Helen McCrory: Cillian Murphy and I Were Behind 'Peaky Blinders' Production Pause

The actress playing Polly Gray on the BBC drama series explains that she and her co-star found it 'uncomfortable' to continue filming while the coronavirus pandemic began to escalate.

AceShowbiz - "Peaky Blinders" stars Helen McCrory and Cillian Murphy called for production on the show to be halted last month as they were "uncomfortable" filming as the coronavirus pandemic began to escalate.

TV and film productions across the world have now gone on hiatus due to the spread of the COVID-19 disease, with many governments bringing in lockdowns that stop people leaving their homes for non-essential reasons.

Shooting on "Peaky Blinders" was officially halted on March 16 - four days before U.K. officials announced pubs, restaurants and bars would have to close, and Helen has now revealed that she, Cillian and its producers asked the BBC to halt production before they were told to.

McCrory says she was doing hair and make-up tests when she felt "something very big is coming" and no longer wanted to continue her work on the hit show.

"The next morning I woke and told my producer, 'I'm not comfortable doing this anymore.' Cillian Murphy did the same," she tells Deadline.com. "Together with the producers, we approached the BBC and said we're going to pull this now before we have to do this down the line."

The actress, who plays "Peaky Blinders"' Polly Gray, the matriarch of the Shelby gangster family, led by Cillian's character Tommy Shelby, says TV work is now "terribly unimportant." Instead, she and her husband Damian Lewis have been fundraising to get meals delivered to health workers fighting COVID-19 in Britain.

"We haven't slept and we're on the phone all the time," she says of their project. "You're improvising and making it up as you go along because it's never been done before. Now we've got a website up, feednhs.com, and on that website, hospitals can tap on and leave details."

Helen and Damian have now helped raise almost $1 million (£810,000) for the cause through a Just Giving page, and fundraising efforts like comedian Matt Lucas' charity single "Thank You Baked Potato".

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