Peaky Blinders: Cillian Murphy admitted ‘most horrific bloodshed’ shaped Thomas Shelby

Cillian Murphy laughs off claims Tommy Shelby could die

Season six of the popular period crime drama is scheduled to air on the BBC early next year. Fans have eagerly awaited a new installment, since the last episode in September 2019 and left Thomas Shelby amid a failed assassination plot. Creator Steven Knight has revealed that the new season was focussed on “tragedy” and whether the Shelby family is cursed. Cillian Murphy gave his insight into the role and felt more of his character’s defences were being peeled back with each season.

The Irish actor, 44, felt that Mr Knight’s scripts were “very rich” and achieved his goal of “mythologising the working class in Britain”.

The writer’s other aim was to film outside of London and focus on characters with regional accents rather than those based in the capital.

Previously, Mr Knight turned-down offers for the show because they wanted him to rewrite the script and base it outside of the West Midlands.

Cillian explained: “[Mr Knight] set the story not in London but in Birmingham, which is the second city, but for a long time was not a very fashionable city.

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“He wrote about where he’s from, which is Birmingham, and this story was handed down to him by his uncles and his mother.

“So he lived with it for a long time before he put pen to paper, which means it was very rich.”

Cillian admitted the show was “a gangster piece” at heart but felt they had “a different spin on it” due to the depth of characters. 

He continued: “These men are sort of stumbling through life, suffering the aftermath of being ejected from the most mechanised, most horrific bloodshed ever known to man.

“At that point [it] was World War 1 and then they are trying to… adjust to society and find a place for themselves.

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“Each of them – the characters in the show – are dealing with that in a different way, so that was a very exciting set-up.”

Cillian believed “all of the characters were broken” and agreed that he preferred that when quizzed on the podcast Happy Sad Confused with Josh Horowitz.

The host commented that actors “don’t want a fixed guy” because it’s more of a challenge to have a character who is “piecing himself back together”, last year.

Mr Knight explained that the “supernatural element” of the show would be explored in season six, during an interview with NME in July.

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He said: “‘Is Tommy cursed?’ In other words, is everything predestined, are lives already mapped out? Do you have free will or not?

“Tommy sometimes feels that he doesn’t because it seems that everything is destined to stop him or move him in a particular direction. It’s the same with the whole family.”

This week, actor Alexander Siddig, who played painter Ruben Oliver in season three, admitted that filming was “not fun” and “full on”.

He told NME that that this was because they were all “method actors” and stayed in-character even when they stopped filming. 

Mr Siddig continued: “They are lovely, lovely people obviously, but they’re in their characters.”

The star commented that the filming schedule was intense too, which was a difficulty previously admitted by producer Caryn Mandabach.

She claimed the show was “broke” due to having a small BBC budget, which is around one-fifth of Netflix’s The Crown – estimated to cost £50million-per-season.

Ms Mandabach told AOL’s Build Series last year that Heads of Departments had “halved their fees” and actors took huge cuts too.

Cillian Murphy appeared on Happy Sad Confused in October 2019 and is available to listen to here. 

Peaky Blinders seasons one to five can be streamed on Netflix. 

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