Prodigiosenes are a family of red pigments with versatile biological activity. Their tripyrrolic core structure has been modified many times in order to manipulate the spectrum of activity. We have been looking systematically at prodigiosenes substituted at the C ring with alkyl chains of different lengths, in order to assess the relevance of this substituent in a context that has not been investigated before for these derivatives: Cu(II) complexation, DNA binding, self-activated DNA cleavage, photoinduced cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity. Our results indicate that the hydrophobic substituent has a clear influence on the different aspects of their biological activity. The cytotoxicity study of the Cu(II) complexes of these prodigiosenes shows that they exhibit a strong cytotoxic effect towards the tested tumor cell lines. The Cu(II) complex of a prodigiosene lacking any alkyl chain excelled in its photoinduced anticancer activity, thus demonstrating the potential of prodigiosenes and their metal complexes for an application in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Two derivatives along with their Cu(II) complexes showed also antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus strains.