Helen McCrory admits she was unable to watch 'disgustingly violent' new series of 'Peaky Blinders'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Helen McCrory (Credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Helen McCrory has branded the new series of Peaky Blinders 'disgustingly violent', and said that she had to look away during some scenes.

The actress, who plays Polly Gray, the aunt of former crime kingpin turned politician Tommy Shelby, advised that viewers should look away too.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Peaky Blinders 5

“It is very violent and it’s really horrible and you should look away,” she told PA.

“I’ve only seen episode one, and there’s a whole bit… We saw the screening in Birmingham, for fans who managed to get lottery tickets.

“I look away from the screen. I as Helen can’t watch it. I think it’s disgusting, gratuitous violence. It is… no, not gratuitous – disgustingly violent.

McCrory and Adrien Brody (Credit: BBC)

“But it is. And it should be. I think it’s much more disturbing than somebody slashes somebody’s face or somebody shoots somebody and it’s all just the end of it.”

However, the 50-year-old star, who is married to fellow actor Damian Lewis, added that it is important to show scenes like that, and that it does not normalise violence.

“It should be horrifying and you should have the people who are responsible for the violence unable to self-medicate or having mental health problems, or all the things that do happen to people, if you kill other people,” she said.

Read more: The real history behind Peaky Blinders Series Five

“Because it is not a natural state of affairs. And anybody who looks at the violence of Peaky Blinders and thinks: ‘That exactly is what I want to do’. I mean, sick.”

Series five of the Birmingham-set show finds Cillian Murphy's Tommy Shelby having ascended to parliament as the Wall Street Crash arrives in 1929.

“Becoming an MP is just Tommy expanding his empire – his ambition is to have power in a lot of areas and that’s just another extension of his power,” show creator Steven Knight told Metro.

Shelby is then approached by a 'charismatic politician' who has a new vision for Britain, Oswald Mosley, played by Hunger Games star Sam Claflin, who founded the British Union of Fascists in the early 1930s.

Elsewhere, Anya Taylor Joy will be joining the cast, while Charlotte Riley will return as May Carleton.

It airs on BBC One on August 25.