Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby

It's all kicking off...

Cillian Murphy and Thomas Shelby are polar opposites. One is a rough, tough Birmingham gangster who you definitely wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of, the other is a humble, quiet Irishman who prefers to wear his hair longer than Tommy’s close shave.
Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t finished series 2  of Peaky Blinders yet (you better catch up before tonight!), but after narrowly escaping death at the end of last series’ finale, Tommy is taking the Shelby business international – and there’s a lot more at stake. Some new faces have joined the Peaky Blinders cast to ‘mess things up’, too – get to know newcomer Gaite Jansen in our exclusive shoot here. 

Peaky Blinders cast at Birmingham's Mailbox
But back to Cillian, who we caught up with at the Peaky Blinders series 3 premiere in Birmingham – how does he really feel about Thomas as a character, and what’s his honest opinion on the Birmingham accent? We found out…      
How do you feel about being back in Birmingham for the premiere?
It’s really nice! It’s very sunny today. The welcome today has been overwhelming, it was so genuine.
The Birmingham accent is often called the ugliest in the UK, what do you think of it?
Oh it’s not ugly! It’s quite sexy, isn’t it?
How did you find using the accent as Thomas Shelby?
It’s a difficult one to get. Steve [Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight] is from Birmingham, so I would call him up and leave messages on his phone and see if he approved. I also recorded some locals at The Garrison pub. The people of Birmingham have been very forgiving, which is nice. We could talk about the accent for hours, but the show is so much more than that.
Do you think you could keep up the Peaky Blinders haircut and grooming regime in real life?
It takes a long time! I could never do that.
Do you like Thomas, as a person?
Well I think that’s a bit reductive, I think you just need to understand him. He’s very complex.
We’ve seen Tommy with his fair share of ladies; deep down, is he a womaniser or just soft-hearted?
You’ll find out in series 3!
What can you tell us about the new series?
Nothing – but it’s bigger.  
Peaky Blinders Series 3 starts on BBC Two at 9pm tonight. Here are 8 reasons we can’t wait for

Peaky Blinders series 3