♦ Peaky Blinders season 4 began on 15 November and it has been a pretty eventful series so far. Here’s a chat with Natasha O’Keefe who plays Lizzie Stark in the show from the BBC themselves…
How is Lizzie and Tommy’s relationship tested this year?
Lizzie and Tommy’s relationship is unique in that Lizzie puts up with a lot of Tommy’s antics of sleeping around with other women under her nose. Lizzie works for him and is around quite a lot so she knows what’s going on. She’s quite resilient and very loyal. I don’t think I’d put up with that myself. I think it all comes back to him coming back to Lizzie.
Are the scenes where all the extended family come together fun to play?
This year, whenever we’ve been in the Shelby collective; it’s always under quite serious circumstances so the scenes themselves are a little bit quiet and intense. But the moments in between the cameras rolling are always the most fun. There is such a beautiful chemistry among us and there is always so much fun to be had. Packy Lee (who plays Johnny Dogs) is always on form and you can always rely on him for a bit of a giggle.
What are your thoughts on the look of the series?
From the first series, that very first episode, Peaky Blinders had a unique thing going on. The cinematography, the music and the acting are amazing and it’s remained a constant throughout. The sets are really thoroughly thought out. It’s always lovely to step on in character, in your full costume and become part of that Peaky world. Particularly for Lizzie, when she’s in the office, you can feel her stationary and flick through her personal papers. Even those things, when you read the papers, the designers and props team have thought of every detail. The numbers in the books are all relevant to what Lizzie does. I’m blown away by the attention to detail.
How important was it for you to have time with costume designer Alison McCosh to craft Lizzie’s personal look?
Alison McCosh has been brilliant. This series is quite an interesting development costume-wise for Lizzie because she’s come into a little bit more money and she’s by Tommy’s side. She’s officially one of the inner-circle. There’s a bit more class in her style and with each episode you see her office style becoming more glamorous because she can afford it now.
What moments are you particularly excited about seeing unfold on screen when the series airs?
I bet everyone’s going to say that the boxing ring is the scene that they’re most excited to see unfold. I’m going have to agree. There is so much that happens. It’ll be interesting to see how it all comes together. Having been a part of those scenes I was taken aback at quite how big that set was. I still don’t know how the boys who were in the ring physically got through two days of filming the boxing sequences. The Peaky women get to be the birds of paradise in these scenes in some very posh outfits. I can’t wait to see how it all edits together.