Warning message

The subscription service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

Peaky Blinders | Masterclass

BAFTA-winning director Otto Bathurst and BAFTA-nominated production designer Grant Montgomery take a craft-focused look at the BAFTA-winning drama Peaky Blinders' journey from idea to screen, exploring the creation of its central anti-hero (portrayed by fan-favourite Cillian Murphy), designing its distinctive look and the challenges of delivering a production of this scale.

Your favourite runaway hit is more than just a period drama. Turns out director Otto Bathurst is no big fan of the genre and wanted to present the story of Tommy Shelby (portrayed by Cillian Murphy) and the Peaky Blinders in a totally non-traditional way.

We wanted to turn the volume up beyond truth. I’ve never understood why filmmakers change their method of filming depending on the date of the story they’re telling…I just wanted to make it rock n’ roll. (00:06:39) 

Although working with such explosive talent is an incredible experience, it’s not without its challenges and setbacks. Bathurst discusses his directing style and getting the most from the actors, even sharing a few behind-the-scenes stories that may surprise you.


Helen (McCrory) came in on the first day, and she was massively underprepared and really blew it […] and we ended up having to re-shoot her scene, because it was so awful! (00:33:36) 

Peaky Blinders writer Stephen Knight gets a lot of praise in this interview; apparently he goes into a ‘fugue state’ to churn out drafts that need little to no changes, telling a story experienced by his own parents and seeing it reinvented into a programme that no one can stop watching.

Strip away some of the details, and it could be a story you’re telling now. (00:47:12) 

Listen to the full interview on soundcloud.