Peaky Blinders' Cillian Murphy says it was "strange" without Helen McCrory on season 6 set

2 February 2022, 12:59 | Updated: 2 February 2022, 14:30

Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby and the late Helen McCrory in as Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders
Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby and the late Helen McCrory in as Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo/BBC

The Irish actor - who stars as Tommy Shelby in the hit series - revealed it was difficult returning to set without his late castmate.

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Cillian Murphy has said it felt "strange" being on the set of Peaky Blinders without the late Helen McCrory.

The critically acclaimed actress tragically lost her battle with cancer, aged 52, in April 2021 and her co-star has opened up about how her absence was felt on the filming of the show's sixth and final series.

Murphy, who heralded the star as "so f***ing brave and courageous", admitted it was a "confusing" time grieving for someone "so young" and so close to him.

"We were just reeling throughout the whole thing," he 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. But she was so private and so f***ing brave and courageous. She was inspirational."

READ MORE - Peaky Blinders season 6: Release date, trailers cast and more

He added: "People throw that word around, but she genuinely was. Her values, the way she dealt with her kids and Damian [Lewis, the actor, and McCrory's husband of 14 years]... 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."

The 45-year-old Irish actor admitted: "It wasn't a very pleasant shooting experience, for loads of different reasons."

McCrory played Polly Gray in the BBC series alongside Murphy and the likes of Paul Anderson, Anna Taylor-Joy and Sophie Rundle.

The Spring 2022 issue of Esquire UK is on sale on 3rd February. Read their full interview with Cillian Murphy at

Watch the trailer for Peaky Blinders Season 6

READ MORE - Peaky Blinders' Paul Anderson teases season 6 could air "next month"

Meanwhile, Paul Anderson, who plays Arthur in the hit series, hinted the show could air as soon as this month.

Sharing an image of himself with Murphy, who plays his brother in the show, he wrote: "his is the first ever image of Tommy and Arthur. We picked these guns up for the first time 10 years ago, and next month we put them down for the last time!"

The star added: "Coming soon... PEAKY BLINDERS SEASON 6 @peakyblindersseason6 thank you to our amazing fans for waiting and for the incredible love over the last decade".


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