Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has revealed the text message he received from Cillian Murphy after he auditioned for the part of Tommy Shelby in the hit BBC show.
Needless to say, Murphy himself doesn't possess all of the immoral and illegal traits of his character, and in fact has been described by Knight as almost the 'polar opposite' of his on-screen persona.
Where many actors draw on their own life experiences for a role, Murphy probably doesn't have much practice in wearing a razor-trimmed cap around in day-to-day life, but that hasn't stopped him from giving Tommy Shelby his all.
In fact, the actor actually had to assure Knight he was the right fit for the role prior to the start of the show in 2013.
In an interview with Esquire, Knight recalled the message he received from Murphy after he'd auditioned for the part, trying to assure the director his pleasant real-life demeanour wouldn't diminish from his take on the gangster role.
In the message, Murphy told Knight: "Remember, I’m an actor."
Knight added: “Which I never forgot.
"And boy, what an actor.”
Though Murphy may have felt the need to reassure Knight before the show got underway, the creator has admitted 'no one else could have been Tommy Shelby,' saying anyone else playing the role would be 'absurd'.
He continued: "It was as if Cillian was always waiting."
Murphy made his first appearance as Tommy in the pilot episode of the series; a moment he reflected on with Esquire.
He said: "The haircut, the suits, dropping the voice, I used all of that. These are all just tricks that you figure out.”
Almost ten years on, Murphy said he has 'loved' his time working on the show, adding: "I’m still shocked by how it went from this small little show on BBC Two to this worldwide phenomenon.”
Knight is now looking ahead to the creation of a Peaky Blinders film, which creators are 'going to be making in the next 18 months to two years'.
With Murphy having well and truly carved out his role as Tommy, Knight assured fans the actor would definitely be involved in the project, while Murphy himself said he is 'open to ideas' about a film.
Season six of Peaky Blinders airs on BBC One on Sundays; you can catch up on BBC iPlayer.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/BBC