Cillian Murphy On ‘Peaky Blinders’ Final Season & Spending Nearly A Decade In Tommy Shelby’s Skin

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains details of the final season of Peaky Blinders.
EXCLUSIVE: The sixth and concluding season of Peaky Blinders hits Netflix on Friday, after having aired to record ratings on BBC One in the UK earlier this class. Star Cillian Murphy, who plays Tommy Shelby, the head of the epic saga ’ s titular gang, recently reflected with Deadline on a ten of being in the torture character ’ second skin .
Created by Steven Knight and produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions, Peaky began in 2013, going on to win a Best Drama BAFTA in its one-fourth season. Over the years it grew a fanatic ball-shaped fanbase. For its final season, it was forced to pivot as Covid hit while the prove besides dealt with the loss of beloved co-star Helen McCrory, who passed away before shooting began, another thing Murphy discusses below.

While the series is ending, a film is being plotted and Murphy tells us, “ If there is more floor to be told, I ’ ll be there. ”
( This interview has been condensed and edited for clearness. )
DEADLINE: You’re just back from shooting Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and have had some distance from Peaky, but you’ve told me before that the prep to get into the character of Tommy was intense. How much or how quickly were you able to leave him in the past?
CILLIAN MURPHY: As you said, I went off and did other things. Around this fourth dimension last year we finished shooting and then I had about six months off and then I good finished Oppenheimer two weeks ago. So I feel like I ’ ve decidedly shed that skin and had to climb into another one since then .
But the fact that it ’ s actually entirely coming onto Netflix now means that it ’ second kind of another section of the world or fans that can get to see it. I ’ megabyte very pleased. I ’ thousand very proud of it — this final series — because it wasn ’ t an slowly genesis .
Cillian Murphy Helen McCrory
Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory in 2014
DEADLINE: Do you feel in any way like Helen was there when you guys ended up finally getting into production? She appears in flashback in the final season and sort of looms over it in a way…
MURPHY: Yes. And it was all so confuse and complicated by Covid because we were initially five days from shooting Series [ Season ] 6 and that would have had Helen in it. And then we had to shut down because of Covid and lockdown and everything .
I much think about that version of Series 6 and if we had been able to shoot it then, you know ? And then obviously the global decided otherwise. then we had to go second and reorganize again and shoot it and she didn ’ t end up being in it. so, I always think about that. But I think Steve managed to keep her character alert in there and it feels like she has a hard presence, and surely for Tommy, throughout it all .

DEADLINE: The whole season leads up to a settling of accounts for Tommy. For me, there’s always been a sort of Godfather theme running through the show. What’s your take on that?
MURPHY: I think you make a gangster show, you ’ re always aware of the big gangster films, of America actually. There ’ south a identical pin down corridor and you kind of demote shoulders with these stories as you go along inevitably. I think ours differentiates itself very a lot because of the british typeset and the british culture, and the propertyless story is obviously a big softwood. And then, if you make a family saga — this goes means back to Shakespeare — there ’ s always the transition of might and the direction people want to hold on to power and achieve baron. That ’ s decidedly separate of our narrative, for certain, but you know we never consciously — always — tipped our hat to those films. When people see references to them I suppose that ’ s subconsciously coming from us .
DEADLINE: Did you read the whole of Season 6 before you shot it?
MURPHY: One of the gifts of this picture has been that we ’ ve always had six finished scripts at the begin. I tell that to friends of mine that work on television receiver shows and they can ’ t believe it because you hear about people starting shows with one script and not knowing where it ’ randomness going to go. We ’ ve had this flair of a writer all the way through, you know, 36 hours of television — it ’ s an absolute endowment to have it .
obviously we had to change in the face of circumstances, but Steve is an amazingly adaptable writer adenine well, which is another gift for us .
DEADLINE: You’re an executive producer, too. Were you happy with the way things wrapped up?
MURPHY: I was very glad with the timbre of the writing, particularly with that last finale — it was equitable excellently directed and conceived and performed by everybody. I do have to pay tribute to our crew. It was like the acme of the second gear lockdown in the UK. It was insane the conditions we were working under, and they were just amazing. I ’ meter very, very gallant of it .
DEADLINE: In a way, Tommy is freed of so much at the end and he’s lost so much, while at the same time he’s also got this sort of new shot at life. In Season 1, he arrives on a black steed and in the finale of Season 6, he rides off on a white one. Do you think he’s been redeemed?
MURPHY: I constantly felt that was one for the motor hotel of public opinion. I could not very say whether people felt that themselves, the consultation, because I barely needed to play the accuracy of what the story was and where the character found himself. That hale thing about redemption, it ’ s so kind of immanent very, international relations and security network ’ thymine it ?
Peaky Blinders
Matt Squire | © Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd 2017
DEADLINE: Any idea where he goes next?
MURPHY: I in truth have no theme. Steve always surprises. Whenever you read a handwriting from him it is never how you expected or what you thought might happen. It ’ s constantly in fact wholly the diametric. He manages to kind of corrupt that gangster narrative very well I think. I don ’ t know, I actually, actually don ’ thyroxine know. I haven ’ thymine read any film handwriting or anything like that so I can ’ triiodothyronine give you any exclusive on that, Nancy, I ’ thousand afraid .
Steven Knight
Steven Knight
Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd & Tiger Aspect Productions Ltd

