The creator of Peaky Blinders has paid tribute to the late Helen McCrory and says her influence was felt on the set of the sixth and final season.
In a wide-ranging interview reflecting on the show, Steven Knight and star Sophie Rundle spoke glowingly about McCrory, who died of breast cancer in April last year aged 52.
McCrory, who played Polly Gray in the first five seasons of the hit BBC show, died before filming began on the new season.
“The tragedy of the loss of the human being of Helen is a million times greater than the loss of the character, but in between those two is the loss of the actor. I can only talk about the actor and the character, really,” the screenwriter and director told The Big Issue.
“Helen was such a fantastic, powerful performer who took this role and changed it and made it something greater than the sum of its parts. And as in real life, when someone with that influence passes, they remain. Within the family, their influence remains. And they’re still part of the building structure. And that’s true of Helen and Polly.”
Rundle, who plays Gray’s niece Ada Shelby in the show, echoed this view, describing the star’s passing as a “devastating loss”.