Peaky Blinders star hails Cillian Murphy as "the best actor in the world"
The director of Peaky Blinders says "Cillian is right at the top of his game" in Season 5.
When it comes to knowing the 'real' Tommy Shelby, it's arguable that no other character got as close to the leader of the Peaky Blinders as his former wife, Grace, played in the show by Annabelle Wallis.
In fact, the first season of Steven Knight's drama revolved around the Irish barmaid who took up work at The Garrison Pub while secretly operating as an undercover agent for the Birmingham Police.
The ever-changing dynamics between Inspector Campbell, Tommy Shelby and Grace really did drive the narrative of the first season as, the closer she got to Tommy, the more dangerous the situation grew.
Initially, their relationship was one defined by betrayal, mistrust, and secrecy - the cliffhanger to Season 1 was fantastic - but as the show developed, the romance between Tommy and Grace grew and became even more complicated.
Getting married and fathering a child with someone who's not your husband will do that!
However, just as things were looking up, the most powerful couple in Birmingham were destined not to live happily ever after with their turbulent relationship coming to an end when Grace was killed at a party by an Italian assassin by order of Vicente Changretta.
Since then, you could argue that Tommy has never been the same.
Yes, there were other women, other business ventures, and other threats to the Shelby empire to keep him busy, but it's likely that nothing will ever replace the Grace-shaped hole in his life.
Ahead of the release of Season 5 later this year, Wallis paid her former co-star the highest of compliments.
In a recent interview with Buzzfeed, Wallis was asked about some of the actors she has worked with throughout her career, including Tom Cruise (The Mummy), Jon Hamm (Tag) and Charlie Hunnam (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword).
Speaking about Murphy, she said he's "the best actor in the world."
"I think so. He's in a class of his own," she added.
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) July 12, 2019
You wouldn't have to look far for support for Wallis' opinion of the Cork native.
In a career that has spawned roles on stage, cinema, and TV, Murphy has consistently been one of the most captivating and interesting stars of the last two decades.
Not only has Murphy refused to play the Hollywood game, but his choice of roles and directors to work with has been very astute.
Murphy has worked with directors including Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, Mike Leigh, Ben Wheatley, Anthony Minghella and Ron Howard but what's most impressive is the variety of the work.
Art house films and blockbuster movies sit comfortably side-by-side.
For example, very few actors can be as convincing playing a a young transgender character as they can a formidable gangster. That's talent.
As far as Murphy's role in Peaky Blinders is concerned, we all have our favourite Tommy Shelby moments, but in an interview with Birmingham Live, the writer/creator of the show, Steven Knight, said the best is yet to come.
“Director Anthony Byrne (Ripper Street / Silent Witness) has done a fantastic job. And Cillian is right at the top of his game," said Knight.
We can't wait to see what's in store.