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Billie Piper Recalls How Her Childhood Friend Amy Winehouse Was Bullied at School: 'She Was Always Doing Her Own Thing'

Piper and Winehouse attended the Sylvia Young Theater School in London together in the 1990s.

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Piper and Winehouse were classmates in the 1990s.

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We all live our lives experiencing the “small world” phenomenon, where two seemingly disparate individuals turn out to have some unexpected connection to each other, but somehow it somehow seems a little bit more interesting when that sort of thing happens with celebrities.

For instance, the idea that Billie Piper and Amy Winehouse went to school together in the 1990s seems a bit difficult to write one’s head around, and yet it’s true. In fact, in a recent episode of the podcast Table Matters, hosted by Jessie Ware, Piper talked a bit about the friendship that she had with Winehouse back when they were both students at the Sylvia Young Theater School in London.

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Billie Piper at the 2023 BAFTA Television Awards.

“She was always cheeky,” Piper told Ware. “She was always like that, you know. She would do abstract stuff, and I really loved it. She could do everything. Super clever, super bright, unlike any other girl at that school.”

Piper admitted, however, that Winehouse’s tendency toward individuality proved to be somewhat of a hindrance during her time in the classroom.

“She got bullied quite a lot at school because she was doing her own thing, and she liked to push buttons, and do weird stuff,” she said. “And I had a lot of space for that, but not many of the girls did. It wasn’t the easiest ride.”

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Speaking of not getting an easy ride, that phrase would qualify as somewhat of an understatement if used to describe the reception met by the trailer for the upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic, Back to Black. And, yes, this is a topic that’s already been discussed in a past piece on Q, but the hits just keep on coming,

“I’ve never seen a trailer for a movie this obviously nuclear-level bad in my life,” wrote film critic Jeff Zhang, a.k.a. @StrangeHarbors on Twitter, in posting a film clip. “Completely radioactive. This is the type of dreck that ruins careers, and I can’t believe no one said ‘no’ at any time during the entire production.”

This, in turn, led a user named And They Say Chy City to reply, “Accidentally watched two seconds of this and turned it off right away when I realized what it was. Cursed project.”

Another user, @Vampsverse, posted the same clip with the words, “This is actually insane,” to which @KoffeeNut5 replied completely reasonably, “I didn’t even have to open video to tell how much I hate the way her mouth moves when she sings.”

Who says proper film journalism is dead?

For those who simply enjoy Winehouse's music, however, the soundtrack may be more up your alley. In addition to three songs each from Winehouse's own albums Frank and Back to Black, the soundtrack will feature selections from the late singer's inspirations and influences like Billie Holiday, Minnie Riperton, Dinah Washington, the Shangri-Las, and Sarah Vaughan. According to a press release, all of these artists' voices appear at "key moments" in the movie. Meanwhile, Nick Cave, who scored the film alongside his longtime collaborator Warren Ellis, also contributed an original track called "Song for Amy," the only new recording on the soundtrack.

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