Cillian Murphy says filming ‘Peaky Blinders’ without late Helen McCrory was “very strange”

"She was a dear, dear pal and she was the beating heart of that show"

Cillian Murphy has opened up about filming Peaky Blinders without Helen McCrory.

The actor, who plays Tommy Shelby in the beloved BBC drama, discussed the experience filming the new season without his late co-star McCrory who passed away last year.

“We were just reeling throughout the whole thing,” Murphy told Esquire. “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.”

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

Murphy added: “But she was so private and so fucking 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. 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.”


Cillian Murphy had explained earlier this year that if filming on the sixth season had not halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, McCrory would have been in the new episodes.

“[Creator Steven Knight] has managed to keep her very, very present, which I think is a brilliant tribute to Steve and also to Helen. But we couldn’t quite fathom it all as we were making it, you know?” he said.

Peaky Blinders season six will be released in 2022 on BBC One in the UK.