Peaky Blinders’ Casting Keeps Family Closer Than You Realized

Peaky Blinders’ Casting Keeps Family Closer Than You Realized

The last episode of Peaky Blinders aired back on 3rd April 2022 but concluding the show wasn’t enough to break the bond between the Peaky Blinders cast. The show’s story is originally designed around a Midlands-based street gang that operated back in the late 19th century. Steven Knight‘s fictional take on the show, however, really double downs on the importance and struggles of a family, redefining the gangster genre in the process.

Peaky Blinders highlights the strong relationship between the Shelby brothers, their sister, and their aunt. Thomas Shelby, the second eldest brother (and arguably, the emotionally strongest) of the four, leads the gang and ensures the family’s protection, growth, and unity amidst the turmoil that surrounds them. The role of their aunt, Polly Gray, is played by Helen McCrory — who is later reunited with her son Michael Gray (played by Finn Cole) who was taken away from her at the age of five by the Police and grew up in foster care.

How Peaky Blinders’ Actors Are Closer In Real Life

peaky blinders family

With emphasis placed on family in Peaky Blinders, should it come as a surprise that real life brothers were cast in the show. The role of the third-eldest Shelby brother — John Shelby — is played by Joe Cole, who is actually a real-life brother of his TV cousin, Michael Gray (Finn Cole). Sadly, the two of them don’t share much screen time in Peaky Blinders as John dies around the same time Michael starts to have more of a presence. But given John’s careless, selfless, and fierce aura and Michael’s strong wit and big plans for Shelby Company Limited, it would have been fun to see more of them together on screen (with possibly an elixir of exciting rivalry between the two).

The Cole brothers are English actors from Kingston, London, and have starred in a number of roles over the last decade — with Peaky Blinders being the most notable. Another interesting fact here is that Joe Cole’s middle name is Michael, his brother Finn’s character, is also named Michael. Needless to say, it’s quite lucky for the two brothers to be cast as ruthless gangsters and as family members too.

One Shelby Brother Has Another Michael Gray Connection

peaky blinders family

The fourth Shelby brother, who happens to be the youngest and most naive of the four is Finn Shelby. As earlier noted, the actor who plays Michael Gray is Finn Cole, sharing the same first name as his TV cousin. Based on Finn Shelby’s role in season 1 and Michael’s casting later on, this is probably just one of those coincidental interesting facts about the Peaky Blinders’ cast.

It goes without saying that the synergy and banter between the two Cole brothers and two Finns would’ve been a treat to watch on set. Peaky Blinders may have received some negative coverage due to its portrayal of crime, but one thing we can all agree on is its powerful depiction of the importance of family. The show seamlessly blends together elements of captivating storytelling, well-crafted dialogue, and outstanding acting, not to mention the stunning visuals — thanks to its great-looking cast. It’s no wonder why so many have fallen in love with this series.

READ NEXT: Peaky Blinders Foreshadowed A Season 4 Death Years BeforeHelen McCrory

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