Showtime‘s 2014 series Penny Dreadful is accumulating quite a cast. This latest round of hirings includes one of the most famous of The Doctor’s companions, Billie Piper. Joining the former Rose Tyler are Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies), Danny Sapani (the Misfit in the first two episodes who became a homicidal maniac), and Simon Russell Beale, who played the Home Secretary in seasons 9 and 10 of British series MI-5, if you were lucky enough to see that show.
Penny Dreadful will be set in Victorian England, which captures my attention right from the start; toss in Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula, and I am all in. Here’s the casting announcement:
BILLIE PIPER, HELEN MCCRORY, DANNY SAPANI AND SIMON RUSSELL BEALE JOIN “PENNY DREADFUL” ON SHOWTIME
Former “Call Girl” Star Returns to the Network for New Drama Series From Executive Producers John Logan and Sam Mendes Premiering in 2014
Noted Actors Helen McCrory, Danny Sapani and Simon Russell Beale Also Sign On
Los Angeles, CA (September 16, 2013) – British actress Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) has just signed on to star in the highly anticipated SHOWTIME drama series PENNY DREADFUL, which will begin filming this fall for a 2014 premiere on the network. Piper will play “Brona Croft,” an Irish immigrant to Victorian London trying to escape a dark and sordid past. She joins recently announced stars Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear and Harry Treadaway. In addition to Piper, noted English actors Helen McCrory (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 & 2), Danny Sapani (The Bill) and Simon Russell Beale (My Week with Marilyn, MI-5) will also star in the drama series. McCrory will play “Madame Kali,” a spiritualist; Sapani will take on “Sembene,” an African warrior and longtime ally of Sir Malcolm (Dalton); and Russell Beale will star as “Ferdinand Lyle,” an eccentric Egyptologist.
PENNY DREADFUL is a frightening psychological thriller created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar® nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator) and executive produced by Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions, along with Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, Call The Midwife), both of Neal Street. Of the eight episodes, the first two will be directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, who helmed The Orphanage and the acclaimed film, The Impossible starring Naomi Watts in her Oscar-nominated performance.
Billie Piper starred for three seasons as sultry escort ‘Hannah/Belle de Jour’ in the provocative SHOWTIME comedy series Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which delved deep inside the life of a legal secretary moonlighting as a high-end call girl. Piper is best known for starring as ‘Rose Tyler’ on the long-running BBC series Doctor Who. Additional credits include Bella and the Boys, ShakespeaRE-told: Much Ado About Nothing, The Ruby in the Smoke, Mansfield Park and The Shadow in the North. Piper began her acting and singing career as a child, starring on the British children’s show Scratchy & Co. She later released several pop hits and two albums, Honey to the B and Walk of Life, becoming the youngest-ever solo artist to debut at number one on the UK singles chart. Piper has also been recognized for her work on stage in Treats and Reasons to Be Pretty and earned an Olivier Award nomination for her turn as “Connie” in The Effect.
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Penny Dreadful, starring Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Helen McCrory, Danny Sapani and Simon Russell Beale, premieres in 2014 on Showtime.