Peaky Blinders season 6 won’t see the return of Charlie Murphy, who played real-life unionist leader and Tommy Shelby’s occasionally love interest Jessie Eden.
The 32-year-old actress has since worked on gritty Irish thriller The Winter Lake, alongside Sex Education star Emma Mackey, as well as a TV show based on the hit Xbox gaming franchise, Halo.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Charlie explained her off-screen exit from Peaky Blinders: “Yeah. I’m done now. But it was a lot of fun when we shot it. And that feels like an age ago as well. Which it was. It was about three years ago.”
Despite the character seemingly leaving the show, Jessie Eden featured quite prominently in the Peaky Blinders season 5 finale, with Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) saving her from being arrested while protesting at Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists rally.
She was also one of the few characters who was briefly tipped off to Tommy’s plan to “do a good thing”, by which he meant staging an assassination attempt on Oswald, which ended up failing.
Charlie confirmed she didn’t film anything that was cut from the show, meaning she’s unlikely to have been in the axed scenes that director Anthony Byrne explained had been cut from the final episode, to make Tommy’s betrayer more oblique.
But who does Charlie think could have turned on Tommy Shelby? She said: “I think you have to say: who wouldn’t? I think that’s how you can kind of narrow it down. Steve Knight is an incredible writer, and ratcheting up that sense of dread is something that he does so well – and there are so many curveballs. So I think it would be the process of elimination – coming in at that angle – because God knows who?”
As for where the character of Jessie Eden ends up beyond the screen, Charlie explained the woman herself went “to Russia and helps with the Communist Party there, and helps build the Metro system” and added that she’d want the same for the character herself, as “you can’t write anything better than that”.
She continued: “I just think she was an incredible woman, and she’s a bit of a spy. There’s so much. I mean, you could make a TV series about her for sure.”
Maybe it could happen, given that Steven Knight has teased a movie finale for Peaky Blinders beyond season 6, as well as spin-off TV shows for some of the characters. The Brummie BBC gangster saga is currently filming its sixth season, which has included the reveal of two new characters, one male and one female.
Elsewhere, Charlie has been working on The Winter Lake, which also stars Game of Thrones’ Michael McElhatton. The film focuses on her character, Elaine, and her unstable son Tom (Anson Boon), who gets pulled into a mysterious secret with his neighbour Holly (Emma Mackey).
Speaking about the film she said it was “a small number of cast out in Manorhamilton, in the West of Ireland. The location scout was fantastic. That house – it’s all one house. It was all in one location. As you can see, it’s on its last legs, which really helped the atmosphere. I think for us, it was warmer outside than inside – you know, one of those damp, dark… left to the sands of time; dust everywhere… But it was perfect. It was like the other character in the film, really.”