” for which she earned an Olivier Award for best actress in 2017.
Piper is represented by UTA and Curtis Brown in the UK. News of her casting was first reported by the Daily Mail.