Netflix Star Cillian Murphy Smoked 1,000 Cigarettes In Just One Season of 'Peaky Blinders'

The British crime drama Peaky Blinders follows the Shelby crime family in the aftermath of World War I, meaning that the period drama goes through plenty of cigarettes, as smoking was in fashion at the time.

Actor Cillian Murphy stars as gang leader Tommy Shelby, and that amount of screen time combined with his character's penchant for lighting up means that Murphy smoked around 1,000 cigarettes in just one season of the show, according to his co-star Helen McCrory, who plays Aunt Polly.

"Cillian apparently, and I can't remember which season, the props guys reckoned about a thousand," McCrory said during a Q&A at the British Film Institute, via Birmingham Live, though she made sure to add: "No actors were killed in the making of Peaky Blinders. We don't inhale."

In fact, the cigarettes are herbal, and the whiskey the gangsters are often drinking is actually colored water, making the set much healthier than the era the actors are portraying on screen.

The show released the trailer for its upcoming fifth series this week, with Murphy's Tommy Shelby having moved into his new role as an MP for South Birmingham.

The series has become so popular that several stars are hoping for a role, including as rumored, Julia Roberts.

“I don’t know where that got out, but, yeah, fingers crossed on that," series creator Steven Knight said on the BBC’s Obsessed With… Peaky Blinders podcast.

Despite the potential A-list involvement, Knight noted that he didn't want to cast so many well-known actors that the show becomes more about spotting them than the story itself, though he may relax that policy for the show's final two seasons.

“The amount of people who have come to us wanting to be in it is quite astonishing – and really good people. What I’ve tried to avoid before is turning it into a ‘spot the celebrity’, you know, because I think it’s quite distracting sometimes," he explained. “But someone like Adrien Brody (Luca Changretta) is a great actor, obviously you want to put them in it, but I think now we’re coming to the final two series, I’m going to relax and open the gates a bit because there’s some amazing people who want to be in it, and I think ‘Why not?’”


No release date for the new season of Peaky Blinders has yet been announced, but it's expected to arrive sometime this fall.

Photo Credit: Netflix