#PeakyBlinders unmasked: Cillian Murphy's 'contradiction' over Thomas Shelby ...

PEAKY BLINDERS star Cillian Murphy revealed the "contradiction" of his character Thomas Shelby in the hit BBC show and the fine line he treads between villain and hero.

PUBLISHED: PUBLISHED: 12:05, Wed, Oct 28, 2020

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The popular period crime drama is due to restart filming next year after the coronavirus outbreak halted the production’s schedule. During the previous season, Peaky Blinders achieved a personal record for viewing figures with an average of 3.8 million people tuning in each week. Season five concluded with Thomas Shelby’s plot to assassinate the fascist Oswald Moseley being foiled, the death of their ally Aberama Gold and Murphy's character pointing a gun to his head. Murphy, who plays the head of the Shelby crime family, spoke of the difficulties presented by such a conflicted character.


The Peaky Blinders are led by Shelby, who is not a real historical figure but could have been partially based on Billy Kimber – who united Birmingham gangs under a common criminal cause.

Murphy took on the role of Shelby, known as Tommy, and explained the issues of trying to keep the character likeable despite typically being on the “wrong side of the law”.

He told AOL’s Build Series that the “rich, complex and detailed” writing from creator Steven Knight was pivotal to the audience's fondness of his character.

Murphy said: “He (Shelby) is inevitably classed as an antihero in the vernacular of TV shows – the way we look at gangster shows.

“But Steven said something, ‘He’s a good man who does bad things to a good end’.

“That to me kind of sums up the contradiction of the character, because there are so many things about him you could isolate and admire.

PEAKY BLINDERS BBC THOMAS SHELBY TV SEASON SIX 6Peaky Blinders news: Cillian Murphy revealed the 'contradiction' of playing Thomas Shelby (Image: GETTY / BBC)

PEAKY BLINDERS BBC THOMAS SHELBY TV SEASON SIX 6Peaky Blinders news: Thomas Shelby ended season five with a gun to his head after a foiled plot (Image: BBC)

“[But] there are many, many things that you would be horrified by and yeah, to try to play that contradiction is brilliant because ultimately drama is

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