When we talk about Peaky Blinders, our minds automatically conjure up images of Cillian Murphy’s iconic character. It’s hard to imagine anyone else taking his place, especially someone like Jason Statham. Cillian Murphy has become synonymous with the show’s success and his fame has only skyrocketed since then. The idea of another actor replacing him seems strange given how perfectly he embodies the role.
The iconic characters of Thomas Shelby and Murphy are almost synonymous with each other, making it difficult to imagine anyone else playing the roles. However, fans might be surprised to learn that Jason Statham was originally considered for the role of Thomas Shelby before Cillian Murphy was cast. Director Steven Knight had both actors in mind during the casting process and ultimately chose Murphy as the perfect fit. Statham confirmed in an interview with The Guardian that he was not the first choice for the role, despite his impressive acting credentials.
Murphy had to convince director Steven Knight that he was the right choice for the role of Thomas Shelby in the hit show Peaky Blinders. Initially, Knight had doubts about Murphy’s physicality, as he did not possess the intimidating presence the character required. Instead, Knight thought that someone like Jason Statham would fit the role better. To make a decision, Knight decided to take both actors out to get a clearer picture. However, it was a text from Murphy that ultimately convinced Knight. In the text, Murphy reminded Knight that he was an actor and could transform himself into the character. Knight admitted that he had let his prejudice cloud his judgment and that Murphy’s text changed his perspective completely.