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Cillian Murphy won Peaky Blinders role after a five-word text to the show's creator
Photo: © ANP

Cillian Murphy won Peaky Blinders role after a five-word text to the show's creator

Cillian Murphy won Peaky Blinders role after a five-word text to the show's creator
Photo: © ANP

Cillian Murphy has recalled how a five-word text sent to Steven Knight helped earn him the role of Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders.

The BBC show tells the story of the Shelby crime family in early 20th-century Birmingham.

It stars Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle, Joe Cole and Finn Cole, as well as an impressive roster of guest stars including Sam Neil, Paddy Considine, Anya Taylor-Joy and Tom Hardy.

When Knight was casting for the role of Tommy, he initially wanted Jason Statham to take the role due to his imposing presence.

However, Murphy subsequently won Knight over:

"I wasn't the obvious choice physically," Murphy said on BBC's Desert Island Discs.

"I don't know if I convinced him in the meeting ... but apparently afterwards, I sent him a text saying: 'Remember, Steve: I'm an actor'.

"I do think it's our duty as actors to transform to whatever the part demands."

Peaky Blinders
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Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

Peaky Blinders is set in Birmingham just after the First World War. Central figure is Thomas Shelby, who is in charge of one of the city's most terrifying gangs, the Peaky Blinders.

Developed by: Steven Knight
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill and Sophie Rundle

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Peaky Blinders movie

Knight has talked about a Peaky Blinders movie for a few years now, and after the production was confirmed, the release year of 2024 was set, though that has since been pushed back.

Murphy previously said the plan is to move the story onto film after the show ended.

“Yes, I believe so. I’ve still not read it (the script) but that’s the plan, the plan is to make a film and to continue the story but in the cinematic world rather than on the television," he said on Today FM.

“The television part of the story is finished. If there are more stories to tell, I’m there I just haven’t read it yet but it’s close apparently."

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