Peaky Blinders: Cillian Murphy opens up on filming without late co-star Helen McCrory

Cillian Murphy described Helen McCrory as ‘inspirational and courageous’ during a recent interview

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy has opened up on filming the sixth and final series of the hit BBC show without the late Helen McCrory.

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.

In an interview with Esquire, Murphy described the ‘very strange’ process of filming without McCrory.

Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images)Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images)
Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images)

“We were just reeling throughout the whole thing,” he said.

“She was a dear, dear pal and she was the beating heart of that show, so it felt very strange being on set without her. The difficult thing to comprehend is that, if it wasn’t for Covid, there would be a whole other version of this show with Helen in it. But she was so private and so f*****g brave and courageous.

“She was inspirational.

“People throw that word around, but she genuinely was. Her values, the way she dealt with her kids and Damian (Lewis).

“She cares about everybody. She’s really funny and really cool, and she had this real warmth. She really cared. It’s just… I still can’t believe she’s not here. It doesn’t make sense. I’ve never lost anyone like that — who was young and a friend. It was very confusing. But she was magnificent. She was an absolutely magnificent person.”

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.