DEADLINE: What do you know about a movie at this point?
MURPHY: Genuinely nothing and I ’ d be a excited as anybody to read a script. But I think it ’ sulfur adept for everyone to have a little break. That ’ south always a goodly thing and then we can regroup. Steve is an madly busy and in-demand writer, but I know that he loves writing Peaky above all, I ’ megabyte indisputable he ’ s told you the same. He adores it. so I think when the time comes, if there ’ s more fib to be told, I ’ ll be there .
DEADLINE: Turning back to the final season, your mom is a French teacher, right? I was really impressed with your French in the scenes on Miquelon Island…
MURPHY: Oh yes, of course, you ’ re a french speaker. My french used to be truly, in truth commodity when I was about 20 and then I just abandoned it all and turned my second on it which was a dazed decision. I sent ( the scripts ) to her and she sent them back to me and we worked out how to make it ampere colloquial as possible. We didn ’ thyroxine want it to be besides formal induce you would have picked up that sort of French in the trenches second in the day. sol yes, my beget was the french teacher on the problem even though she didn ’ thyroxine get a credit .
DEADLINE: Consider her credited now. As you know, I’ve been to set a couple of times and it’s all quite intense and you guys have to work fast. Are you able on that kind of show to have some laughs as well?
Natasha O'Keefe
Natasha O ’ Keeffe as Lizzie Stark
MURPHY: Oh yea. I mean we always do our best. Myself and Natasha O ’ Keeffe, who is an amazing actor — I truly thought our storyline this year was bright — we constantly end up having a great laugh with her .
You know, it was particularly unmanageable for me this time because I couldn ’ thymine go home at all and I was in Manchester the whole time. normally, I would fly base at the weekends, but I couldn ’ t go back because I wouldn ’ t have been able to come back because of the two-week quarantine. So I stayed in this little categoric in Manchester for five months. I became kind of like more of a creep hermit than I am already. But it was kind of good. It was useful for what Tommy was going through, evening though I would never like to repeat it again .

It was just so strange, but when that happens you just go, “ Right, well I ’ thousand going to go even deeper into the work. ” There ’ south nothing else to do. There was nothing unfold, no restaurants. It was fair myself and Tommy Shelby — who you don ’ metric ton want to be entirely with for five months, believe me .
DEADLINE: And yet you ended up spending nearly 10 years playing him. Looking back, has your perspective changed — from where you were when you started playing Tommy and the success of the show, and where you are now? It’s a long time, even though you didn’t have what used to be those crazy American schedules of 26 episodes, but you were making three feature films every year…
MURPHY: I feel just enormously, enormously grateful for it. I still can ’ metric ton believe it ’ s been about a ten of my life. I think I encountered some of the greatest write I ’ ve ever encountered on that picture for certain ; some of the greatest actors I ’ ve always encountered. I never thought I ’ d bring to play a quality that would last a decade and be able to go thus bass and have such rich material. And then, to pretty much make it as we wanted to make it. You know, on our own terms and then all the musicians that became involved, all the big directors that became involved over the years .
When you look back on it, it is quite humbling. It doesn ’ metric ton feel like I ’ ve had enough perspective on it, but I do feel fair very, very grateful to play that character and to bring Steve ’ s writing to life. It was phenomenal — when you think about what he ’ s done, it ’ randomness kind of amazing .
The well thing about it was, like you mentioned, the american english shows where they just own you, so all of us actors got to go and do early interesting sour in between which I think was essential. I got to go off and do crazy plays and early films. I think if it had taken away that ability to go and do other make I might not feel sol grateful, but I feel enormously grateful .
DEADLINE: Speaking of other work, you did those great BBC Radio 6 Limited Edition shows in the past couple years, from your basement, right?
MURPHY: Oh, yes. I had to do something. I very, truly thoroughly enjoy making those shows. I met a great producer and I good ride in my basement play tunes, which is what I do a lot of the clock on my own. I needed some screen of creative release. As actors, we need a community to make something and when that ’ s taken aside and you ’ re on your own you inactive have that pulsation to be creative, so the radio show good helped me and I was very lucky to do it .
If you put a source in the ground, it will find its way around a rock, you know what I mean ? But I ’ molarity being besides philosophical. It ’ randomness that the creative stuff will come out finally, no topic how much you suppress it .
DEADLINE: Are you thinking about revisiting your music career?
MURPHY: absolutely 100 % flatly no. But I will play other people ’ mho music quite happily on the radio receiver .
DEADLINE: You’ve also randomly done a number of shorts. Do you seek that out?
All Of This Unreal Time
“ All of This unreal Time ”
Tribeca Festival
MURPHY: I ’ ve tried to over the years. truly, the culture medium is irregular to the write. If there ’ s good write to be found in theaters, in television receiver, in films, a short film, that ’ s what I ’ ll try and track down. I ’ ve constantly tried to stay true to that .
The last unretentive I did we made during lockdown. It was written by Max Porter and it ’ sulfur called All of This insubstantial Time. It played at the Manchester International Film Festival. And it ’ randomness one of my front-runner things that I ’ ve ever done — I don ’ t know how many people have seen it — but it ’ randomness one of the things that I ’ m most proud of. It ’ sulfur bet in Tribeca, indeed possibly a few more people will see it .
DEADLINE: What’s your state of mind these days, now that the world is starting to return to normal?
MURPHY: It was kind of very matter to, even when we were shooting Oppenheimer. In the beginning everybody was masked all the time causal agent we shot through February until precisely recently and all the mandates had changed [ by the end ] and you could see things. It precisely felt things were a little more, hopeful, even in our little microcosm, the mold and crew.

I ’ thousand looking forward to the return of spontaneity, less protocols and less adjective stuff because it ’ s an restless environment when you ’ ve got a huge total of protocols and rules and you ’ re trying to be spontaneous and creative .
DEADLINE: Oppenheimer comes out in July 2023. What else are you up to?
MURPHY: I ’ m just having a rest. I constantly like to take, if I can, six months off after a subcontract. I think you equitable need to recharge everything. But at the moment I am 100 % unemployed people and happy with that .

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