Cillian Murphy has opened up on the difficulties of filming Peaky Blinders season 6 following the death of his co-star and close friend Helen McCrory, saying that he ‘can’t believe she’s not here’.
Last April, the actress, who played matriarch Polly Gray on the BBC drama, died at the age of 52 after suffering from cancer.
Her death was confirmed by her husband of 14 years, Damian Lewis, with tributes pouring in across social media from fans and friends of the late star.
Filming on the final episodes of the sixth season continued after McCrory’s death, with Murphy, who plays Tommy Shelby, saying that they were ‘just reeling throughout the whole thing’.
Speaking to Esquire UK, the 45-year-old said: ‘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 Inception actor explained how he found it ‘difficult to comprehend’ that ‘if it wasn’t for Covid, there would be a whole other version of this show with Helen in it’, as filming experienced a delay due to the pandemic.
He continued: ‘But she was so private and so f**king brave and courageous. She was inspirational. People throw that word around, but she genuinely was.’
Murphy emphasised how much McCrory cared ‘about everybody’, expressing his admiration for her ‘values’ and ‘the way she dealt with her kids and Damian’.
‘She’s really funny and really cool, and she had this real warmth. She really cared,’ he said.
‘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.’
McCrory married Lewis in 2007, with the pair sharing two children together: a daughter, Manon, and a son, Gulliver.
During a recent interview with Empire, Murphy explained that Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, managed to make sure that McCrory was ‘very, very present’ in season six.
‘We were about to shoot and then the pandemic happened. If we had shot then, Helen would’ve been in the show, and that makes me feel sad,’ the actor said.
‘It’s a huge loss. She was the matriarch of the whole thing. As the character, but just also as her personality.’
Last month, Lewis attended a poetry night dedicated to his late wife, performing a reading of various poems in her honour.
‘This evening is dedicated to her and it’s perfect, because Helen loved the National Theatre,’ he reportedly said during the event.
‘One person whose thunder would absolutely not be stolen was Helen McCrory.’
The Spring 2022 issue of Esquire UK is on sale from tomorrow.
Peaky Blinders season 6 will air in February on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.