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17 April 2014
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Emma Pierson in Hotel Babylon

Hotel Babylon – second series coming soon to BBC One

Emma Pierson plays Anna Thornton-Wilton, Head Receptionist

Since finishing work on Hotel Babylon last year Emma has been busy conjuring up some more mayhem in a drama for ITV to be screened next year.


"I play a naughty solicitor called Tara, alongside Kevin Whately and Alison Steadman whom I represent. Alison's character and Kevin are married but with serious problems and Tara and Kevin's solicitor have a bet which pushes the couple further down the divorce road so yet again I am playing a cold–hearted bitch," she laughs.


"I haven't stayed in many luxury hotels since the film I made with Rankin was released at Edinburgh but even then when I plugged my phone charger into the wall it brought the power down in my room and when I went to reception to plug in my computer I shut the power down in reception so I must be jinxed ... either that or I just don't have much luck in luxury hotels!"


"I did stay at the Savoy Hotel in Milan and my suitcase was definitely heavier when I came home I can tell you! Mind you I couldn't fit the dressing gown in!"


"An odd treat at someone else's expense is always much nicer than paying for it yourself," laughs Emma, "because I'm not in the earning bracket that allows you the luxury of not having to think about the cost."


"I don't put myself up in swanky hotels often," she continues.


"My boyfriend and I went surfing in Newquay and the West coast of France and we stayed in quite a nice hotel but if a hotel has a good bed and bathroom then that's all I ask for though Damian would probably tell you differently. He would check my face to see if it's okay but you know if a hotel has all those things plus a nice view then I'm happy."


Series two reunited Emma with Riot At The Rite director Andy Wilson which thrilled her.


"It was great to work with Andy Wilson again because he has such an excitable energy which we found invigorating for this second series," she explains.


"It is always weird to come back to a second series because you do need a massive injection of energy but Andy has that in abundance and just makes it so much fun. He is always chuckling away to himself during a take so you know you've done a good job."


"I was very lucky in that all my big storylines were right at the beginning of the run and he is brilliant with farce so we honestly had a lot of fun filming together."


Anna sails pretty close to the wind this year and we see her in all her spiteful glory but we also get to see a glimpse of her vulnerability at times.


"This year Anna spends a lot of time trying to be someone else. She begins by trying to be kidnapped by a cult; then impersonating a "manager in waiting"; dressing up as Marie-Antoinette at the charity ball to impress her old pal Caz and pretending to be a journalist to help a guest she has befriended. So she really is as naughty as ever."


"She doesn't even have a relationship this year oh except she has one with a dog – Petal – but that's about it. I honestly think the producers and writers sit around and say 'what ridiculous thing can we do – great – now give that storyline to Anna', so I turn up to work and it is bonkers!"


Since last year, Emma has made a film with Rankin which has been screened in Milan, New York and Edinburgh.


"It is his (Rankin) first film and is called The Lives Of A Saint, directed by Rankin and Chris Cotton. As the Artistic Director of an Italian clothing company, Melting Pot, Rankin was asked to direct an advert and instead suggested making a film featuring the Melting Pot products."


"Rankin offered me a part in his film but as it developed I became more involved in the creative process as much as acting and it was such a joy to work on.


"With commercial films there is so much money invested that you can really luxuriate over the time and process so it became something I think is extraordinary and a project I thoroughly enjoyed doing," she explains.


Emma Pierson has loved playing the part of the foxy, outspoken Anna mostly because she has been able to take the character to the extremes of comedy within the drama.


"Audiences love to hate Anna – she is a single 26-year–old girl's girl, but a bitch at the same time, who is seriously husband-hunting and will move in on her prey when she finds the right millionaire.


"She's had several pets to keep her company but keeps forgetting to feed them and will only have someone in her life if they are prepared to love her as much as she loves herself," she laughs.


"She now believes this empty facade she has created for herself – that she comes from a posh, polished background – and it would appear she has forgotten the truth about where she really comes from," she adds.


"But watch out for her vulnerable side – we do see it – believe me."







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