♦ Peaky Blinders season 4 began on 15 November and it has been a pretty eventful series so far. Here’s a chat with Aiden Gillen, formerly of Game of Thrones, who just joined the cast with this season as Aberama Gold from the BBC themselves…
Who is Aberama Gold and how are we first introduced to him?
Aberama Gold is a Romany gypsy, a man with a reputation for being dangerous and somebody who is an unknown quantity. We are first introduced to him in episode two when he shows up unexpectedly much to the surprise of the family, (except for Tommy who has called him in). Aberama is effectively brought in with his son, Bonnie Gold (played by Jack Rowan) to add a bit of muscle to the Peaky ranks.
Can the family fully trust the Golds or are they just necessary to ensure the survival of the Shelbys?
I think that the family can trust them. Although, Bonnie will do as he’s told, not because he’s stupid but because he’s loyal. Aberama is a man of his word. He can be trusted to stick to his side of the deal but he can also be trusted to ensure that nobody is attempting to get out of the deal. He can be quite shrewd.
What do you think Tommy sees in Bonnie? Is he just helping him out to keep Aberama on side?
Part of the deal is that I present Bonnie as a business prospect to Tommy but don’t want them to get too close; Aberama doesn’t want to lose him to the Shelbys.
How do the more raucous scenes compare to the quieter moments between characters? Are they both as enjoyable to play?
We’ve got these big boisterous scenes and also more intimate moments. Like any role in a drama, you need all those things. They’re all part of the rich tapestry of the drama of the Peaky Blinders. I treat them all the same. You can’t have one without the other. It’s always nice to flit from one to the other. Those big scenes take care of themselves. You don’t really need to think about what you’re doing. The other more intimate scenes are taken care by the writing and what the other actors are giving you.
The boxing hall is a huge set piece. Does that level of detail and scope add to the experience of filming?
The amount of detail in that boxing set or in fact all on all of the sets is quite astonishing. One of the things I appreciate about this show, having been watching it over the last few of years, is its attention to detail across all fronts from characterisation and historical detail to production design. You just feel like you’re there, which is three quarters of the work done.
What was it about Aberama that drew you to the character?
I take things quite literally. The name is quite big and sounds like some kind of a showman, which he is in his way, a larger-than-life figure. There are a lot of big personalities written in the characters created by Steve. I think if you’re showing up a few series in, you need to be noticed. How you look, how you sound, what your name is, how you enter, what the other characters think of you, how they herald your arrival are all equally important. In the case of Aberama, I think it’s quite important the way the other characters react in such aghast to the idea that they’re going to roll this guy in. Johnny Dogs in particular has a pretty visceral reaction. He doesn’t want this man in the picture because he feels it’s the start of the end. He’s wrong of course. But that’s Johnny Dogs for you.