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(Credit: Channel 4)

Stephen Graham on 'Peaky Blinders': 'Working with Cillian Murphy was a joy'

From his appearance in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, to his inclusion in Martin Scorsese’s epic The Irishman, Stephen Graham is truly an actor right at the height of his success. Although he may be enjoying a strong stint in film, his career began in TV in everything ranging from the soaps Coronation Street and The Bill to Shane Meadows’ wildly successful This is England series. His triumph on the small screen continues in his modern career, appearing alongside Sean Bean in recent prison drama Time, as well as in the culturally influential Peaky Blinders rubbing shoulders with Cillian Murphy. 

Opening up about his time working with Murphy on the show, Stephen Graham spoke with Radio X’s Chris Moyles about his upcoming appearance in the sixth (and final) series. Describing his time on the show as a “joy”, he also noted that Cillian Murphy was a “wonderful actor”, and a “lovely, lovely, lovely fella”. 

Stephen Graham’s wife, Hannah Walters, also describes the excitable relationship that her husband and Cillian Murphy share, commenting that they “were fan-girling each other so badly”. Recalling his time on set, Graham added “there was a couple of moments – I had to pinch myself a couple of times because I was sat there in a scene with him, doing a rehearsal and stuff and I’ve kinda gone, ‘Ahh that’s Tommy Shelby!’”. 

Before the camera’s started rolling Graham gave himself a pep-talk to avoid ‘freaking-out’, saying to himself: “Alright lad, best put your footy boots on here and your shin pads, let’s get ready, here we go, on the pitch!’. But at first [inhales], ‘Ok, oh wow!’”. 

No matter where Stephen Graham’s career takes him, the eager eyes of film fans across the world will follow, proving himself as a titan of emotionally wrought performances. 

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