Three of the stars of Peaky Blinders have opened up on the ‘grief’ they experienced after losing co-star Helen McCrory last year.
Helen, known for her role as Shelby family matriarch Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders, tragically died of breast cancer at the age of 52 in April last year.
You Magazine spoke to Natasha O’Keeffe, who plays Lizzie Shelby - the second wife of Tommy Shelby, Kate Phillips who stars as Linda Shelby -the ex-wife of Arthur Shelby and Sophie Rundle, who plays the brothers’ sister Ada Shelby.
Paying tribute to Helen during the interview, Sophie Rundle, said: “I consider Helen to have been the heart of this show.
“We were all completely devastated by losing her, because she was part of the family.
“Helen pushed you to be better, because she didn’t take laziness at all. She made Polly so mercurial and so exciting to watch because she had that rare magic as an actor.”
“She was one of my heroes before I got the job, so it was very intimidating when I first met her.
“Then, quite early on, I remember getting the train home with Helen from Manchester to London. I had just been dumped by my boyfriend and I told her and went off to get us a couple of coffees at the station but when I came back she said, “I’ve been to Marks & Spencer and bought us wine!”’
She added: “So we sat on the train and talked about how awful everything was.
“She always had steel, but when you got past that she also had generosity. When you’d had your heart broken by some dashing ex-boyfriend you wanted Helen McCrory to sit opposite you and tell you that everything was going to be OK.”
Speaking about losing Helen, Natasha said: “I’m still reeling from losing her. It’s still shocking. I just can’t quite believe it. The grief hits me in waves.
‘There was always a chemistry between our two characters, they come from the same kind of place.”
“I didn’t really talk to people about this, but I’d almost speak to her before some of my takes. She was very much there with me. I asked her for guidance.”
What have the BBC said about the release date and series 6?
All that the BBC are saying at the moment is “fans can expect the next installment early in 2022”.
Paul Anderson, who plays Arthur Shelby in the show, recently hinted at a February release date for the sixth and final season in a post on his Instagram page.
The BBC initially released a short ten second sneak peak of what we can expect from the final series at the start of December, and a full trailer, which you can view above or in the link below, was released on New Year’s Day.
The new season follows on from series five, which introduced Sam Claflin as the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Oswald Mosley, and ended with a cliffhanger as the Shelby family were betrayed by their allies.
In the finale, Tommy’s plan to kill Mosley failed after he was outwitted by the MP, and according to the trailer, it looks as though Mosley and Tommy will again be arch enemies in series 6.
Another shocking moment of the series 5 finale was the revelation that Alfie Solomons (played by Tom Hardy) was still alive.
It was revealed that Tommy had not actually killed Alfie in series 4, but just injured him, when viewers were previously left believing he had been killed off.
Alfie then helped Tommy with his botched plan to assassinate Mosley.
The final episode of the series also revealed that Michael Gray (Finn Cole) was planning to take control of the Peaky Blinders with Tommy demoted.
But after Tommy rejected his plan, it looked as though Michael would pursue it regardless.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.