Helen McCrory tells all about New Gang Leader Role in Peaky Blinders

Harry Potter actress Helen McCrory, who previously starred as Narcissa Malfoy, has recently announced her new role as Aunt Polly in the BBC TV drama, Peaky Blinders.

BBC’s most recent series sets its stage in post-World War I England. A gang, known as Peaky Blinders, rules the backstreets of Birmingham, but the return of the men in the aftermath of the war has caused new struggles. As Aunt Polly, Helen McCrory is forced to relinquish her leadership of the group, but still remains its intellectual backbone. McCrory had this to say about her new role as an early 1900s gang leader and the overall role of women in the series:

“The role of the women in Peaky Blinders, because they come from a working class family, is very strong. Women who had been through World War I, had coped with those men being away and had also done the things that men had done before. So you’re looking at a new generation of women that were no longer happy to stay at home with a clothes mangle and were coming out. This independence brings a friction to the family and this friction causes these strong characters to come through.”

McCrory has also commented on the new series’ innovative approach to historical drama. Steven Knight, the creator and writer of the show, used real historical events as the basis for the plot. McCrory had this to say about his work:

“Steve Knight shows this world in a way that we’re not used to in British storytelling. We’re used to seeing our victims as that, as victims. People who are not part of society. He has written them as heroes, in the style of the Western, in the style that the Americans do so very well.”

Peaky Blinders will air on BBC Two this September. Will you be watching? Tell us your opinion in the comments below!