Cillian Murphy remembers Helen McCrory: “She was just so cool and fun”

"I was kind of in awe about how she lived her life"

Cillian Murphy has paid homage to his Peaky Blinders co-star Helen McCrory, who died of cancer in April aged 52.

McCrory had starred as the Shelby family matriarch Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders since the show debuted in 2013. She was one of only four cast members to appear in every episode.

Paying tribute to the beloved actor, Peaky Blinders’ lead star Murphy has told The Guardian: “I was kind of in awe about how she lived her life.


“She was my closest colleague on Peaky, and one of the finest actors I’ve ever worked opposite. Any material, any scene… she made it special.”

Murphy added: “She could do power and vulnerability, one after the other. She was just so cool and fun, and had such compassion for everyone she met.”

Helen McCrory as Polly Shelby in ‘Peaky Blinders’. CREDIT: BBC

McCrory’s husband Damien Lewis confirmed that she had lost a private battle to cancer on April 16 via Twitter.

“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives,” he wrote.


Peaky Blinders season 6 recently resumed production, although it has not been confirmed whether McCrory had filmed any scenes.

Director Anthony Byrne shared a tribute to the late star from the shoot via Instagram shortly after her death.

“Today was beautiful and strange and sad and surreal,” Byrne wrote in his post. “We found ourselves in the most beautiful environment. The sun beating down on us and it felt OK. It was incredible but not surprising to read the many tributes and articles dedicated to Helen over the weekend.”

Murphy will next appear in John Krasinski’s horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II. He also recently said that he would consider returning for third 28 Days Later movie. Danny Boyle confirmed in 2019 that he was working on a third film with original screenwriter Alex Garland, although no further details have emerged.

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