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5 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Peaky Blinders. Part 1

A lot of work behind the scenes goes into making a crime drama like Peaky Blinders. Just ask star Cillian Murphy and creator Stephen Knight.

A Lot Of Time And Care Went Into Those Haircuts

Aside from their stylish clothing (including razor-blade hat brims), one of the most striking details about Peaky Blinders’ costumes and physical aesthetic of the gang is their haircuts. According to a YouTube interview with hair and makeup artist Loz Schiavo, dozens of photographs of men from the early 20th century were reviewed to select the strongest cut.

By basing the haircuts on real people, they add an element of realism and authenticity, but several of the men (including star Cillian Murphy) didn’t think they could pull it off. The haircuts have been in-demand among fans ever since the series premiered.

Cillian Murphy Smoked 1,000 Cigarettes In A Single Season

A three-piece tweed suit, a newsboy cap, a closely shaved haircut, and a dangling cigarette are all essential to fully capture the titular gang’s look and one of the best costumes on Peaky Blinders. Looking suave while smoking adds to the aura of the series, so the stars smoke like chimneys every season.

According to Esquire, it’s estimated that Cillian Murphy smoked 1,000 cigarettes one season alone. Fortunately, such cigarettes are provided by the prop department and made from herbs these days, so they don’t contain any harmful carcinogens.

Episodes Are Based On Stories From Stephen Knight’s Childhood

In an interview breaking down his most iconic characters for GQ, Cillian Murphy explains how Steve Knight, the creator and writer for Peaky Blinders delights in coming up with plots for each season. The process, according to the Irish actor, is so easy it “flows like water.”

The reason for this is because Knight came of age in Birmingham, where the blinders are based and grew up hearing stories about the roving, smartly dressed street gangs from his neighbors, parents, and grandparents. Every series plotline, no matter how outlandish, has some basis in truth.

Sam Neill Got Liam Neeson And Jason Nesbitt To Help Him With His Accent

The major antagonist of Tommy Shelby in the first two seasons of the series, Inspector Campbell is a police chief from Belfast who is famous for his thoroughly ruthless dealings with petty hoodlums and gangsters. A remorseless man of dubious morality himself, he’s played by the supremely likable Sam Neill, who uses his inherent charm to make a truly diabolical villain.

Neill hails from New Zealand, but his family descends spirit merchants dating back to Northern Ireland in 1861. As he told the BBC, he needed a believable accent from Belfast that wasn’t “too strong” so he could be understood by American audiences, so he enlisted the help of his friends Jason Nesbitt and Liam Neeson to perfect it.

Cillian Murphy Assumed Tommy Shelby Would Die

In the same interview for GQ, Cillian Murphy goes on to say that because Tommy Shelby is unafraid of death after his time in the trenches of WWI, and almost welcomes it as a release, he’s braver than his foes. In the Season 2 finale, when Tommy nearly dies, Murphy assumed it would be the end of the infamous crime boss when he read his script.

In many ways, series like Game of Thrones have made viewers almost accustomed to seeing heroes die unexpectedly. Without Tommy Shelby however, Peaky Blinders would lose a large part of what makes it must-see television, especially as Murphy’s character has become its central figure.

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