Did Cillian Murphy Smoke 3000 Cigarettes For Role in ‘Peaky Blinders’? Find Out

Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Tommy Shelby in ‘Peaky Blinders’ may have been a standout role in his career, but it came with its challenges.

In a recent revelation, the Irish actor shared the staggering number of cigarettes he smoked while filming the series. Fans of the gangster drama would have noticed Tommy Shelby’s constant companion – a cigarette – throughout the show, impeccably brought to life by Murphy. However, embodying the character may have taken its toll on his health.

During an interview, Murphy explained, “People did smoke all day (back then) and it just became a Tommy thing.”

Also Read: Cillian Murphy Will Return For ‘Peaky Blinders’ Movie

Cillian Murphy Peaky Blinders
Image Courtesy: Pinkvilla

According to The Independent, Murphy disclosed that he primarily used herbal cigarettes, a preferred choice in the industry due to their reduced harm compared to real cigarettes. These herbal alternatives are commonly used by actors, many of whom have quit smoking actual cigarettes during filming. Murphy added, “There were these rose cigarettes that are herbal – Steve (Knight, the creator) would joke they’re one of your five a day.”

Curious about the extent of his smoking on set, Murphy asked the prop department to tally up the cigarettes he had smoked. The resulting number was surprising. “I asked the prop guys to count how many I smoked just out of interest, and they think it’s something like 3,000,” revealed the actor.

Cillian Murphy Peaky Blinders
Image Courtesy: Youtube

Interestingly, the prop department employs various alternatives to depict drugs and alcohol on screen. Alcohol is often substituted with coloured water, while powdered milk simulates cocaine. Similarly, non-addictive plant material is frequently used to create on-screen cigarettes.

Jeff Butcher, a veteran prop master, favours fake marijuana, describing it as “high grade, low priced legal bud” for scenes involving drug use.

– Farheen Ali