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I Hate Suzie was one of the most critically acclaimed drama series of 2020. Lucy Prebble (Succession) and Billie Piper (Doctor Who) created a deliciously dark drama about actress Suzie Pickles, who had her life turned upside down when she had intimate private photos leaked to the world.
A masterclass lead performance from Piper, twisted dark humour running through its core and a layered exploration of how we treat women in the public eye, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the show’s return for season 2 on Sky Atlantic with NOW.
The show has an expanded cast for season 2 – including the arrival of Douglas Hodge and Blake Harrison as new characters. Here is our rundown of the characters and where we find them at the beginning of the new episodes.
I Hate Suzie Too – Full cast list
- Billie Piper – Plays Suzie Pickles
- Daniel Ings – Plays Cob Betterton
- Leila Farzad – Plays Naomi Jones
- Douglas Hodge – Plays Bailey Quinn
- Blake Harrison – Plays Danny Carno
- Anastasia Hille – Plays Sian Bellingham
- Omari Douglas – Plays Holland Fitz-Patrick
- Phil Daniels – Plays Suzie’s dad Phil
- Lorraine Ashbourne – Plays Suzei’s mum Karen
- Matthew Jordan-Caws - Plays Frank
- Layton Williams - Plays Adam Jackson
- Angela Sant’Albano – Plays Stella St Leger
- Reza Diako – Plays Zak Khalif
- Yaz Zadeh – Plays Otis Carver
Billie Piper – Plays Suzie Pickles
Leaked private photos in season revealed an affair, an unhappy marriage and left her unemployable in season 1. Currently living apart from son Frank and in the middle of a painful divorce, Suzie at least has a new job to focus on, a chance at public redemption. She’s taking part in a reality dance show where the public judge her every move.
“She is alone at the end of series one, but she’s done something that was really big and brave, which was leaving Cob,” said Piper.
“It’s not something you could have imagined her doing at the beginning of the series. Even though it looks lonely, it looks liberating as well.
“When we start again, everything’s in pieces. That’s what making those big life choices means. It’s a renaissance: you chose yourself – and rebuilding yourself – over a former life that was toxic and unhealthy. That means burning it to the ground and rebuilding everything. There’s something very sad about that, but it also makes for a lot of brutal comedy.”
Daniel Ings – Plays Cob Betterton
Still reeling from Suzie ending their marriage, Cob is a broken catherine wheel of hurt and anger, and humiliation. He’d love his life not to still feel framed by his ex-wife and her celebrity status.
“He’s a bit overweight and depressed, which is quite surprising given that the last time we saw him, he was threatening to destroy Suzie (Billie Piper) and make her life miserable,” said Ings.
“Lucy (Prebble, writer) cleverly subverts that so he’s actually vulnerable, fragile and to some degree desperate – but that desperation isn’t necessarily manifesting itself in the way the audience would expect.”
Leila Farzad – Plays Naomi Jones
Suzie’s ex-manager and long-time best friend is at her smartest when observing the lives of others, but she has struggled to commit to her own.
She’s trying a new, modern way of creating a family for herself, but it’s an effort to resist the comfort zone of life on the edge of Suzie’s world, instead of at the centre of her own.
Talking about the success of season 1, Farzard said: “I think a lot of women in particular got real relief from watching it, because it is so brutal, often ugly, uncomfortable and manic.
“That goes against the more placid approach we often have to women’s problems on television.”
And explaining where we find her in season 2, she added: “[Naomi] tries to cut the umbilical cord with Suzie (Billie Piper) that entangled her. When they first meet each other this series, they’re both proud of the work they’ve done and how far they’ve progressed, then they slip into a slightly bad pattern again.
“Naomi has become less co-dependent, but there’s still a lot of love there and it has left her with a sense of melancholy.”
Douglas Hodge – Plays Bailey Quinn
Bailey Quinn is now mostly a retired British guitar band legend and Suzie’s first husband. The divorce was completely amicable. He remembers his marriage to Suzie very happily and misses her.
“I loved [season 1]. It feels like there is a new movement in television – I May Destroy You, Fleabag, I Hate Suzie – which is women led and so brave and fearless and unvain, and this took my breath away,” said Hodge.
“One of the brilliant things about the first series is Suzie’s (Billie Piper) culpability. It isn’t just that she’s got this husband who’s done something to her, she really is to blame for a lot of it, and this series goes deeper and deeper into that, I suppose to a level of psychosis. Lucy is exploring where it actually needs to go and being totally unafraid of the end. I was delighted to be asked to be involved.”
Talking about Bailey, he added: “He’s a rock star and probably the most sentimental person I’ve ever played. The sort of guy who weeps at adverts, and this sentimental aspect to him is why he can write such fabulous number one songs. He’s a true lizard of the stage, thinks he’s a bit like Michael Hutchence or Jim Morrison.”
Blake Harrison – Plays Danny Carno
Danny is an England footballer turned twitch streamer. Danny decided to take part ‘for a laugh’ but also because he knows he can really dance. When his dad dies unexpectedly before launch night, Danny decides to keep going. But his public persona and sporting legacy are only half the story.
The Inbetweeners star said: “There’s a lot more going on with Danny. He had a successful career as a footballer and he’s now a Twitch streamer, which all seems very standard. But there’s a side of himself that he’s been hiding from the public for years, and on top of that, his dad’s just died.
“His dad was probably his biggest fan, his parents loved seeing him being successful on TV, so it feels good for him to create a memory for his mum and as something his dad would be proud of him for doing.”
Anastasia Hille – Plays Sian Bellingham
Sian is one of London’s top talent agents. She’s already completely oversubscribed with grateful clients but couldn’t resist the challenge of taking Suzie Pickles on to her books. Suzie doing Dance Crazee is a little low rent but also a masterstroke.
“Sian is fierce, protective mother,” explains Hille.
“She’s been an agent for a long time and has collected a huge, wonderful client list, but it’s extremely demanding. Professionally, everything is organised and efficient but probably in private, she’s not like that at all. There’s a tension in trying to keep it together and seeming to be in control all the time.
“She’s not frightened of saying what’s necessary in the moment for her client, because there’s often no time to mess around or soften the blow. Agents are frequently women who have had to really hold their end up in what was traditionally a man’s world. They often have to be fiercer than men in those situations in order to get their clients seen and dealt with.”
Omari Douglas – Plays Holland Fitz-Patrick
Brought in by Sian to assist with Suzie’s reinvention, he delivers bad news in a way that can leave you confused whether it was bad news at all. His poise and appearance of calm can be infuriating to those not similarly possessed.
A brilliant reserved counterpoint to Sian’s gusto. There’s an elegance and self respect to Holland’s dealings maintained regardless of how grubby he sometimes has to go for his clients.
“Holland is cerebral, very practical, but not quite used to this environment” said the It’s a Sin star.
“He’s still quite new to working with these kinds of personalities and he’s a bit of a people pleaser. Sian wears her emotions on her sleeve more, but Holland doesn’t really want to rock the boat which is quite difficult, given the job he has. Sian and Suzie are still figuring out their relationship with one another, so he’s constantly trying to defuse the occasional friction.”
Watch all episodes of I Hate Suzie Too on Sky Atlantic with NOW from 20 December.
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