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In the first two seasons of Peaky Blinders, Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) is kind of prone to fucking shit up. Part of that propensity to get a bit agro comes from his post-traumatic stress disorder and he certainly doesn't help himself when he's snorting cocaine all the time.
The Shelby family member beats a boy to death in a boxing ring, assaults the shit out of assassins targeting Tommy (Cillian Murphy) and helps burn a pub to the ground. Those are just some of the intense and brutal illustrations of Paul Anderson's character.
Credit: BBC/Peaky Blinders
However, if you thought that was a brilliant display of badassery, you should probably watch the actor's performance in the 2009 remake of The Firm. Anderson stars as Bex Bissell, who leads the West Ham United 'firm' - an organised collection of hooligans supporting one team.
While they take great pride in their football team, their main concern is criss-crossing the UK and organising fights with other firms. Early on in the film, Bex headbutts a bloke at a club and later on nearly carves the firm's symbol into a recruit's forearm.
It's one of the more intense roles that Anderson has taken on and surely would have helped him mould the character he portrayed in Peaky Blinders. Despite his bloody and violent brutality, fans fucking love him.
Credit: Warner Bros.
The 39-year-old actor told Den of Geek: "There's a sort of vulnerability to him, I think. I always thought that if I'm going to play a violent man, it's borne out of his upbringing.
"If I'm going to play that stuff, I'm not going to do just out-and-out unforgiving brutality.
"I'm going to play it with a little bit of vulnerability, some emotional conscience. Because it's not interesting just to be violent or brutal for the sake of it with no moral compass."
Even though the show is managed by tons of stunt doubles for the extra violent scenes, Paul says he likes getting his hands dirty.
"Obviously, I don't want to be punched in the face," he said. "But if someone's going to grab me around the throat, or if I'm going to strangle someone, you've got to physically do it.
"I like to physically feel like I'm being attacked, and when that happens you always knock an elbow, or you catch a punch, you land wrong, there's always injury."
Sources: Den of Geek
Featured Image Credit: BBC/Warner Bros.
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