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Cillian Murphy Explains Why Tommy Shelby Is Never Seen Eating In Entire Series

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Cillian Murphy Explains Why Tommy Shelby Is Never Seen Eating In Entire Series

Cillian Murphy has revealed why fans never see Tommy Shelby eat in Peaky Blinders.

The eagle-eyed among us may have already noticed this peculiar omission in the series, but have you ever wondered exactly why Tommy Shelby doesn't seem to eat?

Sure, we've seen the man drink tonnes of whisky and smoke plenty of times, but the one thing the Birmingham gangster has seemingly never done is stop for a quick snack on screen.

Has Tommy Shelby actually ever eaten? Credit: BBC
Has Tommy Shelby actually ever eaten? Credit: BBC
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So, why exactly doesn't Murphy's character eat? Well during a recent interview on BBC Radio 1, the actor behind the infamous character explained why.

Murphy explained that at first, the not eating side of things happened seemingly by accident.

"Remember we’d gotten through the first two series and then we realised, Tommy has never eaten," he said.

"We’ve never seen Tommy eat. Like, he’s sat down at tables, but he’s never consumed a morsel."

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Naturally, the team turned the omission into a 'running gag', which meant that throughout Peaky Blinders, Tommy 'never consumes anything'.

With the exception of a 'sprig of mint' the character once tried with his son, of course.

Tommy Shelby's lack of appetite was 'accidental', according to Cillian Murphy. Credit: BBC
Tommy Shelby's lack of appetite was 'accidental', according to Cillian Murphy. Credit: BBC

But as we're all aware, Tommy has never had any problem keeping up with his drinking habits. By comparison, the main character is seen drinking whisky 213 times onscreen, as per ScreenRant.

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Fans had previously speculated as to why Tommy doesn't eat throughout the series, with some wondering whether it is a reflection of the character's taxing lifestyle that leaves no room for eating and sleeping.

Well, it seems that the choice was intentional, as Murphy went on to say: "So, these things develop when you have the luxury of being with a character for so long, these little things arise, and you just... You know, I will say to Steve, or Steve will pick up on it, and then we'll just kind of run with it, you know."

The 'Steve' Murphy is referring to is Steven Knight, the British filmmaker who created the series.

Set in Birmingham, the show centres on the Peaky Blinders crime organisation and follows on from the aftermath of World War One.

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Helen McCrory, who played Aunt Polly, sadly passed away last year as filming for the sixth season began. Credit: BBC
Helen McCrory, who played Aunt Polly, sadly passed away last year as filming for the sixth season began. Credit: BBC

The series premiered in 2013 and quickly became popular, with the new series premiering in the UK back in February.

Murphy said that he thought of the new series as a 'tribute' to Helen McCrory, who passed away from cancer in April last year.

McCory played fan favourite Polly Gray, and Murphy noted that he hopes the new series will honour her, as per Variety.

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"I think the whole series is really in tribute to her and to honour her. Her presence and her character’s presence are very much still felt in the series, and it is very much part of Tommy’s journey in the season", Murphy noted.

Season six of Peaky Blinders is currently available to watch in the UK and will be available to international fans on 10 June on Netflix.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Peaky Blinders, TV and Film, Celebrity, News, Netflix

Shola Lee
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